Why Wikis Won't Go Away - InformationWeek
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Why Wikis Won't Go Away

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Why Wikis Won't Go Away
2. Today's Top Story: IBM And OpenDoc
    - IBM Jumps On Open Document Bandwagon
    - IBM's OpenDoc Client Targets Emerging Economies
3. Breaking News
    - Wikipedia Tightens Rules For Posting
    - Symantec Launches Security Appliances
    - Intel To Invest $1 Billion In India
    - Lawsuit Accuses AOL Of Unlawful Billing
    - Cisco To Girls: 'Try IT, You'll Like IT'
    - 10-Minute Guide To Setting Up A Wi-Fi Network
    - Mozilla Seeks Ad Fodder From Firefox Fans
    - RFID Helps Feed Parking Meters
    - Thomson Takes Stake In Japanese Video Software Firm
    - Fujitsu To Commercialize Carbon Nanotubes
4. Grab Bag: The Culture Of Google
5. In Depth: E-Business
6. Voice Of Authority: Women In IT
7. White Papers: Sarbanes-Oxley
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"If at first you don't succeed, find out if the loser gets anything."
-- Bill Lyon

1. Editor's Note: Why Wikis Won't Go Away

Wiki is an Internet technology platform that addresses one of the key objectives of many Web sites: to receive and make use of the valuable contributions that readers have to make to their products. They may also be viewed as a modern-day version of the old CompuServe forums that IT professionals visited in search of solutions to specific technical problems: a place where readers can share and benefit from each others' knowledge. One huge value of wikis: they aggregate the collective knowledge of a group of people and professionals since no one source can provide all the information you need.

But there are clear downsides that anyone analyzing wikis needs to be aware of, and in recent days we've gotten yet another reminder of them: As with many "open" technologies on the Net, wikis can bring out the worst in some people who have malicious intent. In this case, John Seigenthaler--who was assistant to Attorney General Robert Kennedy in the 1960s--was incorrectly identified on Wikipedia as having been viewed as potentially involved in the assassinations of John F. and Robert Kennedy. In his own words, Seigenthaler provided a wrenching account of the pain this caused him. This troubling incident followed a high-profile wiki experiment at the Los Angeles Times that was mostly viewed as a failure. Other complaints about wikis are surfacing. The good news: Wikipedia has just announced tighter rules that prohibit new submissions from anonymous contributors.

Much as I feel for Seigenthaler and others who've been burned by malicious individuals or factual inaccuracies through wikis, I also recognize and clearly see the power of reader-submitted content on Web sites. It's a trend that's not going to go away, any more than blogs will go away, despite the best efforts of Forbes magazine. The trend is somewhat problematic for the publishing business, given our training in fact checking and taking extensive measures to make sure content is bulletproof. Wikis today have no analogous methodology for prepublication review and analysis.

But rather than attempt to minimize their significance, or downplay them in the hope that they go away, I believe Web sites must embrace wikis at the same time we focus on figuring out ways to provide better controls that keep the vermin out and the legitimate knowledge contributors in. You know where I stand, now what's your take on wikis? Are they just the current flash in the pan, or destined to permanently shake up the gathering and dissemination of information?

Tom Smith

2. Today's Top Story

IBM Jumps On Open Document Bandwagon
IBM said the next release of its Workplace Managed Client 2.6, due early next year, will support ODF version 1.0. ODF is an XML standard blessed by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards.

Related Stories:

IBM's OpenDoc Client Targets Emerging Economies
Brazil, Russia, China, and India are interested in the ODF standard because, an IBM manager says, the format allows these governments to more easily move among platforms.

3. Breaking News

Wikipedia Tightens Rules For Posting
After an article incorrectly linked the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy to a former administrative assistant, Wikipedia no longer accepts new submissions from anonymous contributors.

Symantec Launches Security Appliances
The Gateway Security 5600's top-of-the-line model features throughput of 3 Gbps and includes connectivity options for fiber and copper Ethernet uplinks.

Intel To Invest $1 Billion In India
Over the next five years, the chipmaker will start a $250 million venture-capital fund for local companies and will expand its existing operations, according to Intel chairman Craig Barrett.

Lawsuit Accuses AOL Of Unlawful Billing
The lawsuit, seeking class-action status, claims the company creates second accounts without customers' consent. AOL calls the suit a "legal rehash" and denies the allegations.

Cisco To Girls: 'Try IT, You'll Like IT'
Cisco plans a conference in New York this week to try to recruit high-school girls to IT careers.

10-Minute Guide To Setting Up A Wi-Fi Network
OK, designing and planning an enterprise wireless network will take longer than 10 minutes. But our guide covers all the high points, from security to coverage patterns, and will help you get yours installed as quickly as possible.

Mozilla Seeks Ad Fodder From Firefox Fans The company has set up a Web site for fans to upload 30-second videos describing why they like the browser.

RFID Helps Feed Parking Meters
Now you don't have to leave your lunch-mate to drop a quarter: You can add extra minutes via your cell phone.

Thomson Takes Stake In Japanese Video Software Firm
The public tender offer is for Canopus, which sells PC-based, multiformat editing systems and other video-related technology.

Fujitsu To Commercialize Carbon Nanotubes
The technology represents a major advance for practical applications that take advantage of the thermal conductivity of carbon nanotubes, especially in mobile communications, company researchers claim.

All our latest news:

Watch More News

The current episode of The News Show is a special edition dedicated to General Motors. "As General Motors Goes..." features interviews with various GM IT execs.

Interview with CIO Ralph Szygenda

Interview with process information officer Kirk Gutmann

Interview with GMAC CIO Cherri Musser

4. Grab Bag: News You Need From The Web

At Google, Cube Culture Has New Rules
(New York Times)

Google, like IBM, says it's forging a corporate culture in which success depends on performance. But rather than revamping its social contract with workers, Google is writing one from scratch.

BellSouth Punishing New Orleans For Offering Free Wi-Fi
(Washington Post)

Hours after New Orleans officials announced Tuesday that they would deploy a city-owned, wireless Internet network in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, regional phone giant BellSouth Corp. withdrew an offer to donate one of its damaged buildings that would have housed new police headquarters.

Nielsen Survey Says Ads Make Video Games More Realistic
(Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

Rather than traditional 30- or 60-second TV-style commercials, advertising in video games often takes the form of product placements that appear blended into the action on the screen. A majority of gamers in the study found relevant advertising enhances the realism of games, according to a study by VNU NV's Nielsen Entertainment.

----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

Ready For A Raise?
Should you get a raise in 2006? Learn how your pay compares to that of your peers with our free and confidential online tool. Featuring more than 20 job functions and tracking IT compensation across 20 metropolitan areas, InformationWeek Research's 2005 IT Salary Adviser makes it easy to compare your salary and compensation.

The BI Challenge
Training, compatibility, and data-quality problems are curbing the effectiveness of business-intelligence tools. Find out what 300 companies are doing to overcome these issues in InformationWeek Research's Business Intelligence 2005 report.


5. In Depth

Big Spenders Account For Nearly Half Of Online Shopping Dollars
Retailers should identify these "most valuable purchasers" and develop targeted marketing programs to get as much revenue from these shoppers as possible, Nielsen/NetRatings says.

Bank Outsources E-Commerce
Branch Banking & Trust, the nation's ninth largest financial holding company, said its new E-commerce service will automate payables and receivables and allow customers to communicate electronically on any software platform they choose.

Craigslist Founder Behind Online News Venture
Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, is backing an effort to deliver a new online media venture. He confirmed in his blog that he's backing a new media venture but declined to provide details.

One In Six Online Americans Are Sellers
More than one in six Americans who go online have sold something, or tried to, most of them using Internet classified and auction sites, a new poll says.

6. Voice Of Authority: Women In IT

Podcast: The Declining Number Of Women Seeking Careers In IT Is An Alarming Trend
Women comprise about 29% of the professional IT workforce. But there's concern among technology companies that the number is shrinking, says Lucy Sanders, CEO at the National Center for Women and Information Technology. Nonprofit organizations, universities, and businesses such as Wal-Mart, Cisco, and IBM are working to reverse that trend, Sanders says. IBM and Cisco, for example, are sponsoring studies to gather baseline data they'll use to develop mentoring programs for women.

7. White Papers: Sarbanes-Oxley

The Forrester Wave: Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Software, 1Q 2005 Analyst Report
Sarbanes-Oxley compliance is a rapidly maturing software category that combines enterprise content management, analytics, and enterprise applications.

8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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