Last Monday, metasearch engine SurfWax launched a search engine for locating Wikipedia articles, called WikiWax (www.wikiwax.com). When the user begins typing in the search box, the search engine dynamically lists articles matching the search term. Using a technology it calls LookAhead, WikiWax also 'rotates' the search term so that searching for 'Kreutz', for example, brings up links to entries on Kreutz Sungrazers, the Kreutzer Sonata, Harald Kreutzberg and Mario Kreutzberger. Clicking on one of the links listed takes the user directly to the relevant article.
The news was mentioned by Gary Price on the SearchEngineWatch site, as well as having a Wikinews article written about it. SearchEngineWatch also carried a guest column Tuesday by Mary Ellen Bates on the relationship with Answers.com, one of the major reusers of Wikipedia's content. Bates was quite positive and said, "There's a lot of intelligence built into the Wikipedia."
Also, the Taipei Times has recently incorporated a "Wikipedia feature" for its online articles. By clicking on a link marked "Wikipedia", you can view a new version of the article with links to the Wikipedia pages about certain subjects mentioned in the news article. The feature apparently still has some bugs, as a number of the links do not correspond to existing Wikipedia articles.
An article in the online edition of Romanian newspaper Evenimentul Zilei discusses Wikipedia in an article on the perils of getting information from the internet. The article introduces Wikipedia's 'anyone can edit' philosophy, and then speculates on how an article might evolve as users with different beliefs and interests edit. The article looks at the case of Adrian Păunescu (who has a stub in the English Wikipedia but has a lengthy Romanian entry). Păunescu, a poet-turned-politician, is currently the leader of the Socialist Alliance Party, a successor party to the former Communist rulers.
The author, apparently unaware of Wikipedia's universal NPOV policy, discusses various hypothetical edits that might be made by people alternately sympathetic and hostile to Păunescu's poetry and politics, and then tries to shock the reader by announcing that 'This wikipedia page isn't a joke, it really exists'. The article claims that Păunescu's Wikipedia entry is remarkably positive about someone the author says most Romanians consider "a comic character". The writer also alleges that the article has been edited by Păunescu's son, although the history of the article reveals no evidence for this.
The point the article is trying to illustrate is that information from the internet is not always reliable. "The wiki system perfectly embodies the drama of searching for information through the Internet", says the paper. "Information is no better or worse than its last user/creator".
Press citations of Wikipedia articles this week included Forbes Magazine quoting from our article on John DeLorean in their obituary of the carmaker and fraudster (); British newspaper The Independent coming to us to fill them in on the fascinating history of patents ([permanent dead link]); and technology magazine ZDNet quoting our definition of ecosystem in an article about currently popular buzzwords in computing circles ().
Also, in the world of Wikipedia games, Philipp Lenssen of Google Blogoscoped proposed a new challenge involving the random page feature. As he described it, the objective of the game is to "create a random nonsense story", and he posted a short sample of his efforts. His rules were that you must use each of the random articles provided (in the same order as they come up) and weave them into the story.