At the school of Wikipedia, the (post) modern encyclopedia

The most famous encyclopedia is certainly “The Encyclopedia or Reasoned Dictionary of Sciences, Arts and Crafts” composed by d’Alembert and Diderot in the second half of the 1700s.

It is, in fact, the symbol of a grandiose project aimed at summarizing the whole culture in a single place that can be consulted by all, being written in French and not in Latin as other previous works, a child in turn of the Enlightenment trust in reason capable of embrace and enlighten all human knowledge. Another characteristic is that of dividing knowledge by meaningful voices that refer to each other, making it a constellation of autonomous but mutually connected elements.


The idea of ​​Wikipedia to create an encyclopaedia that is open and can be compiled by users is certainly the strongest “theoretical” novelty (if we want to borrow this term from philosophy) in recent years in the field of encyclopedic projects, also taking into account consideration of media transformation in recent years (from paper to cd to online hypertext).

In fact, it takes and radicalizes the eighteenth-century objective of creating “a free and“ universal ”encyclopedia, in terms of both breadth and depth of the topics covered,“ made however by the users themselves and not by experts in the field, exploiting the assumption of collective intelligence (Lévy, 1999) that the single interconnected intelligences multiply the potential of each and control each other. Through this multi-handed editorial activity, Wikipedia aims to have a “neutral point of view”, naturally exposed to errors and vandalism.

Launched on January 15, 2001 as a Nupedia service by Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia soon expanded to become an autonomous project that now has around 250 languages ​​and over 10 million entries.

Even companies can not help but compare with it, since it dominates most of the searches made with search engines and is one of the most visited sites in Italy, constituting a reference point for brands, products and services for many people.

To better understand its nature and potential, Digital PR Academy will take care of Wikipedia on January 19th with a study day in which the president of Wikimedia Italy Frieda Brioschi will also be taking an ad hoc lecture. The course will start from what a wiki is to then better understand the reality of the Wikimedia Foundation, how content is created and with what rules and what companies can and cannot do on Wikipedia.

The day is part of the larger Digital PR Academy project which activates thematic training courses in Milan and Rome for public relations, marketing and press office managers, whose topics include “Internet PR” as well as “Wikipedia” “Social Media Marketing” and “Internet and crisis management”.

Here you can find the complete program of the day and of the other courses while for the citations of this post and for more information on Wikipedia I refer, obviously, to the “Wikipedia” entry on Wikipedia.

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