Brandchannel announced this week its top five brands of the year. Wikipedia ranked fourth, behind Google, Apple, Inc. and YouTube, and ahead of Starbucks, in its global rankings. The survey should be taken with a grain of salt, however, as it was Internet-based.
Weekly newsmagazine Newsweek interviewed Jimbo Wales this week. The article discussed the creation of Wikipedia, protection and semi-protection, Web 2.0, and Wales' much-publicized interest in creating an open search project under Wikia. The article also mentioned a meeting between Wales and Microsoft co-founder and executive chairman Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum in Davos: "I talked to Bill Gates there--the first time I've met him. Lately there've been reports in the media about Microsoft versus Wikipedia, which we think is really silly because we're not battling Microsoft. It was a very brief chat--he said he liked Wikipedia."
Wikipedia was again referenced on another NBC TV show, this time on the American version of The Office. In the 1 February, 2007 episode entitled "Ben Franklin," Michael Scott misuses the phrase "Droit de seigneur." Jim Halpert, in a talking head, explains how Michael misused the phrase, as "confirmed by Wikipedia."
Wikipedia was also referenced on the CW Television Network's Veronica Mars, in its 23 January episode "Show Me the Monkey." The title character looks up the origin of the color manila on Wikipedia. Both references come just a few weeks after the sitcom 30 Rock referenced Wikipedia in its 18 January episode entitled "The Head and the Hair," the first time Wikipedia had been referenced in a sitcom. Before this, Fox's drama Prison Break showed the site in an October episode.
A report in the New York Times on 29 January, 2007 by Noam Cohen entitled Courts Turn to Wikipedia, but Selectively showed "that Wikipedia is frequently cited by judges around the country, involving serious issues and the bizarre". This story was also picked in the UK by The Guardian as US judges use Wikipedia as a courtroom source, however this highlighted the bizarre rather than the serious.