Practicum Post – Twitter and WikipediaPosted: December 14, 2011
As I began looking into editing Wikipedia, I noticed that the Twitter Wikipedia page was set to “semi-private,” meaning that if I wanted to edit the page, I would have limited options in the editing process. There were several ways to edit on this page, however, they were not direct like on non-protected Wikipedia pages. If I wanted to, I could have requested an edit change, which may or may not be approved, or I could create a Wikipedia account, have it for at least 4 days, and make 10 edits on other pages. I chose not to edit through either of these options for several reasons. First, I wanted to make an instant edit and with the uncertainty of an edit requested being granted and added to the site, I opted out of this option. Also, I was not comfortable with make 10 edits to other Wikipedia pages. While I’m sure there are plenty of pages I could add insight to, this was not something that interested me. I felt it would be best to make an instant edit rather than waiting for something to be approved. Since editing the Twitter page seemed to no longer be an option, I also decided to edit the Microblogging Wikipedia page.
On the Microblogging page, I chose to make three edits – two under “Usage” and one under “Issues with micro blogging.” Under “Usage,” I chose to discuss Twitter’s relation to fast-paced societies and Twitter’s ability to be linked to other social media sites. This was done in two edits. The first says, “This type of social media site is representative of the growing, fast pace societies in the world that depend on instant information in order to stay current and up-to-date.” Then I added, “The uses of microblogging websites have become seemingly endless. There are many different ways to use them and the ways continue to grow in number and complexity. It is now possible to link websites, such as Pinterest, to Twitter, allowing you to Tweet the image you have just “pinned.” This new way to microblog, allows one to use microblogging as a communicative tool as well as a way to bring all aspects of social media into one, convenient location, making it easier and faster to search for and find information in this fast pace society.”
Under “Issues with micro blogging,” I added, “While privacy concerns remain an issue surrounding microblogging websites, Twitter has created a direct and easy way to initiate privacy settings on one’s account. With just one click you can set your account to private, meaning that only people that you approve of to follow your Twitter may see you Tweets. Everyone else will only see a page that says your Twitter account is set to private and in order to see your Tweets, the person must request to follow you. This way of creating privacy settings has seemingly made privacy settings a less complex and more direct action. Contrasted with Facebook where there are several different settings to choose from and the settings are customizable, Twitter allows you one of two options – public or private. Uneasiness may arise if a person’s Twitter is set to public, because any one may see your Tweets and anyone may follow you, without sending a request. While there is always the option of setting your Twitter account to private or private, it still remains important to be cautious about what you Tweet.”
With this edit, I wanted to give commentary to the fact that, while privacy issues remain a concern with social media sites, Twitter in particular has made it easy to privatize your account. It only takes one click of a mouse to set your entire page to private, unlike other sites.
With these two edits, I was able to incorporate my own insight into Twitter onto a broad, microblogging Wikipedia page. Whether or not my edits remain on the page and for how long is a different story. Hopefully the information I provided will give at least a few people more insight into the Twitter world and will accompany them while they learn and master the site.