Wikipedia claims it has an accuracy rate similar to that of Encyclopedia Britannica. But are Wikipedia articles accurate enough to be relied on? The media frequently cite to the free encyclopedia despite a chance the information might be wildly inaccurate. In an effort to improve the accuracy and quality of articles, Wikipedia's internal editorial team has assessed and graded the content of 300,000 articles (out of 1.8 million articles in English alone.) One obvious way to improve accuracy is to reveal editor names, such as on the Citizendium (as previously posted on MeFi.) A simpler idea, however, might rely on a color scheme to automatically alert users to the accuracy of the article (or lack thereof).
Fun with Wikipedia. Try Catfishing, where you guess the article based on the often idiosyncratic Wikipedia categories to which it has been assigned. The related Wiki'd Game involves guessing a topic based on the first seven Wikipedia internal links to it. Or find the shortest path between two concepts (try using the fascinating Omipelagos, which does so automatically) or race to get from one topic to another. Most recently, Something Awful developed the concept of Wikigroaning. [A few challenges inside]
Why waste time on playing roleplaying games or writing pastiches when you can actually worship Cthulhu? Join an existing Cthulhu cult or form your own!. They've got a book and everything! (though it may contain big chunks of wiki-plagarism). As ever, the ability to rock a traditionalist shaved-head-and-goatee satanist look considered a plus.
Lightsaber Combat. Far more than you ever wanted to know. Part of the magic that is the Star Wars Portal on wikipedia.
Wikipedia/Essjay/‘New Yorker’ updates The New Yorker denies ever offering to pay the expenses of “Essjay” (“Ryan Jordan”), the Wikipedia administrator with the fraudulent credentials. The Wikipedia Weekly podcast, Episode 14 (not transcribed yet), at about 12:30, reports:
I actually did correspond with the deputy editor of the New Yorker... and I asked them specifically: Did Miss Schiff ever ask Essjay for his real full name during the course of reporting? [...] They came out with this, which I don’t think has been published anywhere yet...: “I think that between our Editors’ Note and the Times story, it’s clear what happened. The only thing that hasn’t come up before is the question of expenses. So, for the record, Stacy Schiff never offered to reimburse Essjay for his telephone expenses or anything else. [And] Essjay did tell her that if she wanted to cover them, she could send a cheque to the Wikipedia Foundation, which she did not.”
The New Yorker appends a correction (scroll to bottom)... It seems that Essjay, an inner-circle Wikipedian favored by Jimbo Wales, has been lying about his "credentials " to everyone for years, including to The New Yorker (covered previously prior to correction.)
"Tired of the LIBERAL BIAS every time you search on Google and a Wikipedia page appears?" At Conservapedia, a "conservative encyclopedia you can trust," you can learn that "faith" is a concept "exclusive to Christianity," and about how Wikipedia is biased in matters such as its description of the Bell Trade Act of 1946, its gossipy treatment of the private life of NPR reporter Nina Totenberg, and its seeming acceptance of evolution. The Wikipedia bias entry also complains of a "rant" against the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a group for which Conservapedia founder (and son of conservative gadfly Phyllis Schafly) Andrew Schlafly has worked. Signups are here; its take on evolution is criticized here.
The Wikipedia List of Unusual Articles. Including popular favorites such as Raining Animals, Penis Panic, The Utah Teapot, The Jesus Nut, The Mexican Perforation, and The Liver-Eating Johnson. But wait, there's more! Sweater Curse! Turtles All The Way Down! Acoustic Kitty! (Seriously, WTF CIA?) The Ding Hai Effect. Blue Peacock, the Chicken Powered Nuclear Bomb. Chess-Related Deaths, ETAOIN SHRDLU, Alien Hand Syndrome, Colors of Noise, Drake's Plate of Brass, and Mole Day. Click now and they'll also include List of Songs in English Labled the Worst Ever and the List of Songs Whose Title Constitutes The Entire Lyrics free of charge!! Had enough? Succumb to the Flynn Effect but watch out for Exploding Head Syndrome!
Microsoft has been caught paying for Wikipedia edits. But wasn't this inevitable? Now that Wikipedia has become the de facto online reference, wasn't it inevitable that it would attract governments, corporates and other groups to create their own version of events. Is this an inherent and fatal flaw in open source knowledge?
Wikiasari search engine. Wikipedia founder plans to offer a new search engine using "the same network of followers" for the process. “Essentially, if you consider one of the basic tasks of a search engine, it is to make a decision: ‘this page is good, this page sucks’,” Mr Wales said. “Computers are notoriously bad at making such judgments, so algorithmic search has to go about it in a roundabout way. But we have a really great method for doing that ourselves,” he added. “We just look at the page. It usually only takes a second to figure out if the page is good, so the key here is building a community of trust that can do that.”
"YES! YES! YES!" He's got a website, 200+ photos on flickr, fans documenting their run-ins on youtube (    ), is the subject of a documentary, and even has an inspiring backstory. (I won't mention the inevitable myspace page.) But life is not all red Santa hats and pushups for David "Zanta" Zancai, 36, of Toronto. A local TV station got him banned from downtown, Toronto's subway won't let him do his bare-knuckle schtick on trains, and now even the bitter pedants on Wikipedia wants him deleted. Pissed? Email him!
Wikipedia Brown - a minimystery for the internet generation.
That clever Ryan North fellow has come up with a fool proof plan to solve wikipedia's vandalism problem. Trouble..
Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales asks: Imagine there existed a budget of $100 million to purchase copyrights to be made available under a free license. What would you like to see purchased and released under a free license? Photos libraries? textbooks? newspaper archives? Be bold, be specific, be general, brainstorm, have fun with it. And they do.
These institutions have one very clear problem: they promote facts and books. Clearly something needs to be done. Call your local police or FBI field office or speak clearly into the closest potted plant to give the NSA all pertinent information regarding these and other terrorist elements. View a rough sketch of Hell. What we're doing is bringing democracy to knowledge.
ABC Australia reports on plagiarism of Wikipedia by traditional media.
Websites that changed the world? This Observer piece lists fifteen websites that aught to be considered the best of the web. It's a bold claim and although the potted histories are excellent, I'm wondering the extent to which it mostly includes website that have broken the public recognition barrier in the uk rather than changing the world. How many are simply pioneers in their field? Where for example is flickr?
[Login required] At Wikimania 2006, Founder Admits Wikipedia's Shortcomings and Announces New Projects At this past weekend's conference, Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's founder, acknowledged that "[it] is not as good as [Encylopaedia] Britannica yet" and spurred contributors to "improve the quality of existing...articles instead of rushing to create new ones." Wales also announced a number of new initiatives involving One Laptop Per Child, Wikiversity, and the German version of the encylopedia. Stanford University professor Lawrence Lessig cheered Wikipedia for playing an important role in "democratizing knowledge" and spurring a new burst of individual creativity.
Prolific Canadian Is King of Wikipedia Simon Pulsifer, posting as SimonP, is reported to be "the world's most prolific author on...Wikipedia,with 78,000 entries edited and 2,000 to 3,000 new articles to his name." Although highly regarded by his fellow Wikipedians, Pulsifer describes his 3- to 4-hour-a-day efforts as "an addiction".
Wikipedia Celebrates 750 Years Of American Independence. Founding Fathers, Patriots, Mr. T. Honored.
Wikiality: the reality that the majority of people agree upon. Stephen Colbert is at it again, provoking some chaos in his segment, "The Word," by asking viewers to change the Wikipedia entry on elephants to say that the population has tripled in the last three months. How can Wikipedia deal with the problem of vandalism? Here's an interesting article from the New Yorker about "the world’s most ambitious vanity press."
PediaPress. Print-on-demand compendiums of Wikipedia articles.
New Scientist reports on German project to create a Semantic MediaWiki (MediaWiki is the software behind Wikipedia, Semantic is hidden/encoded meta-data). A sample page markup using the relations annotation. What do the Wikipedia (Wikimedia) folks think of implementing it? "Some members are keen, but some are dubious about additional complexity."
A Swarm of Angels is about making a £1 million movie and giving it away to one million people in one year. By using the Internet to gather together 50,000 people willing to pay £25 to join an exclusive global online community – The Swarm – the project’s ambition is to make the world’s first Internet-funded, crewed and distributed feature film. (more inside)
What is a wikipedian? Every so often a Wikipedian comes to their senses, sees a problem with the way things are operating, and tries to do something about it. Tired of seeing articles carelessly deleted, censored, and then cherry picked as to what is "encyclopedic enough", several Wikipedia members formed "Wikipedians against censorship".
The Great Failure of Wikipedia. Audio of a fascinating and at times hilarious 45-minute presentation by Jason Scott of textfiles.com on the politics and culture of Wikipedia, including tales of The Ninja, The Sex Offender and the Publisher, and the ongoing battle between the Inclusionists and the Deletionists. Will the Wikipedia become "an untenable Katamari-Damacy-like ball out of shit that rolls through the Internet"? (some language NSFW)
Britannica's issued a salvo against Nature's famous "Wikipedia and the EB are comparably error-strewn" analysis. Here (pdf).
editors from the range of IP addresses belonging to the United States Congress have been banned from wikipedia.
Now, even congressmen get in on abusing Wikipedia. Marty Meehan's staffers admit editing out negative information about the congressman from his Wikipedia entry. According to the article, Rep. Meehan is not the only politician toying with the Wikipedia.
Wikipedia wrangling once more: the entire German edition was shut down this week over the contents of a single entry. The parents of the article's subject, a German hacker who died in 1998 under mysterious circumstances, are displeased with his real name being disclosed in the encyclopedia. It is now back online; however, the future of the family's efforts is currently unclear, not only due to the German order's debatable validity in the US - but also because the order was, initially at least, mistakenly addressed to St. Petersburg, Russia, instead of St. Petersburg, Florida.
Digital Universe, an alternative to Wikipedia, has been launched by wikipedia proposer Larry Sanger. Digital Universe will be powered by ManyOne, a new 3D browser, will include paid experts, a subscription option, and will require real names from contributors. This may or may not be connected to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales' editing his own bio to remove reference to Sanger as co-founder.
The journal Nature: "Wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries."
Nature had experts review articles from both encyclopedias. (Also, 10% of Nature authors contribute to Wikipedia.)
Nature had experts review articles from both encyclopedias. (Also, 10% of Nature authors contribute to Wikipedia.)
A class-action lawsuit is being prepared against Wikipedia. After the controversy about John Seigenthaler and the exposure of the culprit, a group seeking to sue Wikipedia want people to join them. Can I sue other encyclopedias for publishing out-of-date, partizan, politicized nonsense?
This is why we can't have nice things. The man who edited the John Seigenthaler facts concerning the assassination of JFK & RFK in the Wikipedia has finally come clean. As a consequence of his actions, Seigenthaler wrote an editorial to USA Today, anonymous editors can no longer create pages in the Wikipedia (although they can still make edits), and the credibility of the project as a whole was placed into scrutiny. NY Times bugmenotlink
Wikipedia's Bad Jokes and Other Deleted Nonsense category is a veritable goldmine of...well. I had never heard of a Mushroom Tattoo, for example, nor did I know about the tragic exploitation of the Gnomish Nation or the truth about the American Revolution. Towards the end, Ronald Reagan's condition was even sadder than I thought. And why shouldn't we believe in Atlantis, or for that matter the bearatross or Alphonse W. Turkeyman?
After he discovered a false biography on Wikipedia that claims he was responsible for the death of JFK and his brother Bobby, John Seigenthaler wrote an op-ed piece in USA Today refuting those claims and rebuking Wiki admins and the ISPs that host them. Now, in light of Seigenthaler's outrage, the once open access Wikipedia now requires registration to submit new articles to the English language version of the site.
Standup comedy cultural hot button Wikipedia hack. Standup comics! Need a cultural hot button topic for a joke? Check out Wikipedia articles with the most revisions. Comedy gold. Just pick a topic and start riffing.
I dont know about you but I dont think enough has been said about Ska. Sure, theres guys like Reel Big Fish and Sublime who try to claim the bragging rights for making Ska what it is today, however, many people dont know the real origins of this movement. More inside:
Wikipedia v. Encyclopædia Britannica. Wikipedia is a much loved resource on the internets, but often comes under criticism regarding its accuracy. In this article (The Faith-Based Encyclopedia) the criticism comes from a former Editor in Chief of the Encyclopædia Britannica. Turn about is fair play. Just the facts ma'am. [via Found on the Web]
Words invented by the Simpsons, as found on Wikipedia. Some soul with too much time on their hands has taken up the task of listing all the nonsense words invented on the Simpsons. The number of words from this list that I use on a daily basis is ASTOUNDING.
John Byrne v. Wikipedia John Byrne, comic writer and alleged curmedgeon, and his legions of fans did not like Byrne's entry on Wikipedia. Ultimately, he and his supporters " managed to raise such a stink that the head of the Wiki project himself stepped in and edited Byrne’s entry down to what Byrne wants."
KatarinaHelp Wiki Excellent resource for everything Katarina.