Abstract: We introduce and advocate a multi-faceted theory of literacy to investigate the knowledges and organizational forms are required to improve participation in Wikipedia’s communities. We outline what Richard Darville refers to as the “background knowledges” required to be an empowered, literate member and apply this to the Wikipedia community. Using a series of examples drawn from interviews with new editors and qualitative studies of controversies in Wikipedia, we identify and outline several different literacy asymmetries.
Recommended citation: Ford, Heather and R. Stuart Geiger. (2012). “”Writing up rather than writing down”: Becoming Wikipedia Literate.” In Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (WikiSym 2012). New York: ACM Digital Library. http://www.stuartgeiger.com/becoming-wikipedia-literate.pdf