Conference Report Session IV: (Re)presentation of Knowledge

Posted: September 26, 2010 at 8:47 pm  |  By: Tobias Prüwer  |  Tags: , , ,

Rainer Hammwöhner: Aspects of global Wikipedia und Wikimedia commons

The orator takes some raw data of Wikipedia authors’ mother tongues – as has been claimed by them – to talk about the differences between Wikipedia in different languages. He uses the example of the entries “Sachsen”/”Saxony” in the German and English Wikipedia to show how diverse the categorizations might be: In the English version, the German federal state is strongly linked with the (early) medieval Saxon people, which is not the case in the German Wikipedia. Having given such an illustrative picture of Wikipedia differences, the orator asks, if the English Wikipedia functions as something like a global blackboard. He suggests that this must be denied – his random sample cannot proof it.

The troubling blind spot in Hammwöhner’s talk remains the assumption that there is a connection between mother tongue and the competence to write Wikipedia entries about history and/or myths of the region, where this language is spoken. The context of language, nation and culture with all its implications is not mentioned, therefore the meaningfulness of the speech stays vague.

Gabriele Blome: Awareness in media archives

Blomes focusses on “awareness” – not the German words “Bewusstsein”, “Erkenntnis”, “Aufmerksamkeit” etc. –, because she does not see any equivalent for the term in the German language. To grasp the meaning of awareness, she hints at the following contexts of awareness: secure awareness, brand awareness and awareness in Gestalt psychology. To activate awareness, so Blome, is an important task for media archives and libraries because this supports a way of research that contemporary knowledge representation leaves out: the research with open outcome. Because this should happen in a playful manner, she advises to construct interfaces that operate with intuitive, aesthetic categorizations, linkings, arrangements of information and interconnections. By such a way of graphic presentation, the awareness and supports interaction should level up. In Blome’s eyes, some kind of awareness-attracting presentation is a useful device to enhance the usability and attraction of Wikipedia. But the research in this field is still in its infancy and appropriate tools are still to be developed.

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