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What do Boris Johnson and Wikipedia have in common?

Well not the most obvious question I know. Boris Johnson – London’s headline grabbing mayor – and Wikipedia – an on-line encyclopaedia with definitions generated and maintained by its users – don’t seem to have obvious overlaps. However, they do both generate strong polarised opinions. Take Boris’s famous, or should that be infamous, “ping pong” speech when London took on the role as Olympic city. To some it was intensely witty, to others intensely embarrassing (just follow this link and make up your own mind http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7580165.stm). Similarly there are strong proponents of the Wikipedia concept and strong opponents. For some, it is an excellent example of how web collaboration can generate and distribute knowledge, for others the open nature of the contributing process is almost a guarantee of inaccuracy.

 

This Wiki topic came up at a recent discussion amongst a number of our alliance partners when we were discussing how to share our information with the wider market. One partner is undertaking a significant research programme on core banking business requirements and would like to share some of the interim information and results with other market participants. He already has a more conventional website which he could use, but is keen to generate collaboration and discussion and so is looking for an alternative structure. The suggestions for this alternative ranged from generating a series of bulletins/blogs such as this and getting comments, to using discussion groups as recently introduced on social networking sites such as LinkedIn (take my firms discussion group for example on http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/819037) to generate debate, to finally developing a Wiki structure for finance – would that be a Wikifin? The benefits of the Wikifin would be that it would be less exclusive, as any web user could see it, and it is a well established collaborative model. So is a Wiki structure the correct approach. Can you avoid some of the accuracy issues by showing multiple sources? Why not tell us what you think? Would you be interested in contributing?

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John Cant

John Cant

Managing Director

MPI Europe Ltd

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06 Jul 2004

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London

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