Common Knowledge?: An Ethnography of Wikipedia

Author: Dariusz Jemielniak

Page count: 312 pages

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804789448

Paperback ISBN: 9780804797238

Ebook ISBN: 9780804791205

Publication year: 2014

Description: In “Common Knowledge? An Ethnography of Wikipedia,” Dariusz Jemielniak provides an in-depth exploration of one of the internet’s most influential platforms. With a focus on peer-produced content and collaboration, Wikipedia represents a departure from traditional management and organizational models. This iconic “project” has attracted millions of users and sparked debates about its reliability and structure. In this book, Jemielniak, drawing on his academic expertise and active participation within the Wikipedia community, offers readers a fascinating glimpse into the inner workings and unique organization of the site.

Against a backdrop of misconceptions surrounding Wikipedia’s governance, authenticity, and accessibility, Jemielniak presents the first ethnography of the platform. He reveals that Wikipedia is not solely driven by public input but rather operates with a balance between open access and a distinct bureaucracy inspired by traditional organizational forms. Through captivating case studies, Jemielniak highlights the ongoing struggles and negotiations among participants as they navigate this groundbreaking environment.

“Common Knowledge? An Ethnography of Wikipedia” challenges prevailing assumptions about the platform, shedding light on its governance and shedding light on its enduring public relevance. Jemielniak’s expertise and insider perspective provide a unique vantage point to explore the complexities and dynamics of this remarkable collaborative endeavor.

Note: The book is available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook formats, with prices starting from $30.00. It was published in 2014 and received accolades such as the Scholarly Excellence Award from the Chair of Polish Academy of Sciences, the 2015 Dorothy Lee Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Ecology of Culture, and was a semi-finalist for the 2015 Marshall McLuhan Award for Outstanding Book in the Field of Media Ecology.