Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wrestling with Wikipedia

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have created a wikipedia account and will now attempt to write an entry for political knowledge.  Do a search for that phrase now and you're sent to political philosophy, which strikes me as unfair.

So the question is, how to begin?

One easy approach is to break the phrase to its two component words, link to wikipedia entries on that.  Political actually takes you to politicsKnowledge has an entry, as I mentioned previously.  But this is a clunky way to do it and to be honest it doesn't tell us very much.

Another approach is to focus on the conceptual and operational, going all PhDweeb on the issue.  I think this is the way to go, but it's going to mean a lot of stuff in my head I take for granted (like which single malt Scotch is best) needs to be pulled out and actually used.  There are good books or seminal studies on the topic and I could build the article around them.  Obviously I'll mention this blog because hell, shameless self promotion is all the rage today and I'm not about to miss an opportunity to join the fun.

Finally, I should think about what someone is likely to need if they're searching for political knowledge, because there's a damn good chance a Google search will hit the wikipedia page fairly early on.  Why would someone search for this?  Research?  Wacky fun?

So I think I'll start by building a list of great books, articles, and cites.  Then I'll pick a few, use this as my skeleton or outline.  And it'll get messy as I get into misperception, such as WMDs or whether Obama is Muslim.  Those may bring out the crazies, but there's not much I can do about that.

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