I call on historians to dedicate their precious few hours of spare time to improving Wikipedia; as an incentive, I call on administrators to integrate Wikipedia contributions into the publication requirements for tenure.
Pastplay: Teaching and Learning History with Technology. The fourth book from the digitalculturebooks imprint of the University of Michigan Press, Pastplay includes a wide range of essays, all available online for free. T. Mills Kelly reflects on his historical methods course which resulted in a historical hoax, “the last American pirate,” declared one of the 10 biggest hoaxes in Wikipedia’s first ten years. Matthew Kirschenbaum discusses if board games work better than computer games for teaching history. The book's chapters cover successful combinations of play, technology, and history. Yet, many are wary, as a "playful approach to teaching and learning with technology can seem like the worst of all possible worlds: the coupling of strategies developed for entertainment with tools created for commerce." [more inside]
Random Article. Bunny Ultramod likes hit "random page" on Wikipedia and sometimes he reports what he finds there. [via mefi projects]
"The 'Undue Weight' of Truth on Wikipedia" - When historian Timothy Messer-Kruse attempted to edit the Wikipedia article on the Haymarket Affair he ran up against the project's policies and editors. Besides the coverage by Messer-Kruse about his two years trying to edit the article in The Chronicle, linked above, the story has spilled out into other media outlets. An article in The Atlantic, an NPR segment with Messer-Kruse and Andrew Lih, a Reddit thread, Bigthink, and others have chimed in on the situation. Lengthy discussion, and a "good article reassessment", has resulted on Wikipedia.
"Many Wikipedia articles are tagged with geographic coordinates. Many have references to historic events. Cross referencing these two subsets and plotting them year on year adds up to a dynamic visualization of Wikipedia's view of world history." Via curiosity counts.
Everybody knows TVTropes is the best and most time-killing-est way to learn about the clichés and archetypes that permeate modern media. But dear reader, there is so much more. Enter Useful Notes. Originally created as a place for tropers to pool factual information as a writing aid, the subsite has quietly grown into a small wiki of its own -- a compendium of crowdsourced wisdom on a staggering array of topics, all written in the site's signature brand of lighthearted snark. Though it reads like an irreverent and informal Wikipedia, its articles act as genuinely useful primers to complex and obscure topics alike, all in service of the project's five goals: "To debunk common media stereotypes; to help you understand some media better; to educate, inform and sometimes entertain; to promote peace and understanding (maybe); and... to facilitate world domination." Sounds about right. Click inside for bountiful highlights... if you dare. [more inside]
The Victoria and Albert Museum is using crowdsourcing to determine the best images, crops and enlargements of items in its online database. [more inside]
New Books In History. Historian Marshall Poe talks with other historians about their newly published books. [more inside]