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. . . is an A̶m̶e̶r̶i̶c̶a̶n̶ ̶j̶o̶u̶r̶n̶a̶l̶i̶s̶t̶ Russian propagandist

congress-edits (@congressedits) is a Twitterbot broadcasting anonymous Wikipedia edits made from Congressional IP addresses. [more inside]
posted by ryanshepard on Jul 15, 2014 - 30 comments

The first rule is: there are no rules.

Counterintuitive as it may sound, it is perfectly fine and acceptable to just use common sense when editing Wikipedia.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jun 24, 2014 - 42 comments

Perhaps Wikipedia is the ideal venue

I call on historians to dedicate their precious few hours of spare time to improving Wikipedia; as an incentive, I call on ­administrators to integrate Wikipedia contributions into the publication requirements for tenure.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on May 17, 2014 - 71 comments

playful technologies can help students understand how history is created

Pastplay: Teaching and Learning History with Technology. The fourth book from the digitalculturebooks imprint of the University of Michigan Press, Pastplay includes a wide range of essays, all available online for free. T. Mills Kelly reflects on his historical methods course which resulted in a historical hoax, “the last American pirate,” declared one of the 10 biggest hoaxes in Wikipedia’s first ten years. Matthew Kirschenbaum discusses if board games work better than computer games for teaching history. The book's chapters cover successful combinations of play, technology, and history. Yet, many are wary, as a "playful approach to teaching and learning with technology can seem like the worst of all possible worlds: the coupling of strategies developed for entertainment with tools created for commerce." [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi on May 4, 2014 - 17 comments

Wikipedia: Condensed For Your Pleasure

TL;DR Wikipedia (SLTumblr)
posted by Chrysostom on Apr 15, 2014 - 27 comments

Hey, why does this Wikipedia entry look different?

Wikipedia To Redesign Across More Than 32 Million Pages
posted by valkane on Apr 4, 2014 - 54 comments

The joy of seeing your work in print

I Sold My Undergraduate Thesis to a Print Content Farm: A trip through the shadowy, surreal world of an academic book mill.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 24, 2014 - 46 comments

Humanity needs bots to save the world's knowledge from humanity.

Wikipedia is edited by bots. That's a good thing.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Mar 23, 2014 - 33 comments

Udderly complex

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.
posted by grouse on Mar 9, 2014 - 32 comments

A source for 531 excellent FPPs

531 of the most interesting articles on Wikipedia covering everything from the linguistic (self-contradicting words in English) to the philosophical (The Ultimate 747 Gambit); from the only German military landing in the Americas (Weather Station Kurt) to the world's only Bigfoot Trap; to oddities both geometric (Gömböc ) and mathematical (Tupper's self-referential formula); great lists of various things (Bible errata, unsolved problems, camouflage patterns, blurred spots on Google Maps, lost art, the last monarchs of the Americas) to things that will make great band names (Orbiting Frog Otolith). [prev, shorter lists]
posted by blahblahblah on Dec 14, 2013 - 17 comments

Portal to a Wiki-Hole

Every Animated GIF on Wikipedia
posted by nadawi on Dec 6, 2013 - 35 comments

Zoomable integrated view of Wikipedia timelines

Stefan Haustein's Timeline pulls timelines from Wikipedia, parses them and puts them into a coherent zoomable view.
posted by Jpfed on Nov 7, 2013 - 11 comments

"Wikipedia is strangling itself"

MIT's Technology Review Charts the decline of Wikipedia.
posted by Diablevert on Oct 24, 2013 - 99 comments

This ain't chemistry. This is Art.

With the momentous series finale of Breaking Bad just hours away, fans of the show are hungry for something, anything to wile away the time before the epic conclusion tonight. So why not kick back and chew the fat with your fellow MeFites with the help of a little tool I like to call "The Periodic Table of Breaking Bad." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 29, 2013 - 974 comments

Wikipedia on Chelsea Manning

This is the story of how the fifth largest website in the world came to actively embrace transphobia and hate speech. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Sep 4, 2013 - 388 comments

Soothing and mesmerizing: data turned into harmonious sounds and visuals

Listen to Wikipedia edits in real-time. Bells are additions, strings are subtractions. Pitch is the size of the edit. One can listen to the edits in various languages too: Japanese | Swedish | German | a mix of various languages. Wikidata as well. It was based on Listen to Bitcoin. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Aug 18, 2013 - 30 comments

An Enormous Waste of Time

Clocks By Time: for when you absolutely, positively need to find multiple photos of clocks from around the world displaying every conceivable time. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Jul 13, 2013 - 19 comments

Limited nuclear exchange, pandemic, hypercane, supervolcano...

"While the light of humanity may flicker and die, we go gently into this dark night, comforted in the knowledge that someday Wikipedia shall take its rightful place as part of a consensus-built Galactic Encyclopedia, editable by all sentient beings."
posted by artof.mulata on Jul 7, 2013 - 19 comments

"commons is ethically broken. You should be ashamed."

How Wikimedia Commons became a massive amateur porn hub
"Diving into Wikimedia Commons is like walking into a hoarder's photography warehouse. It is a vast, comprehensive mess."
Warning: The following story contains sexually explicit language.
posted by andoatnp on Jun 26, 2013 - 107 comments

Wikipedia Recent Changes Map

A visualization of Wikipedia edits in real time. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on May 12, 2013 - 13 comments

Madame, it is an old word and each one takes it new and wears it out

"There is consternation at Wikipedia over the discovery that hundreds of novelists who happen to be female were being systematically removed from the category American novelists and assigned to the category American women novelists." [more inside]
posted by dubusadus on Apr 30, 2013 - 169 comments

Wikipedia Live Monitor

Wikipedia Live Monitor is an experimental site that scans Wikipedia edits real-time searching for frenzied editing sessions. Matches are compared with "plausibility checks" on Facebook, Google etc.. to see if there is something in the news, thus quickly pinpointing unexpected events.
posted by stbalbach on Apr 17, 2013 - 17 comments

Paging Madame Streisand

This rather bland article on the French Wikipedia about a military radio station (now in English!) became on April 6 the most viewed page on the site, after agents of the DCRI (French Homeland Security) summoned the president of Wikimedia France, Rémi Mathis, to the DCRI headquarters last Thursday and (allegedly) forced him to delete the page under threat of prosecution, on the grounds that the page divulged classified military information. The page was quickly undeleted by other users, as could be expected. Mathis, an historian and library curator at the French National Library is also known as an advocate for freedom of panorama.
posted by elgilito on Apr 7, 2013 - 43 comments

Reading Wikipedia Randomly So You Don't Have To

Random Article. Bunny Ultramod likes hit "random page" on Wikipedia and sometimes he reports what he finds there. [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk on Feb 10, 2013 - 20 comments

Wikipedia page view analysis 2012

"The best way to reach the highest levels of Wikipedia popularity are to be a celebrity who (a) dies, or (b) plays the Super Bowl halftime show". Examining the popularity of Wikipedia articles: catalysts, trends, and applications. See also the annotated Top 25 Report. Previously: Wikipedia in 2012.
posted by stbalbach on Feb 6, 2013 - 11 comments

Spoiler: Everyone Dies

The Timeline of the Far Future is a Wikipedia article which serves as a gateway to a ton of fascinating scientific topics on the far edge of human understanding: ~50,000 years from now the Earth will enter a new Glacial period; ~100,000 years from now the Earth will likely have experienced a supervolcanic eruption; ~10,000,000 years from now the East African Rift divides the continent of Africa in to two land masses; ~20,000,000,000 years from now the Universe effectively dies due to The Big Rip.
posted by codacorolla on Jan 22, 2013 - 93 comments

Wikipedia in 2012

A list of the most viewed articles on Wikipedia in 2012 from many of the site's main languages. [more inside]
posted by Winnemac on Dec 29, 2012 - 56 comments

"Where sex is work, sex may just work differently" & "the WEIRDest people in the world?"

When sex means reproduction, certain proclivities may simply not be part of cultural models of sexuality: "Barry and Bonnie Hewlett had been studying the Aka and Ngandu people of central Africa for many years before they began to specifically study the groups' sexuality... [T]he Hewletts conclude, "Homosexuality and masturbation are rare or nonexistent [in these two cultures], not because they are frowned upon or punished, but because they are not part of the cultural models of sexuality in either ethnic group."" [more inside]
posted by flex on Dec 9, 2012 - 83 comments

History's most influential people, ranked by Wikipedia reach

History's most influential people, ranked by Wikipedia reach (jpg version).
posted by stbalbach on Nov 27, 2012 - 120 comments

"Especially with the country in great need of donation, science should speak louder than stigma in determining who can help."

Tainted: Why Gay Men Still Can't Donate Blood - "Since 1983, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines have disqualified men who have ever had sex with men (MSM) from donating blood... Uneven application of exclusion to at-risk individuals suggests that risk aversion disproportionately impacts MSMs. For example, a non-MSM individual who has had sexual contact with a commercial sex worker or HIV-positive partner is deferred for only twelve months... The fact that the U.S. upholds a lifetime ban on MSM donation while Australian policy allows MSM individuals to donate a year or less after contact reveals a glaring discrepancy. Both ethics and science point to a flaw in FDA policy. That I could have had sex with 365 partners this year and be a perfectly fine candidate for donating blood, while the MSM next to me wouldn't qualify, betrays a faulty line of logic." [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 12, 2012 - 104 comments

José Alberto "Pepe" Mujica Cordano

José "Pepe" Mujica had been the President of Uruguay since 2010 and is considered to be the 'World’s poorest president'. "His humble lifestyle is reflected by his choice of an aging Volkswagen Beetle as transport, his only asset. The Economist describes him as "a roly-poly former guerrilla who grows flowers on a small farm and swears by vegetarianism". He also donates 87% of his state salary to charitable causes. He does not believe in God." [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Nov 11, 2012 - 38 comments

The neutrality of this article is disputed.

Meet The Climate Change Denier Who Became The Voice Of Hurricane Sandy On Wikipedia"Ken Mampel, an unemployed, 56-year-old Floridian, is in large part the creator of the massive Hurricane Sandy Wikipedia page. He's also the reason that, for nearly a week, the page had no mention of climate change."
posted by indubitable on Nov 6, 2012 - 50 comments

Improving the visibility of women in Wikipedia for Ada Lovelace Day 2012

An Ada Lovelace Day editathon is happening at the Royal Society in London This is part of a project to improve the representation of 'women in science' on Wikipedia and is hosted at the Royal Society of London after previous edit-a-thons at Harvard and Stockholm. It seems like most of the participants are women. If it sounds intriguing, it's not too late to register for a subsequent session in Oxford on the 26th (You might even be given cake).
posted by AFII on Oct 19, 2012 - 15 comments

A Scandal in Wikipedia?

Allegations have surfaced that a Wikipedia trustee and a Wikipedian In Residence have been editing the online encyclopedia on behalf of PR clients, while running an SEO business on the side. Response. Trigger warning: Violet Blue content.
posted by unSane on Sep 18, 2012 - 74 comments

Wikipedia adds export feature

... a new EPUB export feature has been enabled on English Wikipedia. You can use it to collate your personal collection of Wikipedia articles and generate free ebooks. These can be read on a broad range of devices, like mobile phones, tablets and e-ink based e-book readers. ... Collections can be exported in a variety of formats like PDF, EPUB, or OpenOffice.
posted by Egg Shen on Sep 18, 2012 - 24 comments

Gender bias on Wikipedia

A data visualization reveals the gender bias in thousands of Wikipedia articles. [more inside]
posted by dontjumplarry on Sep 18, 2012 - 50 comments

An Open Letter to Wikipedia, from Philip Roth

Dear Wikipedia, I am Philip Roth. I had reason recently to read for the first time the Wikipedia entry discussing my novel “The Human Stain.” The entry contains a serious misstatement that I would like to ask to have removed. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Sep 7, 2012 - 113 comments

Wikitravails

Wikitravel.org is sort of like a Wikipedia for travel information. It's a for-profit service supported by banner ads. In a recent RfC over at Wikimedia - the non-profit that runs Wikipedia and other projects - it was decided to start a new Wiki-based travel project. Meanwhile at least 38 of 48 the volunteer admins at Wikitravel.org said they would jump ship and join a new Wikimedia travel site (travel.wikimedia.org). The owners of Wikitravel, Internet Brands, have responded by issuing law suits against two of its admins in a possible bid to intimidate the creation of a Wikimedia travel site. Wikimedia is counter-suing and supporting the legal defense against the two admins.
posted by stbalbach on Sep 5, 2012 - 25 comments

It's just redirects all the way down

If the Body Parts of Individual People category or the List of Fictional Plants don't do it for you, you're sure to find something on Wikipedia's List of Lists or perhaps even the List of Lists of Lists. If none of that does the job, then give the List of Unusual Articles a try. (previously)
posted by 23 on Jul 28, 2012 - 29 comments

Real Life

What "Real Life" Means On Wikipedia.
posted by homunculus on Jul 18, 2012 - 21 comments

Diff's of CNN and NYT articles

Online articles often change after publication, except there is no history tab and sometimes those revisions are controversial, for example this Politico story on General Stanley McChrystal. Enter NewsDiff: Tracking Online News Articles Over Time. It allows you to compare evolving versions of online news articles after they are published, starting with The New York Times and CNN. Here are some example diffs - see anything controversial? Last year, Times executive editor Jill Abramson called the idea "unrealistic" in response to an OpEd calling for diffs. (via)
posted by stbalbach on Jun 18, 2012 - 11 comments

S03E23: Comparative Hoaxology

A woman opens an old steamer trunk and discovers tantalizing clues that a long-dead relative may actually have been a serial killer, stalking the streets of New York in the closing years of the nineteenth century. A beer enthusiast is presented by his neighbor with the original recipe for Brown's Ale, salvaged decades before from the wreckage of the old brewery--the very building where the Star-Spangled Banner was sewn in 1813. These stories have two things in common. They are tailor-made for viral success on the internet. And they are all lies.
posted by Sebmojo on May 15, 2012 - 203 comments

"What did they talk about all those days?"

"The 'Undue Weight' of Truth on Wikipedia" - When historian Timothy Messer-Kruse attempted to edit the Wikipedia article on the Haymarket Affair he ran up against the project's policies and editors. Besides the coverage by Messer-Kruse about his two years trying to edit the article in The Chronicle, linked above, the story has spilled out into other media outlets. An article in The Atlantic, an NPR segment with Messer-Kruse and Andrew Lih, a Reddit thread, Bigthink, and others have chimed in on the situation. Lengthy discussion, and a "good article reassessment", has resulted on Wikipedia.
posted by IvoShandor on Mar 3, 2012 - 92 comments

Strnaeg psot

Wikipeetia (the misspelled encyclopedia)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 27, 2011 - 17 comments

The stench of lobbying and corruption

Britain’s secretive lobbying system - one company, Bell Pottinger which has had several more than slightly controversial clients has been exposed boasting that they can influence the British Prime Minister.
Among other briefs they have been advising the despotic Uzbekistan Government - reforms need not be fast. They have also been found to have been editing wiikipedia using up to 20 different accounts.
More on lobbying and a list of relevant related links
posted by adamvasco on Dec 9, 2011 - 13 comments

Meme Weaver

Meme Weaver In which "the author tries—and fails—to cash in on a big idea". Warning: skippable full-screen ad alert. Behind it is an article in the Atlantic (the magazine, not the ocean). Of possible interest to fans and critics of the popular science genre of books, Wikipedians, and underdog/failure sympathisers.
posted by nthdegx on Nov 18, 2011 - 7 comments

"How long before ... Greece, in its desperation, turns once again to the colonels?"

Mired deep in financial crisis, the Greek government of George Papandreou has sacked the country's military leadership:
In a surprise development, Panos Beglitis, Defence Minister, a close confidante of Mr Papandreou, summoned the chiefs of the army, navy and air-force and announced that they were being replaced by other senior officers. Neither the minister nor any government spokesman offered an explanation for the sudden, sweeping changes, which were scheduled to be considered on November 7 as part of a regular annual review of military leadership retirements and promotions. Usually the annual changes do not affect the entire leadership.
[more inside]
posted by Jahaza on Nov 2, 2011 - 152 comments

Wikipedia: Happy. Confused. Sad.

Wikipedia has an experimental feature called Feedback Dashboard that allows new editors to leave a brief comment and a mood of 3 choices: Happy, Confused, Sad. It's sort of addictive to scroll through as people discover Wikipedia and reactions.
posted by stbalbach on Oct 28, 2011 - 18 comments

Your wikipedia is currently not available.

In a protest against the Wiretapping Act that is set to be discussed in parliament this week, the Italian edition of Wikipedia has been blocked, with all access being redirected to a single page statement (also available in five other languages); so far no timeframe for the protest action has been stated. Comment in support by Wikimedia on this unprecedented initiative; an editor leaves in disagreement; other users discuss.
posted by progosk on Oct 5, 2011 - 24 comments

Wikipedia oral citations

As Wikipedia expanded to lesser known languages it ran into a problem: What is knowledge for Wikipedia purposes? Traditionally knowledge has been defined by citations, but many languages don't have a lot of written material, greatly limiting what could be created on Wikipedia. The solution (NYT) may be that People are Knowledge (45min), a project funded by a Wikimedia Foundation grant.
posted by stbalbach on Aug 24, 2011 - 9 comments

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