Wikipedia:Press coverage 2006

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See also: History of Wikipedia#2006 for some of the major stories.

January[edit]

  • "The staff of U.S. Rep Marty Meehan wiped out references to his broken term-limits pledge as well as information about his huge campaign war chest in an independent biography of the Lowell Democrat on a Web site that bills itself as the "world's largest encyclopedia," The Sun has learned."
  • "Then the trusty editors at Wikipedia got together and compiled a list of over 1,000 edits made by Internet addresses allocated to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives."

February[edit]

President Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic, advocating the learning of English is cited "He said that the Wikipedia encyclopedia is in Spanish, French, Greek, Italian, Hebrew, English and other languages, which is most revolutionary that has been possible to obtain in terms of the diffusion of knowledge. But he pointed out that the greater amount of information in Wikipedia appears in the English language because of the English language’s hegemony in the digital world."
On the front page of Saturday's Washington Post.
Is television living up to its potential?
No. The only way to raise money is by advertising. Advertising has very great limitations, because they measure success by the size of the audience. When I started, the BBC got its money from the licence and there was no advertising. You were able to schedule programmes over a range of subjects, on the grounds that you ought to present a comprehensive view of the world around you, and not miss out those bits that were awkward, or that interested some people more than others. At that stage it seemed to me that television offered a huge and democratic way of providing education, interest and knowledge. And that has not been fulfilled because of the demands of advertising.
So, the potential will never be fulfilled?
I think that's so, but I think that there will be other ways now. We're approaching it with things like Wikipedia. So I don't despair, but I think that television hasn't produced the benefits to humanity that it could have done.
"Online reference site Wikipedia blames US Congress staff for partisan changes to a number of political biographies."
"I don't know why this is a story," said James Pendleton, a spokesman for [Sen. Conrad] Burns. "There is no sanctity in Wikipedia. Somebody will always come and change it."
Most of the article gives examples of vandalisms against biographies, calling Wikipedia the "hip alternative to Encyclopaedia Britannica" and claiming "cyber war has broken out". It says Wikipedia is "sometimes wickedly funny" and says "getekeepers are relying on a volunteer army". Somehow, vandals are called "hackers" and, apparently, "Wikipedia is now planning a fixed version of its encyclopedia which cannot be changed".
  • Martin Hickman and Geneviève Roberts write in the UK's The Independent (online edition) an article titled: Wikipedia under the microscope over accuracy on 14 February 2006 :[2] After rehashing the history of recent notable wikipedia's blunders, several articles are reviewed and checked for accuracy by experts in each field. The resulting opinions on the articles are mixed from 'very naive' to 'excellent'. Most of the reviews were reasonably positive. See alsoWikipedia:External peer review/The Independent February 2006
Russian Revolution of 1917 is reviewed by Orlando Figes, professor of history at Birkbeck College, University of London. – Very Critical , "It is a simplistic account"
Kate Moss, model is reviewed by Marcel D'Argy Smith, former editor of 'Cosmopolitan' magazine. – Mildly critical, "Factually, this is dead accurate, though it is cloaked in po-faced language"
Ann Widdecombe, politician and writer reviews the article on herself, Positive, - "I think overall that the entry is much better than Dod's parliamentary guide" , "… I would give them 9.5 out of 10."
Tony Blair, Prime Minister, is reviewed by John Rentoul, biographer , Critical - "It is opinionated and written from an anti-war point of view"
Philip Larkin, poet , is reviewed by Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate, Positive – "A good and fair account. It sounds approving of Larkin, which is nice, but it is overall a dispassionate account, as one would expect from a dictionary."
Radio 1 , is reviewed by Simon Garfield, author of 'The Nation's Favourite: The True Adventures of Radio 1', Positive – "Accurate, but with an odd conglomeration of facts without a clear idea of what purpose Radio 1 serves or who listens to it"
Punt racing is reviewed by Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery , Positive - "…a lot has been put into this piece and it has been thought out. I am impressed"
In vitro fertilisation , is reviewed by Robert Winston, fertility expert and television presenter. , Positive – "I was surprised by the excellent section 'In vitro fertilisation'"
  • Sullivan, Andrew. "Islamo-bullies get a free ride from the West." The Sunday Times (UK). February 12, 2006. [3]
    • "We have the mainstream media whose job is increasingly not actually to disseminate information but to act as a moral steward for what is fit to print, to become an arbiter of sensitivity, good taste and political correctness. And we have web pages like Wikipedia or the blogosphere to disseminate actual facts, data, images and opinions that readers can judge with the benefit of all the facts, not just some of them."
  • Mehegan, David. "Bias, sabotage haunt Wikipedia's free world." Boston Globe. February 12, 2006. [4]
    • "The revelations that political bias has crept into articles raises new questions about an Internet phenomenon that some are acclaiming as the future of information."
  • Mehegan, David. "Many contributors, common cause." Boston Globe. February 13, 2006. [5]
    • "Wikipedia volunteers share conviction of doing good for society"
  • Mehegan, David. "The idealists, the optimists, and the world they share."Boston Globe. February 13, 2006. [6]
    • "Here are some faces and voices of Boston-area Wikipedians."
  • Demmel, Jordan. "UNL Wikipedia posts not raising alarms for officials"
    • The opening strike "The freedom to post anything on Wikipedia.org has caused not only controversy but also factual errors." is followed by a description of the calm attitude of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln officials towards the information about UNL in wikipedia: "What distinguishes this from other examples <<of the buzz around the UNL>> is that we have control over the editing of Wikipedia.com." Daily Nebraskan February 14, 2006 [7]
  • Geoffrey A. Fowler, "Chinese Internet censors face 'hacktivists' in U.S." [8] post-gazette.com of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette February 14, 2006
    • "U.S.-based groups help mainland surfers get around 'Great Firewall of China' "
  • Richard C. Morais, "Cracks in the Wall." Forbes, February 27, 2006
    • "The [Chinese] government can issue a decree to Google and it will be obeyed? How does it go after Wikipedia? This is the lay encyclopedia, authored by anyone who wants to chip in. It's available in 100 languages and its documents are on almost 100 servers spread across the globe. It has no income source in China to protect. The English version...includes a nice 12-page illustrated article on the Tiananmen Square protests. All Wikipedia documents are blocked in China, except to computer users who have downloaded proxy technology...States the Wikipedia Web site [at Blocking of Wikipedia in mainland China]: 'Many sysops and other users from mainland China have remained very active on Wikipedia using these means.'"
  • Marcel Berlins, "Why is the government seeking the power to pass far-reaching laws without parliament's approval?" The Guardian, February 15, 2006
    • "I realise that an entry in the Britannica, written by one person with lots of degrees and honours, can be just as misleading and biased as an all-hands-on-deck Wikipedia stew. Those with deep knowledge and expertise are not immune from being unbalanced or even eccentric about their specialisms. But at least I'm dealing with, and can allow for, the foibles of one learned person, and not the collected prejudices of perhaps dozens of self-selected know-alls. Wikipedia's is an open-door policy, heart-warmingly inclusive of the whole world. That, regrettably, does not ensure intellectual validity."
  • Mitch Kapor "Why Wikipedia is the next big thing" [9], February 15, 2006
    • "Wikipedia has chosen not to monetize traffic, but it if just used Google Adsense on it search pages, it could generate hundreds of millions of dollars. Mitch said that despite the contentious nature of the issue, the Wikipedians would eventually get around to monetizing the site."
  • "Sub Pop Not Releasing Liz Phair EP", Aversion, 16 February 2006
    • "Contrary to what you've read on Wikipedia, Sub Pop has absolutely no intention of releasing anything by Liz Phair this year." Someone from the label states, "And, yes, we understand how this Wikipedia deal is supposed to work. We keep removing Sub Pop as the label associated with this particular release and someone (or several someones) keeps changing it back."
  • Royal Society of Chemistry, "Information free-for-all", Chemistry World, 24 February 2006
    • "The online encyclopaedia Wikipedia could become the main source of chemical information in 5–10 years, according to a professional chemist who contributes to the site. [...] Many of the Wikipedia contributors are quite young, but Walker estimates that there are around 10 PhD-qualified chemistry contributors, as well as several knowledgeable graduate and undergraduate chemists. More professional chemists should get involved, urged Walker. ‘We have come a long way, but there is still a huge amount to be done,’ he said."

March[edit]

  • Clem Everdene, "Wikipedia hits the million mark", Media Guardian online, 1 March 2006 (registration required)
    • "Wikipedia has recorded its millionth registered user for its English-language website and anticipates a milestone double-whammy this week as the millionth article is published."
Republished on c|net Australia, 3 March 2006 and ZD Net Australia, 3 March 2006.
Quotes Nach0king's userpage. Created for IDG News Services, also posted on Computerworld, PC Advisor and ITworld.
Direct copy of press release.
Excerpt of release.
(Norwegian)"Little more than five years after the start of Wikipedia, the creators can look back on a true fairytale of an internet venture."
Subscription required. Includes original interview with Jimmy.
Includes original interview with Jimmy.
A story about the neutrality of NYU President John Sexton's page in light of the GSOC labor dispute.
Includes the sentence: "The free online encyclopedia Wikipedia has taken a bit of a beating - a brow beating - ever since news came out that virtually anyone can write or rewrite its electronic entries."
Discusses milestone as well as station.
"A train station in Glasgow's west end has become the millionth English-language entry to feature in an online encyclopedia."
Note: also contains a slight misunderstanding where it ascribes the Congressional staff edits to US Embassy staff.
Includes interviews with Jimmy Wales and Nicholas Moreau (zanimum).
Includes a link to Wikipedia as an example of how wikis can be made to work.
"Still, anonymity blocks credibility. One thing that Wikipedians have exactly right is that the current form of the encyclopedia is a beta test. The quality level that would permit speaking of Version 1.0 is still in the future."
Letter to the Editor from a college professor responding to the Stross article: "Having perused and occasionally contributed to articles in Wikipedia in my field of expertise -- Hispanic languages, literature and culture -- what has impressed me has been the general accuracy of the material presented, as well as the obvious conscientiousness of a number of the contributors."
First interview question: "With the recent controversy over false entries in Wikipedia, an open-source encyclopedia, how can you assure Web users that Firefox won't be vandalized?"
  • Hanman, Natalie (13 March 2006). "Reboot". London: The Guardian. 
Overview of the project's strengths and weaknesses. Interview with David Gerard. Also in The Hindu, albeit edited.
Searcher is a magazine for librarians, researchers, and information professionals. The article compares the processes of Wikipedia and Britannica in detail and decides they’re different. It concludes "It's (Wikipedia's) consensus model represents a shift in management styles and away from hierarchical organization. You might say that Wikipedia is Zen-like." Includes Jimbo Wales quotes on time-delay vandalism defenses.
"Openness has been both the making of, and a curse to, Wikipedia."
Includes a very odd graph attributed to the Wikimedia Foundation showing a 0.4 million article drop in late 2005.
Critical commentary on previous Economist article. Compares accuracy of Wikipedia to that of mainstream press.
Wikipedia comes in at number 3, "Best for: band biographies and free classical music".
"Almost everyone knows about Wikipedia - the free-content web-based encyclopedia written collaboratively by volunteers. Evidently, those volunteers include their fair share of music fans as you can find a vast store of musical knowledge here, covering pretty much every base. But one further really noteworthy aspect of Jimmy Wales's creation - and one that's little-known - is that Wikipedia also contains a vast reservoir of free sound files. Due to copyright laws, the site doesn't feature much by contemporary artists but its classical collection is growing by the day. Mozart and Beethoven are best represented with more than 20 pieces each, to be found in the 'media' section of their entries. Other composers have fewer files, and the files are in the 'Ogg Vorbis' format which won't play on an iPod, although they are compatible with most computer players. But, as with all things Wikipedia, it's probably only a matter of time before they launch a new, amazing service..."
"Encyclopedia company publishes a 20 page PDF file tearing apart Nature's December study comparing them to Wikipedia, saying that as an overall study it 'was without value'." The story has been picked up by other media such as the BBC. Nature responded to Britannica's statement with a statement of their own (PDF), defending the original article and its conclusions.
The leading British journalist Mark Lawson comments on the entirely false claims that he is from a Jewish background made in former edits of his Wikipedia article.
Story about vandalism of the article on University of Cincinnati president Nancy Zimpher.
Concludes, "One of the biggest threats to printed encyclopedias is the availability of information online. With over a million articles, compared with Britannica's 65,000 in its print version and 120,000 online, Wikipedia eclipses its competitor in terms of sheer number of entries. It has, for example, an entry on Encyclopaedia Britannica. The gesture has not been reciprocated."

April[edit]

April 2006, p. 56. Dave Taylor writes about his failed attempts with a wiki (not WikiMedia) and concludes they work only when not everyone can edit content. Cites the JFK assassination articles of Wikipedia. Article appears to base much of its basic information about wikis in general in terms and expressions used in the Wikipedia pages.
April 2006, pp. 62-65. Reuven Lerner describes, step by step, how he successfully created his own wiki from MediaWiki sources.
"Information about the e-mail conversation was added to Tuttle’s entry on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, and shortly thereafter, an entry for Taylor himself was created."
"The more likely escape clause is simply the complexity and confusion of the case. Wikipedia's entry on the Plame case already runs to more than 20,000 words."
"You'll find out more about the passion and history of Britain's best ever pop voice from Dusty Springfield's brief biography on Wikipedia than from tomorrow night's gloomy - and largely unilluminating - South Bank Show profile..."
p. 84: "Wikipedia profiles of politicians have become battlegrounds for spin doctors, hacks and people pushing agendas."
About Alan Mcilwraith: "On the wall next to his desk, he has pinned an entry on his "military career" from the internet encyclopaedia Wikipedia alongside a photo of him in a Royal Highland Fusiliers uniform. The entry has now been pulled from Wikipedia, which is compiled from entries made and revised by members of the public."
  • "Wikipedia". Librarian's Christian Fellowship Journal. April 2006.  [PDF]
Brief introduction to the site. "You may already have come across Wikipedia, the on-line encyclopedia written and edited by its own readers..."
"Wikipedia is a new paradigm in human discourse. It's a place where anyone with a browser can go, pick a subject that interests them, and without even logging in, start an argument."
Lists a dozen or so factual errors and omissions the author found in Wikipedia and dismisses the whole project in scathing terms.
Warren Boronson's revised opinion after receiving feedback and spending more time on the site: "I concede that I went too far.... I criticized Wikipedia for not providing enough information on mutual funds, but... [a correspondent] pointed out that the Encyclopedia Britannica is a far worse offender in this regard.... There are good articles in Wikipedia."
British Conservative MP Boris Johnson visited China in April 2006 and observed: "With every group of students I tried, in a flat-footed way, to raise issues of academic and intellectual freedom, in particular the notorious restrictions on the internet. Wasn’t it absurd that the state was blocking access to Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia, particularly since it seemed to have been written by Maoists anyway?"
Noting the web's comparatively slow pick-up of the news of UK Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott's marital infidelity. "Good old Wikipedia are on the ball straight away, mind. At http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Prescott they were already carrying a piece about the affair, but with the warning: "This article documents a current event. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses." But, tsk tsk, they have spelt Tracey wrong. Traceys get uppity about that sort of thing, though Ms Temple is probably not going to email them to complain."
"Morton Brilliant, [Washington] Gov. Christine Gregoire's former campaign spokesman, resigned this week from his latest campaign job amid allegations that he changed an online Wikipedia biography of an opponent in Georgia's gubernatorial race."
"ATLANTA - Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that can be altered by anyone with a computer, has proved remarkably useful for pulling political dirty tricks."
The Onion's A.V. Club article on Matt Groening references a detail in Wikipedia's article. Groening confirms the content about one of his early jobs in Los Angeles, as well as adding more about the "elderly director" who employed him.
Discusses the announcement of the name of Nintendo's Wii and in part it's effects.
  • Kluth, Andreas. "The wiki principle" (in "A survey of new media"). The Economist. 22 April, 2006. The wiki principle (which is premium content and so only the first few sentences can be read by someone who is not logged in...).
Begins by telling the story of the John Seigenthaler Sr. Wikipedia biography controversy, but goes on to say: "For the most part, it is much more worthwhile to dwell on the phenomenal opportunities than on the poison pens. Wikipedia's promise is nothing less than the liberation of human knowledge - both by incorporating all of it through the collaborative process, and by freely sharing it with everybody who has access to the internet". He notes that Wikipedia's size makes it "an anomaly among wikis" (the article is about wikis generally, although it devotes most of its space to Wikipedia). Then there are some quite shocking quotes from people involved with Encyclopaedia Britannica: "[Wikipedia is] a faith-based encyclopedia [based on] the moist and modish notion of community and some vague notions about information wanting to be free" (Robert McHenry, a former editor-in-chief). Jimmy Wales is also interviewed. The Nature study comparing the accuracy of Wikipedia with that of Encyclopaedia Britannica is mentioned (162 errors in Wikipedia, 123 in Britannica) - as is the current Britannica editor-in-chief's condemnation of it ("Nature did everything wrong that they could possibly have done wrong"). Overall the article is positive, noting the great potential of Wikipedia and noting that while "old media" such as Britannica feel threatened and attack us, "whereas Wikipedians are not the least bit tempted to reciprocate".
  • Cumbrowski, Carsten (2006-04-09). "Wikipedia down?!". RoySAC.com. Retrieved 2006-04-09. 
"It's now over 1 hour and no sign of of Wikipedia coming up again in sight. It can't be routine maintenance or reboot of servers that's causing this. It must be something more serious. "
""Wikipedia is now up again after several hours down time. I found the Wikipedia/Wikitech Server Admin Log which provides some insights about what happened...."
"WikiTruth.info is a site that was started by 12 Wikipedia Administrators that "left" Wikipedia after years of contribution due unbearable "bureaucratic warfare" and especially after seeing an increase in active censorship taking place at Wikipedia.org at an alarming rate. "

May[edit]

"Fewer than 100 Great War veterans are still alive worldwide. Information about surviving vets as well as those recently deceased can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org."
A full reference would be to Veterans of the First World War who died in 2005, Veterans of the First World War who died in 2006, and Surviving veterans of World War I
'Wikipedia, "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" seemed like such a good idea. Indeed, it still is a good idea – and a hugely valuable resource for countless kinds of information. I use it nearly every day. But rumblings from both inside and outside the project suggest that the encyclopedia that aimed to capture "the sum of human knowledge" may be past its peak.'
Editorial's closing paragraph: "If we can harness our collective wisdom the way Wikipedia has, the potential for unleashing human creativity is enormous. Instead of a camel, we just might create a unicorn."
Relating to an edit war at Toronto Port Authority: "The editors of Wikipedia need to take a hard look at their standards of 'verifiability' in the face of such an outlandish falsehood."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation bestows a Pioneer award upon Jimbo Wales for founding Wikipedia.
Dibbell berates "the Wikipedian hive-mind" for the treatment of the Wikitruth article. In his piece, posted online on May 2, he doesn't disclose that the AfD ended on April 20 with a decision to keep the Wikitruth article. (In the printed Village Voice: issue of May 3-9, 2006, page 26.)
Letter responding to Dibbell's piece.
Wikipedia's liquid crystal display article is the content which is displayed on an LCD monitor under product review.
"Online encyclopedia Wikipedia can be edited by anyone. It's a wealth of knowledge on a broad range of topics. Did we mention that anyone can edit it? As Victorian Liberal leader Robert Doyle was resigning in favour of Ted Baillieu, his online entry was being updated in a manner that would have stretched Encyclopedia Britannica's standards of objectivity. Until he "nobly" resigned, he served Victoria with "aplomb, charisma and energy", the page said. "More leaders like Mr Doyle are required to rail against the spin and economic mismanagement of the Bracks Government." Hey, they make a point. Then again, the person writing it is spinning an online encyclopedia entry. The effusiveness has since been deleted, but the mind whirls."
  • Weiner, Tim. "Langley, We Have a Problem", New York Times, Sunday, May 14, 2006; Section 4, 'Week in Review', p. 1. -- An article on the decline of the CIA.
"The big picture has been bumped by spot news. ... Drowned by demands from the White House and the Pentagon for instant information, 'intelligence analysts wind up being the Wikipedia of Washington,' John McLaughlin, the deputy director and acting director of central intelligence from October 2000 to September 2004, said in a interview."
  • Kidman, Angus. "The Wikipedia phenomenon", Australian Netguide issue 97 (June 2006), pub. 17 May 2006.
(No copy of the text online, but info-en got an email telling us it was quite a good article...)
KL Stout: "Over the years, Linux has spawned other open technologies and even an open source spirit or open source philosophy. It has engendered stuff like Wikipedia, the online open source encyclopedia or even, some could argue, citizen journalism."
He's in control of the world's largest encyclopedia, with 3.8 million articles. Does Wikipedia's uncontested ruler have too much power? In 2001 Jimmy Wales founded Wikipedia, an encyclopedia where all content is written and edited by the users themselves. The web site now contains millions of articles in about 200 different languages, among them Norwegian. (translation)
As an object lesson in how not to do quest documentaries, look no further than the archly titled Richard Hammond and the Holy Grail (BBC1). Who is Richard Hammond? A quick look on Wikipedia tells me that he is a presenter of Top Gear. Another quick look on Wikipedia tells me that the legend of the Holy Grail was largely founded by Chrétien de Troyes in his 12th-century Perceval, le Conte du Graal. That a more modern myth has grown up around the misconstruction of "san greal" and "sang real". That Dan Brown has written a book called The Da Vinci Code, and that there are some harmless buffoons who believe that it's all something to do with Glastonbury. It took Richard Hammond two weeks of licence-funded travel, and an hour of screen time, to come to much the same conclusion.
Referring to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable and The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: "Both are more pleasant to use than Google or Wikipedia": Notable because this mention is made in passing and in a very conservative literary journal. The editor clearly felt no need to explain Wikipedia.

June[edit]

"I first heard about Wikipedia while reading Thomas Friedman's book, The World is Flat. In the book, he describes the encyclopedia project as a positive contribution to the Web."
"Robert McHenry, a former editor-in-chief of Encyclopaedia Britannica, has described Wikipedia as "a game without consequences". But as Skip begins to guide me through the arcane and often Kafkaesque bureaucracy of Wikipedia, vandalism starts to seem the least of its problems."
"The experience of Wikipedia has made it clear that having authoritative experts write this stuff is well worth doing, but I do think the Wiki concept appeals to people and there is a place for it."
"Thus was introduced into the American political lexicon the term Sister Souljah moment, defined by the by-no-means-authoritative Wikipedia.org as 'a politician's public repudiation of an allegedly extremist person, statement, or position perceived to have some association with the politician. Whether sincere or not, such an act of repudiation can appeal to centrist voters at the risk of alienating some of the politician's allies.'"
"But beyond the world of reference works, Wikipedia has become a symbol of the potential of the Web."
See also the associated list of protected and semi-protected articles: "Trouble Spots"
    • A correction was issued June 21, 2006 that the article "referred imprecisely" to Wikipedia policy. Note also that this link allows you to the view the NYT article without registering.
Details the Wikipedia articles which have a recent history of vandalisation and the means utilized to deal with this. Alison Wheeler and Jimmy Wales are quoted in the article.
"They are post-modern, eclectic, Google-generationists, Wikipediasts, who don't necessarily recognise the concepts of authorships/ownerships."
"Wikipedia is shifting from its core policy by restricting the users' power to edit the online content."
"Six cardinal (and, in the long-term, deadly) sins plague this online venture. What unites and underlies all its deficiencies is simple: Wikipedia dissembles about what it is and how it operates. It is a self-righteous confabulation and its success in deceiving the many attests not only to the gullibility of the vast majority of Netizens but to the PR savvy of its sleek and slick operators."
"Traditional encyclopedias contain a body of knowledge dictated by a limited pool of experts. Wikipedia takes the position that the general public, as a whole, has a vaster amount of knowledge than any small group of experts, no matter how skilled they are, so the website gives Internet users an opportunity to share their own expertise, determine what knowledge gets included and contribute to the production of a new encyclopedia."
"But I believe that the new mode of text embodied by Wikipedia can teach new generations about the responsibilities of social collaboration, the act of critical reading (applied even to Reference materials), and the permanently unfinished state of human knowledge."
"Do we dismiss Wikipedia as a dubious hodgepodge of hearsay, or embrace it in a way that makes it educationally relevant? It’s far from perfect, no doubt, but does that mean it has no educational value? Can a resource that struggles with reliability serve a valid educational purpose? What do you think?"

July[edit]

  • Kruglinski, Susan (July 2006). "Map Evolution Evolving: How a controversial entry in Wikipedia has changed over time". Discover. p. 21. 
"The entry for evolution on Wikipedia, the Internet encyclopedia that anyone can edit, was altered 2,081 times by 68 editors between December 2001 and last October. IBM's Watson Research Center produced this image, which tracks the transformation. Each vertical line is a new version; each color is a different editor."
See also the associated www.discover.com article by Brad Lemley: "Map: Evolution Evolving"
"San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales' legal troubles have been added to his online profile on Wikipedia, the guest-edited and controversial Internet encyclopedia."
"Wikipedia doesn't like Sam Vaknin, and the feelings are mutual. Look up this narcissm aficionado on Wikipedia and you'll find he's been dutifully erased from the wiki-consciousness, a name that shall not be uttered, or "recreated without a good reason."
"Sam Vaknin wrote the article "The Six Sins of the Wikipedia" for American Chronicle on July 2, 2006. In it he decries our site with the now all too familiar catch-cry that Wikipedia must be about to implode and die because it is Just Too Unworkable. I do seem to remember people saying this about a year ago..."
"The death of former Enron Corp. chief Ken Lay on Wednesday underscored the challenges facing online encyclopedia Wikipedia..."
"Moments after news of former Enron CEO Kenneth L. Lay's passing, his online biography had been updated..."
Dan Fost writes on BarCamp's AFD. "...So it's hard to fathom, but some folks want to remove the BarCamp entry from Wikipedia...(I actually found it when I was looking up BarCamp, and I weighed in, saying that I found the page useful, and if there was a competing point of view, my understanding of Wikipedia was that the page should incorporate that.)"
"..It further exposed the critical weakness of Wikipedia that prevents it from becoming the go-to source for Internet knowledge that it ought to be."
Hugh Linehan writes of the recent edit war over whether to state that Ireland is part of the British Isles, or state that there are some disputes over what the term covers. ". . . there's no such thing as value-neutral information, and it can be fascinating to observe how entries [in Wikipedia] are amended, annotated, argued over and extended by different factions. Controversy is currently raging over the entry for 'The British Isles'" (url stated in the article).
Discusses Saudi Arabia's internet blocking policy with regard to Wikipedia's on-again off-again blocking from within the Kingdom.
(Title in English means: President is like mullah) Discuss English Wikipedia article on Lech Kaczyński, Polish president, mostly attention given to so called "potatoe war".
Ben generally criticises Wikipedia, and writes "The phenomenal but unreliable online encyclopedia is best used with a healthy dose of scepticism". Uses the Ken Lay story above as proof.
"PRD bases challenge on Stalin and... Wikipedia." Front-page lead story (PDF of p.1) in right-wing Mexico City daily, accuses PRD of C&P-ing text from es:wikipedia in its legal challenge to the presidential election.
Officials at Skutt Catholic High School have filed a lawsuit in Douglas County District Court in order to determine the IPs of two individuals who vandalized the school's Wikipedia article in May and June 2006.
A thorough review of the history and practice of Wikipedia. History of encyclopaedias. Quotes from Jimbo, Essjay, William Connolley, etc. Ends "Wikipedia offers endless opportunities for self-expression. It is the love child of reading groups and chat rooms, a second home for anyone who has written an Amazon review. This is not the first time that encyclopedia-makers have snatched control from an élite, or cast a harsh light on certitude. Jimmy Wales may or may not be the new Henry Ford, yet he has sent us tooling down the interstate, with but a squint back at the railroad. We’re on the open road now, without conductors and timetables. We’re free to chart our own course, also free to get gloriously, recklessly lost. Your truth or mine? "
The author describes his internal moral fight about vandalising a Wikipedia article. "As a free fount of altruistically supplied information, the ever-growing online encyclopedia is a researcher's boon and a model for aggregating the collective knowledge of the human species. So how come all I want to do is vandalize it? "
A satirical take on Wikipedia's susceptibility to falsifications and vandalism. "Wikipedia, the online, reader-edited encyclopedia, honored the 750th anniversary of American independence on July 25 with a special featured section on its main page Tuesday."
"A high school in Nebraska, USA is suing over entries posted on Wikipedia - the website that "anyone can edit" that's popular with teenagers and the unemployed. Wikipedia itself isn't the target of the lawsuit from Skutt High School, nor are many of the sites that legally or illegally scrape Wikipedia's content."
The daily newspaper of Akron, Ohio looked at Wikipdia articles on regional topics and spoke with contributors from Ohio. "The lure has been irresistible for many Akron-area residents, who pour their expertise on hobbies, current events and local history into Wikipedia's growing database."
Motoring journalist Jeremy Clarkson writes in his trademark flippant, hyperbolic style about the unreliability of Wikipedia as a research tool. He bases his conclusion on his reading of the article about himself, its variance from his perception of its subject, and a similar comparison regarding the Toyota Prius. He also rehearses the argument that articles may contain nonsense because anyone can edit Wikipedia.
  • CTV News and the Canadian Press both cite a Wikipedia article as "arguably a better gauge of how the race is going" then any other information available. [10]

August[edit]

Author Marshall Poe answers interview questions from Jennie Rothenberg of the Atlantic about his impressions of Wikipedia and sources for his September article entitled The Hive.
Reporter David W. Brooks writes about Wikipedia and the upcoming Wikimania 2006, quoting several New Hampshire Wikipedans including Atlant.
Reporter Heather Newman explores Wikipedia connections to Michigan.
Host Tom Ashbrook interviews Jimmy Wales and Simon Pulsifer about Wikipedia.
"The country should complain to the global information resource Wikipedia. "
"Who would have thought an encyclopaedia could be so addictive? For the fans who write and update Wikipedia, the free online research tool, it takes only hours to get hooked. Now they just need to work out how to beat the vandals."
    • Error: "The key rules include that the information should contain original research"
      • They said they had made a printed correction, and would fix the online version soon. 21:26, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
        • Online version still has not been fixed. 02:53, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
"Quality and accuracy are respected, but breadth of selection, fast updates and free access give Wikipedia an advantage."
  • Naughton, John (August 13, 2006). "Websites that changed the world". London: The Observer.  The ranking is of sites since the start of the WorldWideWeb. Wikipedia is rated second, behind eBay and ahead of Google. The citation notes the Seigenthaler problem, but discounts it.
"Of his own role, Wales has said: "Queen of England—my power is decreasing over time. Soon, I'll just wave at parades." "
"In the last six months, the quality of the information at Wikipedia has vastly increased to the point where it is one of the best sources in the world for many topics." The author goes on to describe how he has made edits to Wikipedia's money article and encourages readers to improve other articles.
In a political weekly from the Czech Republic author Martin Uhlíř tries to cover history and principles of Wikipedia on one page of A3 format. The fact that Wikipedia did not collaps into chaos is explained by analogy with ant colony.
After a reader uses Wikipedia to point out that columnist Dan Savage has been misrepresenting his age, Savage gives an explanation, ending "damn you, Wikipedia!"
  • Gomes, Lee (2006-08-23). "Success and Greed In the New Economy Of Web Point Payouts". Wall Street Journal.  Just a mention, quoted below:
"Wikipedia, for instance, gives its editors points for making edits to entries. But one result of that is said to be editors making potentially unnecessary minor changes to articles to drive their ratings."
Sent to the Comm. Com as an error - We don't give editors "points"!
""Our primary goal is neutrality," said Wayne Saewyc, a Wikipedia spokesman in Vancouver, British Columbia."
"But now there are suggestions that a new architecture of control will be introduced for Wikipedia as a whole, if it proves successful when it is applied to the German-language site next month, and this could have far wider implications."
Thompson later described the response of Wikipedians on a blog entry entitled "Speaking Truthiness to Wikiality" on 29 August 2006.
Yet another Orlowski. More or less standard. More or less content-free.
Discusses the Swahili and Bambara Wikipedias, as they came up at Wikimania 2006, in light of the goal of providing an encyclopedia in every major living language.
Discusses edit-warring regarding the articles about competing ferries in Milwaukee area.
Speed of edits (Pluto, 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict); description of motivation of Wiki contributors; interview with Montréalais and cute picture of him and his cat.
Discussing Emmalina, a YouTube star who quit after online harassment: "The chatty video blog entries recorded from her bedroom first began to appear in the "most viewed" rankings on the popular YouTube video in June and some of her more controversial posts attracted more than 300,000 views. Emmalina even has her own Wikipedia entry."
"Emmalina was in the Most Subscribed list of hit website YouTube until early this month and even has her own Wikipedia entry."

September[edit]

Author Marshall Poe writes an at-length article about the early history of Wikipedia, fundamental conflicts, and his personal experience about surviving a article for deletion. "Bear in mind that I knew none of these people, and they had, as far as I know, no interest other than truth in doing all of this work....Now that’s wiki magic."
Author David Martin parodies Wikipedia with a mock-biography written about himself from the point of view of his wife, if they were to divorce. "Here's how my entry might end up if my wife ever divorces me and becomes a registered user...."
Tells how Wikipedia Indonesia has become Asia's third fastest-growing of local version of Wikipedia.
The article talks about using a program, Zeitgeist, along with the WordNet linguistic tool and Wikipedia entries to help understand neologisms.
As part of The Observers Internet freedom campaign known as Irrepressible.info, this article interviews Jimbo Wales on why he won't compromise on China's censorship of Wikipedia and he criticises Google, Microsoft and Yahoo for doing so.
This article is regarding the changes on the German Wikipedia regarding which edits are displayed to anons.
Debate between Wikipedia founder and Britannica editor-in-chief.
"September 11, 2001 attacks — Wikipedia entry: Though I’ve had plenty of reasons to shun Wikipedia and its attempts at a neutral point of view, I’ll give it credit for this entry, which covers a vast array of details about the attacks. There are simple timelines, photos, and the entry even includes some of the conspiracy theories in a relatively balanced way."
Points out that Wikipedia entries on top brands now repeatedly make the top 10 results in major search engines. "In all seriousness, as soon as brand managers learn where they stand on Wikipedia, there is a natural inclination to want to control it."... "and this community can and will sniff out corporate manipulation of entries."
"Jimmy Wales says that by banning the user-edited encyclopedia, China’s government is stifling itself."
"Shi Zhao slides the computer mouse, making rapid-fire clicks and in the space of a minute or so finds about a dozen minor errors to be tweaked on Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia that anyone can edit... Shi's feat is even greater given that technically, he should not have access to the site. Last October, the Chinese government blocked access to Wikipedia, which has more than 5 million articles in 229 languages."
Author, who is a professor at Harvard Medical School, writes about researching a jellyfish sting remedy: "[A] study published in February in The Medical Journal of Australia.... had conducted a clinical trial that randomly assigned sting victims to application of hot water (to deactivate the poison) or icepacks. The trial was stopped halfway through because the hot-water group did so much better that it would have been unethical to continue. I didn’t discover this through any proprietary medical search engines. I used Google and Wikipedia, and it took about two minutes."
Access note: Login required. You can use "wikipedia1" as both the username and password.
Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, has created Citizendium, a Wikipedia fork that will give more power to experts.
Author, a major Iowa newspaper staff writer, looks at how the state of Iowa is covered in Wikipedia and is not impressed. (The article says to "just Wikipedia your town", thus making "Wikipedia" into a verb in the same way as "Google" has been used.)
On the launch of Citizendium. "Of course, Wikipedia could start requiring registration and having disputes settled by experts - just like Citizendium. Or it could simply take content from Citizendium, if that has already done the job."
Parmenter is one of the authors of the Newton entry that appears on Wikipedia, a collaborative online encyclopedia, adding his contributions over the last three years as a hobby.
Finkelstein charts the history of his objection to his article, an "attractive nuisance", and outlines some of the problems people in public life have had with their Wikipedia biographies.
  • Unto Hämäläinen (September 30, 2006). "Aukotonta tietoa (Knowledge without holes)". Helsingin Sanomat monthly supplement. 
Hämäläinen organises a meeting between a number of established editors in the Finnish Wikipedia, to discuss how Wikipedia works and what they think of it. Many of them meet each other in real life for the first time.
"Why Triple play? Because I have three News and Comments in one post. All about Wikipedia. Search Engine Optimization and Wikipedia, a love-hate relationship. Wikipedia Pages Rank well, very well."

October[edit]

"Notability Wars" on Wikipedia gaining attention. Who decides what is notable?
Access note: Login required. You can use "wikipedia1" as both the username and password.
More "Notability War" stories about the AfD process.
  • Philip Dominguez Mercurio (October 11, 2006). "Try Wikipedia". Philippine News online edition. 
The author describes his high regard for Wikipedia and how he has added to its content on Filipino topics. He has challenged some facts but not always successfully.
Wikipedia has been largely unblocked in mainland China, except for the Chinese-language edition.
The author decries the lack of coverage in Wikipedia of prominent Australian writers. "Back to those Google search results: the first listing for "Australian literature" is a privately run index. The second is Ozlit, a well-meaning Victorian site where some pages were last updated in 1999; third is a National Library of Australia literature index. The "official" authority on Australian literature, AustLit, comes in fourth. AustLit is comprehensive, well edited and accurate. It's also unavailable to the average user, limited as it is to subscribers or members of organisations that subscribe (including university students). Wikipedia's readers are everyone else -- the world, basically. And what we're showing them is a mess. "
Reports findings by the Internet usage analysts Hitwise's Heather Hopkins of where surfers go after they read a Wikipedia article. "Hopkins begins by mentioning that Wikipedia receives over half (54%) of its traffic from Google...". "Most Wikipedia users leave the site and go directly to computer and Internet-centered sites like search engines, social networks and chat. One might assume to either look up more information, post what was found on a profile or blog, or to discuss what they've just learned at Wikipedia. "
In a Question and Answer piece, the reliability of Wikipedia and the proposed Citizendium project are debated. "Mind you, I got that fact off Wikipedia, so you can't be sure. Any new version might be an improvement. But it could also be a lot more boring."
"We commend to you all the World's Most Exciting Web Page, namely Wikipedia's entry on the M25."
Prompted by the research by Heather Hopkins of Hitwise, Vakin concludes that Google's reliance on a few internet neighborhoods is slanting its search results towards Wikipedia even where the article concerned is a 2 sentence stub. "I have been monitoring 154 keywords on Google since 1999. Of these, the number one (#1) search result in 128 keywords is now a Wikipedia article."... ..."Wikipedia, the "encyclopedia" whose "editors" are mostly unqualified teenagers and young adults is touted by Google as an authoritative source of information."... ..."MySpace whose 110 million users are predominantly prepubescent and adolescents now dictates what Websites will occupy the first search results in Google's search results."
Reports on the distrust of Wikipedia in Higher Education circles. It also describes the efforts of academic Alexander Halavais to place factual errors on Wikipedia as User:AlHalawi.
Please see Wikipedia:External peer review for the entry on the three Wikipedia articles graded in this article.
Reports on Wikipedia consideration of plan to purchase copyrighted material and make it available as public domain
"Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia that anyone can write and edit, is one of the unlikeliest success stories of the cyber age. Mick Brown tracks down its founder in Florida – and talks to the Wikipedians who keep the site alive"

November[edit]

  • BBC News: Virus creators target Wikipedia 6 November 2006. The article has a story on how virus creators added a link to the German Wikipedia which infected users with a new variant of the Blaster worm. The article was quickly identified and the current page and its archives were deleted.
Article detailing Wikipedia vandalism in terms of the 2006 New Jersey Senate race - mentions mudslinging, Thomas Kean Jr. and Bob Menendez pages.
Article on Noah Webster concludes with a mention of the Wiktionary.
Reports a boom in use on the Chinese Wikipedia. Since the lifting of the Chinese government's block on Wikipedia,..." the number of new users registering to contribute to the site has exceeded 1,200 a day, up from an average of 300 to 400 prior to the unblocking. The number of new articles posted daily has increased 75% from the week before."
  • Wiki wars by Joey Kurtzmann in online Jewish magazine Jewcy.com. It's over-the-top positive, basically says Wikipedia will save the world. It says Wikipedia creates an environment in which groups with different historical narratives are forced to hash things out, and provides a model for dealing with disagreements over history. And it compliments Wikipedia's coverage of the Middle East (although it says that the Lavon affair article, while evenhanded, "makes for frustrating reading" because it is not well-organized).
A recent study has found that experts rate Wikipedia higher than non-experts, lending further evidence to the quality of Wikipedia.
"I heart people making negative comments about the article over and over again, but none of the people that complained actually went over to Wikipedia and clicked "EDIT" to fix, change or add what they believed to be so bad about the article."


In Tokyo's Asahi Shimbun edition, at least, Page 1 and above the fold. A comparison of the English-language and Chinese-language Wikipedias: "On sensitive questions of China's modern history or on hot-button issues," writes French, "the Chinese version diverges so dramatically from its English counterpart that it sometimes reads as if it were approved by the censors themselves." (Also in the New York Times: [11])

December[edit]

Author discusses the Wikipedia Articles for Deletion process, with comments from "Tim the Mute" of Canadian "mind blowing thrash folk" band "The Shiny Diamonds" (deleted), and Jimbo Wales.
Long magazine article discusses attempts to integrate various US intelligence agencies' information using the Wikipedia model, blogging, and Wikimedia software.
Reaction to the Washington Post piece on Articles for deletion. "I've added my share of skepticism and distrust, but I'd be less than candid if I didn't acknowledge that I use Wikipedia in my work on a fairly regular (if guarded) basis. Put me down for some appreciation, too."
In a 50-minute documentary on the history of the www and how it is changing western civilization, a seven minute segment on Wikipedia as a tool to share knowledge and information featured comments by Jimbo Wales, Clay Shirky, Dr David Weinberger (Harvard University), Prof. Harry Jenkins (MIT), and Ewan MacDonald - author of the millionth article on English Wikipedia (interviewed at Jordanhill railway station).
No doubt we can thank the cereal box, where at least you had somebody from Kellogg's (Weetabix, whoever) keeping things straight, in contrast to, say, Wikipedia, which is more the million-monkeys-with-a-million-keyboards approach.
Reports professor Eric Goldman of the Santa Clara University School of Law who argues that Wikipedia will see increasingly vigorous efforts to subvert its editorial process as marketers become more determined and turn to automated tools to alter Wikipedia entries. Goldman predicts Wikipedians will burn out trying to keep entries clean within 4 years.
Reports "Jimmy Wales has said his company Wikia.com will offer software, storage and network access and that website creators can keep advertising revenue." Shows a thumb of Wikipedia's portal page as an example of the success of Wikis and links to Wikipedia.
Reports the uncensoring of the English Wikipedia in China whilst the Chinese version remains blocked. Quotes praise from Reporters Without Borders for Wikipedia handling of the situation.
Reports Jonathan Carson, CEO of , Nielsen BuzzMetrics which researches internet trends, as saying, "Blog references to Wikipedia now eclipse virtually every other encyclopedia brand, and Wikipedia outranks mentions of the term "encyclopedia" by a 6-to-1 margin. Wikipedia today is mentioned 28% more than the standalone term wiki."
"The growing frequency of the word 'Wikipedia' versus 'encyclopedia' also underscores the ubiquity and utility of the brand, not unlike other brands that often represent their categories, such as Xerox, Kleenex, Google and iPod," .
Latest update on the back and forth censorship of China and wikipedia. On the differences betweeen the Chinese and English Wikipedias - "It seems like enough Chinese patriates are doing a good job in using Wikipedia’s own rules to “rewrite” their own history."
Reports the coverage of the sport of curling on Wikipedia and calls on curlers to contribute to Wikipedia to expand coverage. Discusses the article of curling itself, as well as many of the athletes who have articles, and discusses how 2-time world champion Ed Werenich should have an article and what it should mention.
"It's about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia ..." and other Web 2.0 user generated content.
"Simon Pulsifer has become a poster boy for a revolution. The 25-year-old Ottawa resident never envisioned this turn of events. He just wanted to conquer a smaller world defined by lists ranking the top contributors to online encyclopedia Wikipedia. It was an accomplishment he never imagined would merit praise beyond a small corner of the cyberspace universe."
Reports the launch of Scholarpedia, another competitor to Wikipedia. "Unlike Wikipedia, each article in Scholarpedia has an expert editor attached to it as a "curator," who approves all changes and ensures the article is an approved version. And it is not as elitist as Citizendium. Anyone can suggest changes to an article, and there's an anonymous forum for initial peer review."
Reports on vandalism by Fark.com members to Snohomish High School as retaliation for community's reported efforts to intimidate student severely injured when blasting traditional cannon at football games. Has an excerpt from, and link to, the offending edit.
  • Cheney, Peter. (December 23, 2006) Globe and Mail An online debate: What's the meaning of Zanta? He may be local, but fans say he belongs in Wikipedia. Section: Globe Toronto; Page M3.
    "As the Naked Cowboy, Mr. Burck seems to be assured of a permanent place in the Wikipedia firmament, given the sheer volume of his odd fame. Wikipedia's methodology reflects the nature of modern celebrity, which is often based not on achievement, but sheer ubiquity. Entries are controlled by the volunteer contributors (or Wikipedians), who use a combination of old-fashioned scholarship and Google-age computer algorithms to decide who will stay, and who will not. Unlike traditional encyclopedias, Wikipedia is live and dynamic -- entries can be altered at any time. The cyber-debate over Mr. Zancai drew both praise and condemnation."
The leading British arts' journalist speculates on the new 10 volume Encyclopedia of Popular Music,[12] edited by Colin Larkin, being the last hard-copy work of its kind with the development of online rivals, such as Wikipedia, being seen as direct competitors. Apart from the usual comments regarding this project's reliabilty, Lebrecht finds the limitation on editor's stating personal opinions, for him a means of discerninjg relative value in creative works and artistic figures, to be a fatal flaw, a "demotic uselessness of the wikis".
  • Antone Gonsalves (2006-12-26). "Wikipedia Founder Plans Search Engine". InformationWeek (CMP). Retrieved 2006-12-27.  InformationWeek cites Jimmy Wales describing a new search engine code-named Wikiasari which would combine open source technology and human intervention to deliver more relevant results than the algorithm-based systems used today. The engine would compete with Google and Yahoo.
"The Article to affiliate marketing at Wikipedia was today "semi-protected". You might noticed the template that indicates the protection on other articles at Wikipedia already. If you did not, let me explain what it means and why it was done."