Good Faith Collaboration as the Culture of Wikipedia

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* Book: Good Faith Collaboration. The Culture of Wikipedia. Joseph Reagle,


Joseph Reagle has just completed an exhaustive study of the resource entitled Good Faith Collaboration: The Culture of Wikipedia. The book sheds light on how tens of thousands of volunteers overcame great obstacles—lack of scholarly experience, and nearly insurmountable differences in viewpoint—to build a culture that, in spite of all reason, works.


"Wikipedia is famously an encyclopedia "anyone can edit," and Reagle examines Wikipedia's openness and several challenges to it: technical features that limit vandalism to articles; private actions to mitigate potential legal problems; and Wikipedia's own internal bureaucratization. He explores Wikipedia's process of consensus (reviewing a dispute over naming articles on television shows) and examines the way leadership and authority work in an open-content community.

Wikipedia's style of collaborative production has been imitated, analyzed, and satirized. Despite the social unease over its implications for individual autonomy, institutional authority, and the character (and quality) of cultural products, Wikipedia's good-faith collaborative culture has brought us closer than ever to a realization of the century-old pursuit of a universal encyclopedia." (

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