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Wikipedia due for a face lift but is its beauty more than skin deep? March 26, 2010

Posted by kewroad in Uncategorized.
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So, Wikipedia is getting a makeover. The idea is that easier editing will encourage more users to contribute and change articles, and, let’s face it, the old Wikipedia as we know it does look a bit antiquated. But then that’s also what’s nice about it, a trusted encyclopedia a bit like that dusty leather-bound version on your bookshelf that answers just about any question.

While Wikipedia has often been praised as one of the very first true Web 2.0 applications, it looks like the rest of the web has continued to evolve at break-neck speed while Wikipedia has been left behind. However, I doubt it’s anything to do with usability and more to do with the fact that it’s actually pretty good as it is. We’ll see if the new look makes any real difference.

Wiki Fraud Leads Media on Merry Waltz May 8, 2009

Posted by kewroad in internet, new media.
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Interesting article says alot about influence of Wikipedia .  An Irish university student did an experiment into how widely a fake fact seeded into a Wikipedia entry would travel.  Seeing that composer Maurice Jarre had died , he made a fictitious career entry and added a false quote in Jarre’s Wikipedia article. Expecting the fake facts to be repeated on blogs, he actually saw his fake entry and quote appear almost verbatim in the obituaries published by major newspapers including the Guardian. 

Obviously the incident reveals that the media like the rest of us rely on Wikipedia as an information source almost instinctively.  Errors have littered newspaper copy long before Wikipedia appeared. The solution doesn’t lie in avoiding Wikipedia but remembering the value of corroboration. The problem is that does the media have the luxury to check every fact anymore? Or do we and they really care?