Wikipedia entries: the good, the bad, the sparse

September 14, 2009 at 3:41 pm 2 comments

by Alec Patton

We three interns are getting ready to update the Innovation Unit’s wikipedia entry – and to kick things off, I’m taking a look at what some other peoples’ wikipedia pages look like.

Before I go any further, if anybody feels like reading about Wikipedia, I recommend David Runciman’s LRB piece, ‘Like Boiling a Frog‘.

I’ll start with the DCSF entry (probably of less interest to you, Anthea and Peter, but I’ll leave it to you to explore other government departments). What is there to say about it? It’s very short (maybe not surprising given the department’s recent provenance – DFES still has its own entry), it’s list-heavy (maybe no bad thing, since it makes it a good at-a-glance resource), and it  has a rather idiosyncratic section on Brain Gym*).

So, what has it got that Innovation Unit ain’t got? It’s got a logo (albeit comically small) and a table of contents.

The Young Foundation‘s entry is remarkably brief – what strikes me most about it is their ultra-concise list of the four key strands of their ‘work programme’.

Aaaand, my final contribution (for now), Demos – which, perhaps slightly oddly, consists only of a ‘History’ section.

All of these entries seem pretty much adequate, but none of them really sing (not a common feature of wikipedia copy, I admit). But I think what’s most notable is how sparse they all are. I feel like we should put something together that’s a bit meatier.

More specifically, my initial feeling is that we’ll want a ‘History’ section, a section that sets out our ethos and priorities (a bit like the Young Foundation’s ‘work programme’, but more extensive), and something listing some key projects. It might also be useful to have the partnership group listed – but then again, it may not.

One point to consider is that if we draw most of our citations from the IU website (or, indeed, leave lots of stuff uncited) we’ll end up with an angry and censorious banner from wikipedia across the top.

Now, over to you-please single out other wikipedia entries for praise or shame, and tell us all your vision for an updated IU wikipedia entry.

*For Ben Goldacre’s classic screed against Brain Gym, go here


Entry filed under: Admin, Education & Children's Services, Government Departments, National Agencies, Third Sector Innovation, Trusts & Foundations.

Knowledge Creation (the bed metaphor) A Need for New Deliverers – Could you pro-sume?

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Claire McEneaney  |  September 16, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I think we’d like to include elements of all of these but keep it concise.

    Matthew has put together a really good Word document on our vision and mission that I think should definitely be part of our entry.

    Perhaps you could set up a poll on the blog to see what else people would like to include?

  • 2. thirup  |  September 17, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I agree Claire. I alsp think we should try and and write something about the managing partners, either on the IU wiki entry, or through a link to another personal wiki-page. But in general as you mention Alec, i think it is important that we update the wiki with as many non IU sources as possible. Claire do we keep a scrab book of IU in the media? if not, i guess we will have to google our way out!!


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