Posted by: spencersteele | March 18, 2010

Reflection of the Gong Show we call Week 8

So we did this splendid group excersize, writing a group paper on god knows what. First of all, your probably thinking how the hell do you write a Group Paper? Oh yeah! I forgot to add the fact that it was a group of over 40 people!

I’ve learnt all about the awesomeness of writing a group paper. First of all, you have  to have someone to lead and organise how its to be done. Ussually I’m the type of guy to do it but I wanted to see someone else do it for a change…and well…no one did!!! You would think great! You can just work on your own and add your part in. Well thats what I thought with my group. I ended up leading my group in the “real world” after 80% of the class took off to god knows where.  Despite having our topic stolen right out from underneath us by other groups twice, we were managed along pretty well. Since no one else did, we throw together a report page and gave a good description of how all the groups should organize our topics together.

We mucked around with our own group page for a while, all of us experienced the agony of having one of your own team members delete your work ( think I was guilty of it a few times). Then we started to choose our own examples of how size has an impact on the effects of crowds. Each of us found a great story and added our sources to the bottom of our group 5 page. We then went on to add these stories to the nice little report page we made.

It wasn’t until some little character, won’t mention any names, decided that she would go and get herself admin privileges and delete our report page and organise the entire wiki the way she wanted it, deleting alot of stuff as she went. I can’t even imagine the amount of self-righteousness it would take to delete the work of others without even asking.

Wikis are a great example of why good leadership and enforcement is needed in a society. Otherwise anyone can come in and destroy whatever they don’t like.

So in short this “collective assignment” was an utter disaster because there was no leadership. Wikis are incredibly easy to edit and add in what you like while while deleting stuff you don’t. Its hard to imagine having information available to anyone online that can be edited so easily to bias someone to someone elses goals.  Unlike something I would’ve written on my own, I am sure this paper is a stew of styles featuring every possible writing mistake imaginable! There was so much collaberative information in the essay that I bet it would’ve been very hard for the reader to get a clear picture of whats going. Had I written it on my own it would be better organised into sections with lots of pictures! (Since a picture is worth a thousand words right!) Ussually, when people work together on something the overall product is smooth with very little biases. For example, because each person did a seperate section of the paper, there could possibly be some sections that contradict others.  Looking back, had everyone been in the same room then maybe it would’ve flowed together alot nicer. This excersize was effective in illustrating what wikis are all about but the collaborate group part failed miserably because of it.

In the end, half my group of 6 didn’t get our deleted stories up because the TA shut us out. So our contibutions to the entire 2 hour gong show were lost and never to be found again. Maybe not such a bad thing considering we can say we didn’t contribute to it? Maybe…

Till next time,

Spencer Steele

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