Category: Wikipedia

The Innocence of Wikipedians

Perhaps it is the innocence of Jimmy Whale,  Wikipedia’s founder, or perhaps it is an innocence shared by all the Wikipedia editors. Either way, Wikipedia is surrounded by a sweet optimism that is at odds with the reality of the actual articles. Yesterday the Financial …

Will Wikipedia ever get their facts right?

Editing Wikipedia appears to some (including me) to be an endless road – it goes on and on, and is never concluded. And that doesn’t mean it gets better – even when highly experienced Wikipedia editors are on the case. Here is an example.…

Histropedia – a new way to visualize history?

Histropedia is a site that enables you to create timelines from Wikipedia entries.  According to the two founders of Histropedia (a very klunky name, which makes me think of histrionics), it is “a new type of website that will transform the way we visualise history”. …

Brockhaus dies, and Wikipedia lives

(This post first appeared at www.consultmu.co.uk in June 2013)

Bertelsmann’s announcement of the closure of Brockhaus encyclopedias (June 2013) is indeed the end of an era. The Brockhaus encyclopedia style was fundamentally different to that of Britannica. While of similar size, its focus was very …

Can Wikipedia prevent paid editing?

Wikipedia terms of use

Astute readers of Wikipedia, or even readers who are half asleep, cannot have failed to notice the prominent notice at the top of every Wikipedia article at present (March 3rd, 2014). Undisclosed paid editing is what Wikipedia is trying to stamp out. The notice states, …

The difference a date makes

We all know what confession means: the Catholic ritual by which sinners gain absolution for their sins, by confessing to a priest.  John Cornwell’s recent history of Confession, The Dark Box (Basic Books, 2014) contains three key dates, very helpfully extracted by John Banville in …

Wikipedia v. a tube of toothpaste

Here is a story about a brand of toothpaste and Wikipedia, and how the brand of toothpaste won.  It is a salutary lesson, not for the toothpaste, but for Wikipedia – except I don’t imagine anyone from Wikipedia has noticed.

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