Wikipedia is an amorphous entity without any type of command structure. There may be guidelines, but there's no verifiable way to uphold them - hence, the controversy surrounding the phenomenon. Exploring Wikipedia's origins, Lih defends the egalitarian spirit of the site, and Lloyd James's narration is an upbeat affirmation of the author's heartfelt belief in the medium. James hardly ever falters in his prairie-pure tone and diction. Although it may seem that his performance lacks range, it's probably due to the nature of the subject matter - most of the narrative's main characters, despite their undoubted brilliance, just don't possess the kind of personalities that warrant a greater degree of artistic license from a narrator. This is geek-speak, and James's even-toned voice suits.
With more than 2,000,000 individual articles on everything from Aa! (a Japanese pop group) to Zzyzx, California, written by an army of volunteer contributors, Wikipedia is the number-eight site on the World Wide Web. Created (and corrected) by anyone with access to a computer, this impressive assemblage of knowledge is growing at an astonishing rate of more than 30,000,000 words a month. Now for the first time, a Wikipedia insider tells the story of how it all happened---from the first glimmer of an idea to the global phenomenon it's become.
Andrew Lih has been an administrator (a trusted user who is granted access to technical features) at Wikipedia for more than four years, as well as a regular host of the weekly Wikipedia podcast. In The Wikipedia Revolution, he details the site's inception in 2001, its evolution, and its remarkable growth, while also explaining its larger cultural repercussions. Wikipedia is not just a Web site; it's a global community of contributors who have banded together out of a shared passion for making knowledge free.
©2009 Andrew Lih; (P)2009 Tantor
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