Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Information Reputation

A lot of people have problems citing Wikipedia as a source for academic research. A UC Santa Cruz professor has developed software that flags questionable entries. The idea is that the source of the most reliable information on Wikipedia doesn't need to be edited. So if those trustworthy sources can be identified, then users would know if the information can be trusted:
"The idea is very simple," de Alfaro said. "If your contribution lasts, you gain reputation. If your contribution is reverted [to the previous version], your reputation falls."

UC Santa Cruz - Press Release

I don't know if this software will stick, but I think the idea has implications for educational blogging. For instance in the future more news will be user generated, so the question will be whether our information is trustworthy. One litmus test will be our information reputation. If one blogger has a history of only making social posts on MySpace and another has a history of posts filled with associative links to reliable sources, who will you trust?

If you haven't already, it's time to start thinking about the information trail you're leaving behind.

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