Social Action Now!

An objective view to worldwide social issues

Wikipedia: contributing to social knowledge

According to Wikipedia, wiki is a web application which allows a collaborative modification, extension, or deletion of its content and structure. Wiki is actually a Hawaiian word meaning fast, quickly. This word was introduced by the computer programmer Ward Cunningham in 1995 when he created what he called WikiWikiWeb the “simplest online database that could possibly work” as he described it. The most popular wiki software application is the Wikipedia with 31,7 million user accounts contributing to it.

WikipeWikipedia-Previewdia is in fact an online encyclopedia built by all of us and in which our Information Management course has also taken part. We have been contributing to it in different topics.

In our case, our group decided to cover the Social Action topic in which this blog is focused. To this end, we started collecting diverse Wikipedia articles connected to this main focus. Our group research was highly profitable since we collected several interesting articles. We divided them in two main groups: environmental issues and social issues. Therefore, we covered topics such as, human rights, gender inequality, child labor…but also climate change, pollution issues, endangered species…

Regarding our contributions to Wikipedia, I selected a couple of articles, one of each topic, one about environmentalism and the other about a social issue.

On the one hand I improved the infobox of the WWF Spanish Wikipedia page since the English one was more complete. I added different information that was not available earlier.

On the other hand I selected an article I had previously mentioned through Twitter, I found the Nancie Atwell page in thetumblr_nlcs0xmhz41r1dut4o1_1280 English Wikipedia and since there was no translation to Spanish, I translated it, created a person infobox and supported it with qualitative and reliable citation. Therefore, in my Wikipedia experience, I contributed in translating, improving, creating and citation. The decision to choose this latter article was that I consider the work carried out by this teacher essential for society. Her students read an average of forty books per year and they were doing that voluntarily. This capability to transmit a passion is in my opinion, unique so I wanted this article to be available in Spanish.

All in all, it is necessary to inform about social issues but it is also essential to inform about social improvements, improvements such as this teacher’s inspirational work.

References

Nancie Atwell. (2015, May 5). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:42, June 11, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nancie_Atwell&oldid=660980489

What Does “Wiki” Mean, and What Language Is It From? (2010, July 28). Retrieved June 11, 2015, from http://blog.dictionary.com/wikileaks-wikipedia/

Wiki. (2015, May 27). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:18, June 11, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wiki&oldid=664265890

Wikipedia community. (2015, June 5). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:17, June 11, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia_community&oldid=665580841

Information Management: collection, curation and sharing

Rufus Pollock, economist and co-founder of Open Knowledge, stated once in his 2012 Geneva’s conference about Open Data that human being has been confronted for years by the limitations of human memory in the recording of information. That is the reason why ancient Syrian civilizations about 5000 years ago came up with a revolutionary invention: writing.

Rufus Pollock, "Open Data," Geneva 2012

Rufus Pollock, “Open Data,” Geneva 2012

This written information continued evolving endlessly until nowadays, when thanks to new technologies and new formulas we can share and curate it whenever and wherever we are.

That is, in fact, what this Information Management course has been about. Throughout this semester, we have been discovering new tools for the sharing and curation of all the information that nowadays is made available to us. American journalist Liz Smith asserts that today’s society is over-informed. Actually, lack of information is not a social issue any more but it is the proper curation and administration of qualitative and reliable data.

Furthermore, plagiarism and lack of updated information is usually a problem derived mainly from the improper use of information sources. Bibliography is of great importance when carrying out a research because it supports and complements our own work. However, these sources cannot be taken as our own ideas and here lies the importance of citing them correctly. There are two useful tools sharing this objective: RefWorks and ProQuest Flow.

RefWorks, as it is indicated on its own domain, “is designed to help researchers easily gather, manage, store and share all types of information,” which of course, include generating citations and bibliography.

ProQuest Flow, on the other hand, is also a collecting, collaborating and researching tool which in addition, is interconnected with RefWorks which makes both highly recommendable for bibliographic collection and citation tasks.

Scoop.it logo

Scoop.it logo

However, apart from citation problems, the process of selection, curation and sharing information also constitutes a usual problem within the course. Regarding this problem, we find Scoop.itA robust content curation technology to save time finding the content you need” as it is defined by its creators. It is based on three main steps: discover, curate and publish.

Coming now to the organization of information, it is recommendable to use Text2MindMap to build an online Mind Map of whatever your topic covers. It is defined as a “free and simple mind mapping tool online” a rapid and effective way to organize the different components of a broader topic.

Storify

Storify

Apart from that, if the idea is creating a poster with all the information summarized in one unique place, Storify is definitely the most appropriate tool, “the easiest way to find, collect, and share what people are saying all over the web”. It allows adding tweets, posts, images, webpages…It is the perfect tool for storytelling.

As a summary, the information has broadly evolved since its first collection and sharing methods until nowadays sophisticated curation and management tools; and it will continue evolving. It is now our responsibility to use these tools to collect, curate and share the most reliable and qualitative information in order to build knowledge based society.

References

Pollock, R. (2012, March 15). Open Data: How We Got Here and Where We’re Going by Rufus Pollock. Retrieved May 28, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cRtbA_d4RI

ProQuest Flow. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2015, from https://flow.proquest.com/

RefWorks Home Page. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2015, from https://www.refworks.com/

Scoop.it – Content Curation Publishing Platform for Content Marketing. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2015, from http://business.scoop.it/features/

Smith, L. (2012, December 18). Are We ‘Over-Informed’? Readers Weigh In. Retrieved May 28, 2015, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/liz-smith/post_4246_b_2322248.html

Storify – Create stories using social media. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2015, from https://storify.com/

Text 2 Mind Map – Simple mind mapping online. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2015, from https://www.text2mindmap.com/

Izarren Argia

Jon A. Larreategik 2007ko Martxoaren 19an bere GARAko artikuluan argitaratu zuen euskal historia zati hura izan zen Baleukok hiru urte geroago, 2010ean kaleratuko zuen filmaren oinarri. Filma hau “Izarren argia izenburua”-rekin, Mikel Rueda Sasieta zuzendariarekin buru, eta Barbara Goenaga edota Itziar Lazkano bezalako aktore garrantzitsuek antzeztua izan zen. Read more of this post

El gran hombre del Renacimiento

Alastair Sooke destacaba en su artículo “Leonardo da Vinci’s groundbreaking anatomical sketches” redactado en el apartado de cultura de la BBC el 28 de Agosto del 2013 algunos de los descubrimientos anatómicos más importantes realizados por el gran hombre del Renacimiento: Leonardo Da Vinci. Read more of this post

An invisible threat: Fracking

The international NGO Greenpeace has recently published a report about the newly began Fracking activities, this report is called “Fractura hidráulica para extraer gas natural (fracking)” and it explains, through various questions, the methods, reasons as well as consequences of the Fracking. I did not know much about it so I decided to start a searching mission around it. That is when I found another interesting and meaningful information resource, this second web page was called http://www.dangersoffracking.com  and offered me a graphic travel through the natural gas extraction we were talking about; it is the Fracking.

As Greenpeace’s report reflects, the Fracking is a new technique to extract natural gas from the deepest side of the Earth, but how does it work? It seems a simple process. However, its complexity is more serious than most people think.fracking

This report explains how Fracking is based on a pressured stream formed by million litres of water and a compost of different chemicals. It happens with certain sedimentary rocks that their special characteristics of impermeability and inside structure and materials allow the methane accumulation.

Greenpeace’s experts have showed, when areas formed by this kind of rocks are discovered, a process of well building starts. Enormous amounts of huge wells are constructed and lots of lorries are moved to transport the water to the chosen place. The water is injected, encouraged by pressure streams, into the crevices of the rocks. This water has previously been mixed up with a chemical cocktail whose components have not even be identified. What we only know for sure is that, according to the Greenpeace experts´ report: “It is known that there are, at least, 260 chemical substances in the 197 different products used during the process and many of them are toxic”.

It is a new technique that has been popularized in the United States of America although its short period of use since it started. However this report also reflects that, just as every new technique, the Fracking has its advantages and disadvantages.

As the commercial sector has said, we are being witnesses of a revolutionary way of extracting natural gas but, do we know about the consequences?

First of all, lack of drinkable water is a real problem in hundreds of countries all over the world and this new method needs between 9.000 and 29.000mof water for each single well. Apart from that we must include the enormous amount of lorries that have to be moved to transport all this water to the determined place, 4.300 to 6.600 lorry-travels for each well-platform.

Natural_Gas_Fracking_0On the other hand, we have the chemical mixture. It is a secret composition and many of these chemicals are out of regulation in Unite States, because they have little information about them. We do not know much about them so, why bother? Well, we do not know about the cocktail and about the consequences of injecting it inside the rock which could be really dangerous but what we already know is that many of the chemicals used in the process are both, toxic and carcinogenic. This means that the simple contact with an underground aquifer could pollute a whole source of drinkable water.

This activity is getting extended in an incredibly velocity. As Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge said: “The more natural gas the United States extracts from shale rock, the safer the country will be.” As I said, we do not really know the real consequences of this method, and it would be saver if people decided to make some more experiments and analysis about it before being too late, because this problem, unlike others, is about an invisible threat.

References

Detrow, Scott. (September 7, 2011). Ridge: Shale Drilling makes America Safe. StateImpact. Retrieved November 21, 2013, from http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2011/09/07/ridge-shale-drilling-makes-america-safe/

FRAC Act (Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act). 2013. What goes in and out of Hydraulic Fracturing.  Retrieved November 21, 2013, from http://www.dangersoffracking.com/

Greenpeace. 2013. Fractura hidráulica para extraer gas natural (fracking). Retrieved November 21, 2013, from http://www.greenpeace.org/espana/Global/espana/report/cambio_climatico/Fracking-GP_ESP.pdf