Amy Bruckman: Online Communities

by Scoop Sweeney
Published: Updated:

Educator and author Amy Bruckman joins the Plutopia podcast this time. Amy is Regents’ Professor and Senior Associate Chair in the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Contributing Editor Wendy Grossman joins Jon and Scoop as we discuss Amy’s book “Should You Believe Wikipedia? Online Communities and the Construction of Knowledge.” We also explore compensating creators, online conspiracies, venture capital as a killer of apps and ask “Is Google Search reliable??”

Amy Bruckman:

You know, the reason I wrote my book was to help people to understand what a knowledge-building community is. And I think understanding the design factors that go into any successful community can contribute to a successful knowledge-building community. Like finding ways for people to feel pride in what they contribute, for example, and finding ways for peer review to correct errors. That one is really critical.

You need to make sure that people’s contributions are in small pieces that can be easily combined. People will do lots of things if they can do a little bit here and a little bit there. If you give people a giant thing to do, then they’re going to say, oh, I don’t have time. But if you give them a little chunk, then they’ll do it. So, if you break things into little chunks where lots of people can contribute, it zips together without too much effort. There’s a lot you can do.


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