Title: The Evolution Of Knowledge Creation Online: Wikipedia and Knowledge Processes
Authors: Ruqin Ren (Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California)
Abstract: Using the evolutionary theory framework of the variation, retention, selection process, this paper explains the self-organized knowledge production behaviors online, with Wikipedia as an example. Evolution is presented as a trial-and-error process that produces a progressive accumulation of knowledge. The underlying theoretical assumption is that even though online communities feature very different characteristics than traditional organizations, the basic processes of trial-and-error learning in evolutionary theory still apply to the new forms of organizations. Based on the theory of self-organization system and evolution theory, the processes of variation and selection are explained in depth with examples observed on Wikipedia. The study presents a nested hierarchy of vicarious selectors that plays an important role in online knowledge creation.
This contribution to OpenSym 2015 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2015 proceedings (or companion) on or after August 19, 2015.