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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
Case History Of A Wikipedia Page: Nabokov’s 'Lolita' Since 2001, the Wikipedia entry on Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita has been edited 2,303 times. It's a popular entry, too: of approximately 750,000 Wiki articles out there, it ranks at 2,075 in traffic. In the past ten years, the entry has grown to the detailed, 6,000-plus-word monolith of today. The two Lolita films now have their own pages, while the entry on the novel has expanded to include sections on such subjects as Lolita's Russian translation and its literary allusions. An edit is made, on average, about every other day.
Straight outta Cleveland. Rapper Machine Gun Kelly headlined the Village Voice's music section last week ahead of a show in New York last weekend and after inking a deal with Bad Boy records earlier this month. [more inside]
Wikipedia awash in 'frothy by-product' of Santorum. Previously 1,2,3.
Is there a new geek anti-intellectualism? by Larry Sanger of Wikipedia fame. [via]
You don’t really care about knowledge; it’s not a priority. For you, the books containing knowledge, the classics and old-fashioned scholarship summing up the best of our knowledge, the people and institutions whose purpose is to pass on knowledge–all are hopelessly antiquated. Even your own knowledge, the contents of your mind, can be outsourced to databases built by collaborative digital communities, and the more the better. After all, academics are boring. A new world is coming, and you are in the vanguard. In this world, the people who have and who value individual knowledge, especially theoretical and factual knowledge, are objects of your derision.
Wikipedia And The Death Of The Expert - "McLuhan prefigured the Internet era in a number of surprising ways. As he said in a March 1969 Playboy interview: 'The computer thus holds out the promise of a technologically engendered state of universal understanding and unity, a state of absorption in the Logos that could knit mankind into one family and create a perpetuity of harmony and peace' ... Wikipedia, along with other crowd-sourced resources, is wreaking a certain amount of McLuhanesque havoc on conventional notions of 'authority', 'authorship', and even 'knowledge' ... Knowledge is growing more broadly and immediately participatory and collaborative by the moment."
The Root of Knowledge - "Wikipedia trivia: if you take any article, click on the first link in the article text not in parentheses or italics, and then repeat, you will eventually end up at 'Philosophy.' " (via) [more inside]
"Many Wikipedia articles are tagged with geographic coordinates. Many have references to historic events. Cross referencing these two subsets and plotting them year on year adds up to a dynamic visualization of Wikipedia's view of world history." Via curiosity counts.
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.
As your airline takes you from Point A to Point B, do you ever wonder about all the points in between? Enter MondoWindow (in beta today), which mashes up satellite photos, air traffic data, wikipedia, and flickr to show where your plane is, and what's nearby on the earth below, provided your flight has wifi. [more inside]
Wikipedia Struggles to Reduce Gender Disparities in Online Contributions Sue Gardner, the executive director of the foundation, has set a goal to raise the share of female contributors to 25 percent by 2015, but she is running up against the traditions of the computer world and an obsessive fact-loving realm that is dominated by men and, some say, uncomfortable for women. Her effort is not diversity for diversity’s sake, she says. “This is about wanting to ensure that the encyclopedia is as good as it could be."
The way different people respond to Wikipedia may tell us more about them (or ourselves as we react) than it does about The Opus itself. Oh well, when you're rowing a boat, you're always looking at where you've been. At any rate, Atlantic has posted a nice selection of opinions on a worthy, controversial subject by mostly recognizable names.
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]
At the Bartos Theater, in conversation with Henry Jenkins, these speakers [Yochai Benkler and Cass Sunstein] don’t so much square off as share their hopes and fears for the emergence of online democracy. [more inside]
Ten Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia. Aimed at scientists editing science articles.
On Wikipedia, Cultural Patrimony, and Historiography. "The Iraq War: A Historiography of Wikipedia Changelogs" is a twelve-volume set of all changes to the Wikipedia article on the Iraq War. The twelve volumes cover a five year period from December 2004 to November 2009, a total of 12,000 changes and almost 7,000 pages. The set is part of a project exploring history and historiography facilitated by the internet, and visualising information, opinion, narrative and discussion, by James Bridle.
PediaPress has long allowed logged in users of Wikipedia to create printed-on-demand books of one or more Wikipedia articles, but now Wikipedia has integrated into their interface the ability to make a book. No, not like that. Of course, the value of printing an ever-changing information resource can be debated, and some think it's a waste of time. Previously. [more inside]
Brasil or Brazil? Aluminum or Aluminium? Yogurt or Yoghurt? Does even Jimbo know when he was born? Wikipedia's lamest edit wars.
Wikipedia is famous for providing multimedia on any topic imaginable. Founder Jimmy Wales recently attempted a purge on pornography, but then partially reversed it due to community backlash. Wikipedia contributor Seedfeeder is a user who provides remarkably well-done Creative Commons illustrations to topics such as erotic lactation, bukkake, and pegging. Obviously NSFW, and some argue unsafe for Wikipedia as well.
Link Martin Lawrence to Pope Benedict XVI or Diplomacy to the Antichrist using only wiki links with The Wikipedia Game.
WikiWorld was a comic series developed for Wikipedia by Greg Williams using the encyclopedia's text and released under a Creative Commons license. It's topics range from the concept of a redshirt in science fiction, public radio personalities like (MeFi's own) John Hodgman, Sarah Vowell and Terry Gross, Godwin's Law, Ann Coulter and world domination.
Predator vs *: Na'vi, Tintin, Punisher, Batman, Jason, Ewoks, Spiderman, Power Rangers, Alien, Wikipedia, Wikipedia vs Predator, Robocop, Predator.
The Truth According to Wikipedia (SLYT)... A 48-minute documentary about Wikipedia, the internet, democracy and knowledge.
Wikipedia can be a time sink for sure, but often it's difficult to find the most bizarre, creepy, or disturbing articles. Thankfully, someone with lots of time on their hands has made a jaw-droppingly comprehensive list of creepy pages on Wikipedia (the list is in the second post on that page). [Previously]
The Victoria and Albert Museum is using crowdsourcing to determine the best images, crops and enlargements of items in its online database. [more inside]
Wikipedia editors debate the merits of speedy deletion of of thousands of poorly referenced BLPs (Biographies of Living Persons).
 - bad prose culled from Wikipedia and other wikis by the Comics Curmudgeon and Rifftrax's Conor Lastowka
Wikipedia is being sued for publishing the names of two convicted killers. Wolfgang Werlé and Manfred Lauber killed well-known German actor Walter Sedlmayr in 1990. They were convicted of the crime in 1993 and sentenced to prison, and recently released. Under German law, publishing the name of a criminal after he has served his sentence is considered an undue infringement of privacy, and is illegal. Accordingly, the German Wiki removed the names of the killers off the page discussing the murder --- but the English language version of wiki, based in the US and operating under the First Ammendment, has not. Now the killers' lawyer has sued the Wikimedia foundation to get them to remove the names. [more inside]
Wikirunner is a linux/windows game based on wikipedian tag created by Doches as an entry in Mini Ludum Dare 12. (about ludum dare)
"...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?
Bigipedia--it's like listening to Wikipedia on the radio--is also available on the web (for those of you whose radios do not support multiple-voice broadcasts).
Best of Wikipedia: A twice-daily updated collection of some of the best reading on Wikipedia. Created and maintained by avinash.vora.
Today's featured article: Hvuoauuoao roaoa rruaauuvaaoo nuaunuuoau waaoaarrooayu haoaoa nauiouuruua rraaoaa voaouriau wooo vuaaoora.
The NYTimes prevents leaks of its reporter's kidnapping from circulating on Wikipedia. [more inside]