Study finds inconsistent quality in featured articles
This month's issue of the research journal First Monday contains an article entitled Evaluating quality control of Wikipedia's feature articles by David Lindsey (a student at Georgetown University and one of the two authors of the OnWikipedia blog mentioned previously in the Signpost). Based on the assessments of 22 featured articles by subject experts, the author concluded: "In expert evaluations, nearly one–third of the featured articles assessed were found to fail Wikipedia’s own featured article criteria."
In a discussion about the paper Shimgrayanalyzed the score that articles received in the evaluation versus the time that had passed since their FA promotion, and speculated that the low scores might be due to a decay in quality in "unmaintained" articles (rather than problems in the review process). Lindsey replied that drawing solid conclusions about this from the study was "absolutely impossible" because of the small sample size.
"Community Pages are a new type of Facebook Page dedicated to a topic or experience that is owned collectively by the community connected to it. [....] Community Pages are still in beta, but our long-term goal is to make them the best collection of shared knowledge on a topic. We're starting by showing Wikipedia information, but we're also looking for people who are passionate about any of these topics to sign up to contribute to the Page."
The example depicted in the announcement shows the lede of Wikipedia's cooking article. On each Community Page, a "Wikipedia" tab links to the full text of the Wikipedia article (if it exists).
"Our hope is that many Facebook users (if they are not already) will also be inclined to join the large community of Wikipedia contributors. Facebook will follow the free licenses (CC-BY-SA) and help us find more ways people can share knowledge. Furthermore, we will be looking at other ways that both parties can cooperate in the future."
Replying to concerns that Facebook would draw potential editors away from Wikipedia, Wadhwa said that "we did give this a lot of thought. Facebook wanted to do this anyway (and they could take the content as long as they follow the license(s)) but we thought that, in the end, it would be better if we work with them on this to influence them to do it in a positive [way]."
Facebook has already initiated over 6.5 million of these pages, according to TechCrunch, which observed that the new feature seems to be Facebook's reaction to the problem that the "Pages" feature, introduced last year for brands and celebrities to present information about themselves, was increasingly used by Facebook members to create unofficial pages, also about other topics like baseball or yoga. TechCrunch also noted that adding content to Community Pages is not yet possible.
To CNET ("Facebookipedia?"), Facebook appears to be "actively treading into a territory that few companies have explored other than Wikipedia and Google", in "one of the boldest steps that the social-networking site has taken toward, well, consuming your life".
Craigslist founder does customer service for Wikipedia
In a blog post for the San Francisco Chronicle, Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist and a member of the Wikimedia advisory board, says he will be spending some time addressing complaints about biographies of living people. He writes:
I've volunteered to help out with short term problems, as part of my normal daily customer service work. (That is, it's part of what I feel is my personal public service mission. This is on my own initiative, not strictly as part of my role on the advisory board.)
If you see a bio that's been attacked, please let me know, and normally I'll find a way to get it fixed, have already done so in the case of a sitting US Senator.