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June 28, 2005

Towards Emancipatory Use of a Medium: The Wiki

Ebersbach, Anja, and Markus Glaser. “Towards Emancipatory Use of a Medium: The Wiki.”. International Journal of Information Ethics. Vol. 2 (Nov. 2004). no002/ijie_002_09_ebersbach.pdf. 28 June 2005.

The authors argue that wikis fulfill the original egalitarian intent of the Web as conceived by Berners-Lee. As such, they constitute an emancipatory medium. They base their study on the seven criteria for emanicipatory media set forth in Enzensberger’s 1970 essay “Constituents of a theory of the media”:

  1. decentralized program
  2. each receiver a potential transmitter
  3. mobilization of the masses
  4. collective production
  5. interaction of those involved, feedback
  6. social control by self-organization
  7. a political learning process
Wikis do seem to fulfill each of these criteria. Several subsections are particularly useful. In the section entitled “Collective Production,” the authors point to useful analyses of the collaborative process demonstrated in general wikis, which differ from the Wikipedia process (discussion leading to production and vice versa). “Social Control by Self-Organization” briefly considers relevant IP issues, and the final section, “Political Learning Process” points to the process of perspective-taking that is discussed in more depth in the Reagle essay.

Posted by kenne329 at June 28, 2005 11:12 AM | Community Rules | Journal Articles | Peer Production