Fifteen months ago, Donald declared and we commented; two months earlier, Hillary did likewise. And now, here we are near the end of an divisive and damaging election. As Donald's campaign struggles under many allegations [BBC] [NBC News] [Guardian] [New York Times] and increased conversation on abuse, Hillary pulls out a 7 point lead in a Fox poll, a gap in the Real Clear Politics poll average and a large victory chance in 538 (though, cautionary words about poll bounces). Michelle Obama spoke about the language of this election (FPP title from her speech) [BBC] [New Yorker] [Washington Post] and in The Guardian: "She lent her extraordinary ability to say what people are feeling to every English-speaking woman in the world". Elsewhere, Trump-stooge Chris Christie is facing a criminal summons and Utah could be a three-way race which leads to a small possibility of President Evan. [more inside]
Someone is turning the Saved By The Bell Wiki into a thing of beauty. The Onion's AV Club notices that a wiki for Saved by the Bell has been taken over by malevolent, occult forces that communicate in messages of existential despair, as in this quote by Screech: I think we are just insects, we live a bit and then die and that’s the lot. There’s no mercy in things. There’s not even a Great Beyond. There’s nothing. [more inside]
Piggydb and Oinker.me: Non-hierarchical information tools from Japanese designer Daisuke Morita. [more inside]
Ever wanted an IMDB but for guns? Welcome to the IMFDB - The Internet Movie Database of Guns The IMDB [Internet Movie Database] is 23 years old this year. Launched in 1990, and filled with cast/crew info as well as trivia and goofs it is the go to location for film information online. But did you know that the IMFDB [Internet Movie Firearms Database] is the place to go to get the most comprehensive information on any firearms used in media? [more inside]
If you've ever found yourself reading or watching something that references a particular band or musician and you've wondered "is that a real group?" then Rocklopedia Fakebandica (aka FakeBands.com) can help you out. The old site was (and still is) categorized alphabetically, from The A-Men and The Ace Tones (IMDb) to The Zits and Zorak. The new site is wiki-based, so anyone can submit new musicians, but the organization is a bit different. There is no alphabetical grouping (yet), but you can browse by Years, Medium, and other Categories. So you can take a jaunt back, way back, to 1700 and learn about Pietro Caraffa, the musical quack, or find a really obscure reference to Slab Hauler.
The Roader’s Digest is ‘the most complete archive of information on the British and Irish road networks on the web.’ from the A1 to the R999; from the B3306 to the B855, they probably have a description of it. [more inside]
Apparently created in a schism over a TV Tropes policy of content restrictions imposed by their advertising contract, All The Tropes covers much the same ground in a more conventional wiki inteface (Mediawiki).
Milk products and production relationships. An elaborate, color-coded Wikipedia diagram showing both common pathways such as raw milk to cream to butter, and more esoteric pathways to products such as quark, pasta filata, and schmand.
The collaborative wiki-as-fiction site, Secure Contain Protect (previously), held a contest to determine which entry will get the coveted SCP - 2000 spot. The theme? Science Fiction. Read the winning entry here, and the rest of the alien-spaceship-crashing-memetic-virus-watching-living-TV-show-spreading contestants here.
Time-sink alert: The Cutting Room Floor is a site dedicated to unearthing and researching unused and cut content from video games. From debug menus, to unused music, graphics, enemies, or levels, many games have content never meant to be seen by anybody but the developers — or even meant for everybody, but cut due to time/budget constraints.
This is the story of how the fifth largest website in the world came to actively embrace transphobia and hate speech. [more inside]
wikiFeet is the celebrity feet encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Its users post, rate and ogle the feet of notable women including Britney Spears (1270 photos), Yvonne de Carlo (26 photos), Eva Braun (7 photos) and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (1 photo).
Wiktenauer is a catalog of fighting manuals and other primary sources related to historical European martial arts.
There's something distinctly off about the Wikia for Doug. For starters, I doubt the veracity of these 'extended universe' books. And, maybe I'm wrong, but I think the "theories" section on Mr. Dink is in desperate need of citation. The Hamburger Boy article is, frankly, a mess of half-cooked conjecture, the This Doug Live page is filled with spurious information... a whole page for Lardy the Fat Cell?... don't even get me started on the editorializing in the Chalky Studebaker article. The culprit appears to be Skeeter Valentines Day Massacre, the rapscallion. Other users have noticed this problem, and the effect it's having on the credibility of the Doug Wikia community. If you want to get your facts straight, you can check out some real info over at the Doug (previously) Wikipedia page.
The Bionic Wiki is a collaborative project to create the most comprehensive information database for the Bionic universe as presented in the 1970's science-fiction, action-adventure series, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. [more inside]
Wiki Loves Monuments: "World's largest photo contest" seeks to create a visual record of world monuments and historic sites on the Wikimedia Commons. The USA version focuses on sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Canadian version here. If you don't see your country among the 30 participating so far, you can volunteer!
[The Yale University School of Art] website is a wiki. All School of Art grad students, faculty, staff, and alums have the ability to change most of this site’s content (with some exceptions); and to add new content and pages.
Cowbird.com is a simple tool for telling stories, and a public library of human experience, incorporating text, photos, sound, subtitles, roles, relationships, maps, tags, timelines, dedications, and characters. These are the Sagas so far.
Wikipaintings is a fantastic resource, a well curated database of the world's great paintings that will blow your mind. Click the logo in the top left corner for a collection of a random artist's work in chronological order. Their popular artists and popular artworks. [more inside]
Despite pioneering the use of wikis in instruction back in 1997, this week Georgia Tech deleted all course wikis, out of concern that they were in violation of FERPA. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act was enacted in 1974 and prohibited federal funding of educational institutions that denied the rights of students and parents to review "educational records" or that did not protect the privacy of "educational records." A lot of people are rightfully concerned about the negative educational effects of "schools interpreting these pieces of legislation to restrict students’ communication and access online, right at the time when the Web has such great potential for teaching and learning." The thing is, what if Georgia Tech is right? [more inside]
ALEC Exposed is a wiki site set up by The Center for Media and Democracy which posts and chronicles leaked documents including more than 800 model bills drafted and approved by corporations during ALEC meetings. The documents have been analyzed and marked-up for clarity. Journalists along with the general public are invited to download the documents and sift through the bills in order to help map the connections back to their own state legislation and legislators. [more inside]
NationStates is a free political simulation game founded by author Max Barry back in 2002 (previously). Loosely based on his dystopian corporate thriller Jennifer Government, the game starts by asking players to provide some national trappings and answer a few civics questions, then generates a virtual country with a matching political outlook. Periodic policy decisions like mining rights and compulsory voting allow players to further modify their country along axes of social, political, and economic freedom, arriving at one of twenty-seven colorful government types like Tyranny By Majority or Scandinavian Liberal Paradise. There's also a healthy roleplaying community -- players can discuss current events in the General forum, practice wargaming in International Incidents, form cooperative Regions to debate internal affairs (many of which form their own communities), and elect Delegates to send to the World Assembly (so renamed after an amusing cease-and-desist from the real-world U.N.). Their collective history is thoroughly recorded in the 35,000-article NSWiki, which provides a detailed legislative record, gameplay guide, and profiles on many of the 90,000 active nations, 8,000 player regions, and countless characters that currently make up the game world.
Founded in 2004 as a place to catalog LiveJournal drama rejected from Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Dramatica rapidly became the premier site on the web for all manner of lulz. Intended "in the spirit of Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary," ED grew into a sprawling crowdsourced compendium of memes, subcultures, communities, personalities, and the endless feuds and controversies spawned by 4chan and other anonymous imageboards. While comprehensive, the site developed a reputation for nastiness -- full of "ironic" (?) racism, gratuitous porn, organized attacks on other sites, and disturbingly thorough dossiers on perceived enemies, all dripping with vicious snark (just check out their entry on MetaFilter). But now, after more than six years, it appears the troll has become the trolled. Founder Sherrod "Girlvinyl" DeGrippo, allegedly disillusioned by the site's legal woes and nihilistic trajectory, has permanently shuttered the site and replaced it with OhInternet, a slicker, cleaner, Web 2.0 effort modeled after more respectable internet guides like Know Your Meme (which recently sold to Cheezburger Networks for a cool $N million, discussed here). Backups and mirrors abound, but as for the source? Pool's closed... forever.
Here’s what we think the Editor Trends Study tells us: Between 2005 and 2007, newbies started having real trouble successfully joining the Wikimedia community. Before 2005 in the English Wikipedia, nearly 40% of new editors would still be active a year after their first edit. After 2007, only about 12-15% of new editors were still active a year after their first edit. Post-2007, lots of people were still trying to become Wikipedia editors. What had changed, though, is that they were increasingly failing to integrate into the Wikipedia community, and failing increasingly quickly. The Wikimedia community had become too hard to penetrate. - The Wikimedia Strategy March 2011 Update discusses wikipedia's declining ability to retain new editors. Meanwhile the case of the deletion (and restoration) of the article on the remarkably notable Old Man Murray highlights the bad decisions that can occur when insular admins and editors favor deletionist sentiment and bureaucratic rule-waving over the input of outsiders and a basic level of research.
it started in a vestibule, it ended in having to start a wiki to keep track of everything Craig Finn says
The Hold Steady is a band that tends to write songs that are stories about drugs and sex and Jesus. There is a wiki that keeps track of all of their reused characters, locations, and self references, among other things.. Because of their songwriting style, the NPR annotated versions of "The Swish" and "The Cattle and the Creeping Things" as well as their TVTropes entry are also worth a look. You can listen to their latest album on the Guardian website.
Based on a quirky animated short that charmed MeFi four years ago, Pendleton Ward's Adventure Time is arguably the most delightful thing in animation right now. Following the surreal adventures of 12-year-old Finn and his magical dog Jake in the fantastical post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo, the series has breezed through two seasons and secured a third -- while generating a devoted fandom along the way (partially through savvy callbacks to things like 4chan's Courage Wolf meme and Kate Beaton's pudgy Shetland pony). There's an exhaustive wiki, an active discussion board, oodles of fan-art, and AdventureTi.me, a fan-made repository of previous episodes (complete with a mobile version) that makes catching up a cinch. Want more? Then check out the show's bountiful production diaries, its equally in-depth blog at Frederator Studios, catch some official clips, follow Pen Ward on Twitter, or buy or make your own awesome Finn hat (though not necessarily what lies beneath). Oh, and a new episode is airing... oh, right now. Totally math! [more inside]
“Box 73 and Box 96 contain interesting manuscripts on drunkenness, swearing, adultery and much more...”. The Bentham Transcription Project is using crowdsourcing to transcribe 40,000 unpublished manuscripts of utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham, who died in 1832 but still sits and watches. (prev) In four months, they've knocked off 435 already. [more inside]
Everybody knows TVTropes is the best and most time-killing-est way to learn about the clichés and archetypes that permeate modern media. But dear reader, there is so much more. Enter Useful Notes. Originally created as a place for tropers to pool factual information as a writing aid, the subsite has quietly grown into a small wiki of its own -- a compendium of crowdsourced wisdom on a staggering array of topics, all written in the site's signature brand of lighthearted snark. Though it reads like an irreverent and informal Wikipedia, its articles act as genuinely useful primers to complex and obscure topics alike, all in service of the project's five goals: "To debunk common media stereotypes; to help you understand some media better; to educate, inform and sometimes entertain; to promote peace and understanding (maybe); and... to facilitate world domination." Sounds about right. Click inside for bountiful highlights... if you dare. [more inside]
Do you like manuals? Do you like Wikis? Do you like open source software? Check out FLOSS Manuals for wiki-fied manuals for popular and fun open source software, including PureData, Inkscape, Blender, Ardour, among others. Taking a page from programmers, the group endorses "book sprints", where creative writers, editors and artists work closely together to complete an online book in a short, intense burst of effort.
Hackspaces are open resources for community, group, or solo work on digital media, electronics, robotics, and art installations. Many allow drop-ins, and are run on a voluntary, non-profit basis - there’s likely one near you. Just want to repair something by yourself? iFixit, previously known for their teardowns of Apple products, have launched an open wiki to create manuals on how to repair everything from vehicles to household appliances.
Davis, California is a small town by almost any measure, yet is home to one of the busiest local wikis in the world. The Davis Wiki chronicles the mundane and the bizarre, but also serves more practical information, such as lunch specials, housing guides, news events, and the hours of the local bike collective. In recognition of the outstanding success of the Davis Wiki, the founders were recently awarded a $350,000 grant to develop their Local Wiki software for more general application, including intensive development of wikis in a number of pilot communities. Many communities already have a wiki, though only a few have really taken off; with luck and a bit of a kickstart, the experience of the Davis Wiki founders can be applied to make this invaluable resource available in more cities.
Lost Films, a project of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, is a wiki aimed at identifying the over 3500 films declared orphaned or lost in their archives. Other archivists and the public can go to the Identify section and look at surviving photographs, film fragments, and documents, as well as comment and upload any materials of your own, just in case you had promo materials for some unidentified 1915 German war buddy comedy just lying around. (Via Slate).
Wikipedia too credible for your liking? You need to spend some time in Fictopedia, the fictional encyclopedia. Learn about the totally fake adventure game Schmaxilla, the nonexistent Norswedish beat poet Arnis Radis, and the entirely fabricated but still controversial Spirit Displacement Device! Then create a free account and add your own plausible untruths to the canon. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
Link Martin Lawrence to Pope Benedict XVI or Diplomacy to the Antichrist using only wiki links with The Wikipedia Game.
Play Pen - It's a Wiki-based pixel-art user-created point-and-click freeform adventure game/story/experience. Look, just go there and do something.
Ten Word Wiki is an Encyclopedia for the ADD generation.
We describe everything in ten words exactly. Here's the Index.
We describe everything in ten words exactly. Here's the Index.
"...for the scientific community, the most critical organ of the incentive system is the cycle of credit."
Just how credible is Wikipedia? While some have tested this empirically, others have chosen more dubious methodology. For a site that gives no credit to its post authors, one wonders, why even bother?
Digital Research Tools (DiRT) is a wiki created by Lisa Spiro, director of Rice University's Digital Media Center. Tons of "snapshot reviews of software that can help researchers" are categorized by what you're trying to accomplish ("Analyze Statistics," "Network With Other Researchers," "Search Visually"), as well as by general topic ("Authoring," "Linguistic Tools," "Text Analysis"). Via
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that
anyone can edit. If the MediaWiki FlaggedRevisions extension is enabled, the general public will see changes to articles only after approval by a trusted editor. Wikipedians conducted a poll on whether Wikipedia should enable the feature for a limited trial. Almost 60 percent of voting editors answered in the affirmative. Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales's subsequent request to enable the feature anyway has been opposed by some, claiming that the margin of votes does not meet Wikipedia's consensus standard. While it might help avoid embarrassing incidents of vandalism, the proposed trial could lead to a big change in the Wikipedia way.
"...and as we have an endless abundance of MP3’s (we fucked up and made too many of them), anything you take from the library is yours to keep. You will not be notified if you fail to return something on time, and you will not lose your library privileges if you share selections with friends." In 2003, Conor Oberst (wiki) started the independent record label Team Love (youtube). Offering the latest in the free music revolution, Team Love has established the Team Love Library, offering up all of their albums for free.
Cyberdyne. Works on robotic systems that shouldn't kill you unless you are named John Connor. And, maybe not then. Cyberdyne. Works on robotic systems that could actually help you walk. Does it help any that they named it HAL?
"Smugopedia is a collection of slightly controversial opinions about a variety of subjects. We offer you the chance to buy a fleeting sense of self-satisfaction at the small cost of alienating your friends and loved ones."
If you've ever wondered which guns were used in a movie, which movies a gun has appeared in, or even which guns an actor has ever used, then the Internet Movie Firearms Database (probably) has you covered. [more inside]
XKCD mocks Wikipedia's "in popular culture" sections. Wikipedians take the idea seriously. The article ("Wood"). goes on lockdown. But is adding correct, even if useless, information really WikiVandalism?
Tetris has changed over the years. The latest game mechanics are well-documented and allow for techniques more complicated than those of us used to earlier iterations could possibly imagine. And of course, you can have it any way you want it. [via]
A Million Penguins, the wiki novel mentioned previously on MeFi, is complete, and a research paper about it has been released. [more inside]