Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2005-09-26/Esquire article

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The Wikipedia Signpost

Wikipedia edits Esquire

By Ral315, 26 September 2005

This week, an Esquire editor invited Wikipedia users to edit an article that will appear in the magazine. Wikipedia users reacted strongly, with over 500 edits to WP:ITAAW before the article was frozen.

Editor A.J. Jacobs wrote the original article, which was riddled with deliberate errors. These errors were quickly corrected by users, who rewrote many sections from scratch. Jacobs said of the massive edits made by Wikipedians,

I just wanted to thank you all so much for participating in this experiment. It was absolutely fascinating. I was riveted to my computer, pressing refresh every 45 seconds to see the next iteration. And the next and the next.

Jacobs is no stranger to encyclopedias; he read all 32 volumes of the 2002 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, writing about it in his 2004 book, The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World.

One minor source of controversy was the caveat that all edits to the page were officially released into the public domain, in order to avoid problems when using the article. However, this did not pose a legal problem for Wikipedia, since public domain content fits with GFDL.

The article will presumably run in the November 2005 issue.

Also this week: Editor's note

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