Tag Archives: wiki

Wikipedia Taught Me: Film Edition

As I prepare to graduate, I think about my education…

As I continue thinking, I realize all of the things I learned from wikipedia that I didn’t learn at Wesleyan.

To begin: See that lady over there? Well, that lady is actually a man, Harris Glenn Milstead…commonly known as his stage/drag name, Divine. Milstead was the inspiration for Ursula the sea witch, a character from the 1989 Disney animated-feature The Little Mermaid. Unfortunately, it seems that he never saw the film, as he died in 1988 from sleep apnea right before he was set to play a duel role on Fox’s Married With Children as Peggy’s mother and Uncle Otto. Milstead played duel roles twice before in the films Female Trouble and Hairspray.

Most importantly, Disney apparently loves drag queens. And I learned this all from wikipedia.

OMFG: WESWIKI WARS!

Wesleying has covered the school’s attempts at providing student, faculty, and administrative Wikis in the past, but this time it’s some industrious Wes students starting them up on their own.

For the unhip and uninformed, Wikis are websites allowing users to collectively add and edit their content. The scope of Wikis can be as small as a group editing a paper, to an entire encyclopedia.

Darwin, co-creator of WesConfess, recently announced the creation of WesWiki. Then, the same day, we received confirmation that WesWiki had been finished. Wait… two WesWikis?

Bear with me.

WesConfess’ WesWiki

WesConfess’ WesWiki, set up by its semi-anonymous co-founder Darwin, is currently a bare-bones Wikipedia-looking wiki with little in terms of content or organization. It runs MediaWiki, the same open-source software Wikipedia uses to allow users to both intelligently edit text and upload informative pictures. It allows anonymous editing, though IP addresses are published with anonymous posts (which when plugged into a dorm connection, leads to your full name).

WesConfess’ WesWiki gets some plus points for allowing anonymous editing, mostly because it allows people to pull epic moves like this:
Then again, it’s still possible to see what IP edits are made from.Who’s that? Remember how to resolve IPs…

I changed the problem for a friend. I swear.

The Good: anonymous editing, uses a very open license so other Wikis can use the stuff you post, and the Wesleyan webmail admin is lovinit.
The Bad: no organization yet, no sexy design, little content (but has great list of Windows shares)

WesWiki dot com


Vernon Thommeret ’10 created WesWiki.com in hopes of building a community site that “answers people’s questions.” By using the wiki, “people should be able to [for example,] find out which house they want to live in.” The site’s organization is top billin, and complements the sexy design well.

The site is split up into two sections, Wesleyan, and Middletown. Vernon wants the wiki to include “anything that would be useful to a Wesleyan student. That’s why half of it is about the campus and the other is about Middletown.”

Underneath the Middletown section, one can find restaurant reviews and info and hours for retail stores. Imagining finding PIP Printing’s hours without having to #@$@ing call them up excites me so.

The site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License. The No-Derivative Works part means someone can re-publish what you submit, but not change it in any way. That means, unlike Wikipedia, WesWiki.com can’t be branched off into a new Wiki by a competitor. For example, WesConfess’ WesWiki can put WesWiki.com’s information on their site, but can’t allow it to be edited. According to Vernon:

“I chose “no derivative works” because I felt that people’s personal work shouldn’t be changed in a medium outside of WesWiki. […] if a real use comes up, I’m always willing to leave it up to discussion.”

Editing the wiki requires account creation, but after a quick email confirmation, you can begin editing articles and uploading images.

The site seemed great, until I noticed the site’s recipe for potential disaster. Underneath the Wesleyan section, in all of its glory:

Oh.. my.. science.

I still can’t decide whether pages on students and faculty will be the best thing ever created or a devil-sent abomination, but either way, it lets pages like this one exist:The Good: Nice design, great layout, and already has a bunch of articles
The Bad: Uses slightly closed copyright scheme, site loads a bit slow
The Ugly.

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NoteMesh

It’s a little late for this now, but Notemesh looks like a promising student resource:

There are plenty of notes services out there; NoteMesh is a different way of thinking about your notes. Collaborate with your classmates to create a unified set of notes for your class. It’s like Wikipedia for your notes.

Great for those of you who just sit in the back row typing on your laptops (EVERYONE in Sensation & Perception: I’m looking at you!). The site’s slogan is “collaborate to graduate,” and I think it has great potential– Especially for lectures.