Skip to main content

Why Wikipedia Wins

I've noticed all sorts of articles, blogs, radio and TV shows etc, using Wikipedia as a source especially in the last year. Often times it's used with tongue slightly in-cheek -- ie. can you believe this? -- but the trend is only going to become more pronounced. Why? As long as an article idea doesn't instantly offend other contributers either because of spam/commercial concerns, obscurity or axe-grinding you can create it. Thus any reporter looking for information on any subject may end up there first since "Google is just a frontend to Wikipedia". 

If you've written something remotely interesting it will be adopted by other editors, expanded and made into great little bundles of knowledge. I can't begin to list the number of articles that I've started with just the notion that "there should be an article about this" and created a short stub and look back a year or three later to see a great entry. It's like magic. 

Of course, you can't get out of responsibility entirely, you have to check your watchlists to fix vandalism and creeping idiocracy. But we're definitely creating the Hitchhiker's Guide to Life, the Universe and Everything. You'll get frustrated over certain aspects: perhaps the clutter (and nagging) of "needs citation" or some religious war of formatting or a nuance of phrasing but in general these arguments are settled in a reasonable manner. 

In all of human history, there has never been a better source for fun learning! (It's my blog so I don't have to cite a source! Hah!)

Comments

Anonymous said…
I've noticed the same thing, particularly on NBC's "Office" and "30 Rock". They don't refer to it as source in a journalistic way, but as a snarky point of fact.

Popular posts from this blog

The New Jersey part of the Queen of Hearts passes

This was a really fun group of songwriters that used to frequent the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. I first saw The Queen of Hearts at the late-lamented Swallow In The Hollow in Roswell. If you never got a chance to go, imagine a big rustic mountain cabin with pretty damn good BBQ and live music every night. Everybody in the band wrote songs and they would rotate who would lead and everybody else sang great harmony. BethAnne Clayton was the one from New Jersey and she passed 14 January 2020 at 54. Sounds like the rest of the band were able to gather around her in the hospital for a last round of singing together. I can only imagine the emotion that day. Here's how I found out about it: https://www.ellenbritton.com/blog/2020/2/14/in-memory-of-bethanne-clayton The band got together in 1999 and it doesn't look like much of anything made it into the new world of streaming but the two albums I have are: Queen of Hearts (2002) with stand-out songs "Treat Me Right" and "He

Another reason why Atlanta weather forecasts are inaccurate

This was in a long-gone 2005 blog by Jon Richards but it's still relevant: He explains why it didn't get as warm as it was supposed to earlier this week, and why it's so cold today Forecasts Get It Wrong Three Days In a Row For the last three days, the predicted high temperatures in metro Atlanta haven’t been what they were forecast to be. As detailed  here , Monday’s miss was caused by a slow moving warm front. On Tuesday, we were supposed to reach a high of 70 degrees, before retreating to a low in the lower sixties today. Instead, we had a high of 60 Tuesday, and broke 70 degrees for the first time this year on Wednesday. Tuesday’s colder than expected temperatures were caused by a combination of heavy fog in the morning and a mini wedge, where the colder air closer to the ground was overrun by the warmer air approaching from the southwest. Overnight Monday, the skies cleared, and due to Monday’s rain, fog developed close to the ground. As the warmer air approached Tuesd

A James Thurber Christmas

It was the night before Christmas Here's a fun treat. In 1927 James Thurber wrote a hilarious version of "The Night Before Christmas" in the style of Ernest Hemmingway. Here's the beginning: It was the night before Christmas. The house was very quiet. No creatures were stirring in the house. There weren't even any mice stirring. The stockings had been hung carefully by the chimney. The children hoped that Saint Nicholas would come and fill them. The children were in their beds. Their beds were in the room next to ours. Mamma and I were in our beds. Mamma wore a kerchief. I had my cap on. I could hear the children moving. We didn't move. We wanted the children to think we were asleep. Check it out , it's pretty funny