In the news

In the news

Campaign manager resigns over Wikipedia edit

There were numerous stories, especially in the Southern United States, covering the resignation of Georgia campaign manager Morton Brilliant after ethics questions arose over some of his Wikipedia edits (see related story). A related Associated Press story, "Wikipedia Ripe for Political Dirty Tricks", was picked up by over a hundred media outlets as well.

Richard Branson to promote African Wikipedias?

According to the article "Branson on wealth" at BBC Online, Richard Branson held a meeting in California to plan an African version of Wikipedia a few weeks ago. He discussed "getting Wikipedia to create an education site for Africa ... An African living in South Africa might know nothing about Ethiopia or Nigeria".

In response, Jimmy Wales says, " The news story is significantly confused. We already have several African languages, and I discuss with practically everyone I meet, how we might improve and promote what we are doing in those languages. I was at a meeting with Sir Richard, as the story says, but the meeting was not about Wikipedia, per se, but rather about his own initiatives in Africa, which might or might not include helping us in some ways. His help will be very much appreciated, but nothing specific has been discussed or is planned at this time. I am in an ongoing email dialogue with him." adds wiki section to product pages hopes to apply the same sort of collective intelligence behind the popular Wikipedia online encyclopedia to online shopping, allowing users to write, edit, and update product-related wikis on its site. (Note Amazon is applying the word "wiki" to each individual editable section.)

BBC Online to incorporate interactivity

The BBC also wants to "reboot" its homepage to exploit "the functionality and usability of services such as Flickr, YouTube, Technorati and Wikipedia". They have created an open site at to allow users to contribute to the redesign process.

Editorial analysis

The Western-centric bias found in many Western publications is significantly reduced in Wikipedia. It is one of the few sites on the web to attempt neutral, objective, encyclopedic coverage of popular culture. Wikipedia often produces excellent encyclopedic articles and resources covering newsworthy events almost in real-time.
The Wikipedia model is not perfect, but its success has implications that go far beyond how people conduct research. It puts a question mark over the whole idea that information must move from credentialed producer to passive consumer. That presents established companies and organizations with a big challenge. Media groups will have to find a way to emulate Wikipedia and bring readers and viewers inside the tent, as this newspaper is trying to do by, among other things, inviting on-line comments and organizing question-and-answer sessions with journalists. Political parties will have to use the Web to involve an alienated public, as Howard Dean managed in his Web-driven run for the 2004 U.S. Democratic presidential nomination. Government itself, that ultimate control freak, will have to open up to the views of its Web-empowered citizens. In the same way that Wikipedia presumes "collaboration among users will improve articles over time," government should learn to accept that collaboration among citizens can change things for the better.
It seems to be me that, until you use it, it's easy to be skeptical about a wiki (especially if, like Carr, your skepticism is professional; I'd love to sign up for that gig). Once you try it, though, there's no going back.


"Jane Jacobs died this week. There are many online resources devoted to the woman perhaps most responsible for keeping our cities as livable as they are, but her Wikipedia entry may be the best place to start to learn about her." [1], New York Times

The Game Daily site uses Wikipedia as a generic metaphor for a reference work: "Under the Wikipedia entry for 'dinosaur' you'll find photos of journalists who don't consider search optimization..." [2]

Webcomic Bob and George mentions Wikipedia: [3] and [4].

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