Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2005-12-26/In the news

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The Wikipedia Signpost

In the news

By Catherine, Samw, and Mwanner 26 December 2005

Jimmy Wales edits own Wikipedia biography

Wikipedia user, Rogers Cadenhead reported on his blog that the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, edits his own biography on Wikipedia, contrary to Wikipedia's own guidelines against autobiographies. His actions have been seen as especially controversial because it is widely believed that some of his edits, such as this one, have not been NPOV. Various media outlets then picked up the story:

Follow-ups on Seigenthaler and Nature

Multiple mainstream news outlets continued to pickup the story and offered their own editorial comments:

  • Financial Times, "Wikipedia to restrict access to encyclopaedia" [5]
  • Forbes, "Wikipedia to bar user editing in 'stable' version of online reference - report" [6]
  • The Toronto Star, "Wikipedia a blank slate for Web vandals" [7] as well as "Wikipedia, Britannica. Spot the difference" [8]
  • The Inquirer, "Wikipedia tightens up security" [9]
  • The Boston Globe, "The Wiki effect" [10]
  • Wall Street Journal, "Wikipedia's Woes" [11]
  • PC Magazine, "How Dangerous Is Wikipedia?" [12] offers an opinion on Wikipedia's accuracy: "I spent hours crawling through Wikipedia this week looking for glaring errors. I couldn't find any."
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, "Nobody's perfect, but Wikipedia matches Britannica: study" [13] picked up the Canadian Press story.
  • The News-Sentinel, "Wikipedia: Raising perhaps more questions than answers" [14]
  • Village Voice "Factually Speaking" [15] The Voice story on the Nature review picked up on a point that was largely missed elsewhere: "...the focus on relative quality missed the more relevant point of comparison. Of the 42 Wikipedia and Britannica articles Nature sent to outside experts for review, the only ones that could be corrected—immediately—by those same experts were Wikipedia's."
  • New York Times "Complex Motives" [16] discusses the supposed preparations for a class action lawsuit against Wikipedia and provides a link [17] to an O'Reilly Radar story that notes the connection between the lawsuit webpage and QuakeAID .
  • New York Times "Insider Editing at Wikipedia" [18], noting that the "debate over Wikipedia has hit a fever pitch in recent weeks", the story touches on Jimmy Wales self-edits, the Nature story, and Larry Sanger's startup, Digital Universe, "a Wikipedia for grown-ups"

Many other media simply carried the AP story:

Follow-ups on semi-protection policy

Media continue to report on last week's implementation of a semi-protection policy in Wikipedia. See related article.

  • eWeek, "Wikipedia Erects Accuracy Firewall" [21]

New York Times notes coverage of Transit Strike

  • On December 20, the first day of the transit strike, the New York Times ran "New Yorkers cope with transit strike" [22], which noted that "Wikipedia, the free, open-access, online encyclopedia, already has an entry on the 2005 New York City transit strike."

Year-end summaries

Wikipedia was mentioned in the Discover (the year-in-science Special Issue) article "Beyond Google" (p. 16). The article opens with a quick discussion of Wikipedia as one of the most news-making websites of 2005. There are some pros and cons, and then the article moves on to discussing other website models. The opening paragraphs are available in the Emerging Technology section of the Discover website; the full article is available to subscribers.

Wikipedia appeared as both a WINNER ("Heavily linked, authoritative, and constantly updated, the world's largest interactive encyclopedia came into its own this year.") and a LOSER ("Popular, yes. Accurate? Not necessarily.") on PC World's "Best & Worst of 2005" list.

It also appeared twice on Google's year-end summary: at number 4 on the list of "Top Gainers of 2005" on the Google Zeitgeist home page, and then in a section of its own on the "Phenomena" page, as "The Year of the Wiki", with an accompanying chart illustrating the growing popularity of "wikipedia" as a search term.

Digital Universe

Joe Firmage and Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger announced Digital Universe, meant to be an alternative to Wikipedia with expert review [23]. It is funded by US$10,000,000 in angel investors and will pay experts to review entries. They compare it to "the PBS of the web". Commentators have already questioned the business model of such a venture[24].

Other coverage of Wikipedia

  • Are Wikis worth the time? - Point/Counterpoint debate on the merits of Wikipedia.
  • Web site seeking people harmed by false reporting on Wikipedia to take part in a Class Action Lawsuit.

Citations in the news

Wikipedia was cited in the last week in the following publications:

Also this week: Semi-protection

ArbCom updateSteward electionsWiki toolsNews and notesPress coverageFeatures and adminsB.R.I.O.N.