Saturday, December 03, 2005

Musings on Wikipedia

I got a story posted on slashdot yesterday. A former aide to Robert Kennedy kicked up a bit of a fuss about his entry on wikipedia being likely false and possibly libelous. Despite the fact that as soon as he pointed it out wikipedia fixed it up, he decided to go on a rant about how vandals and idiots these days can spread their nuisance around more, and that internet providers and websites should be made responsible for preventing this sort of thing happening. In a bit of irony, he is associated with the center for the first ammendment. His entry is now a lot more than two sentences and a lot more researched.

I noticed the story when I checked out wikipedia the other day, and it was the first time I submitted a story to slashdot, so I was pretty happy when I saw it up on the main page.

I've spent a fair amount of time reading wikipedia, having killed a lot of time going through the kings and queens of England, presidents of the US, Australian and British prime ministers, and Popes, along with more random browsing. I have also made some contributions, mainly in a few specific areas I'm interested in, as well as some general fix up work as well. The list of articles I've contributed to include comic books, movies, a pope or two, novels, and cds. I've created most of the content on wikipedia relating to Velvet Chain, a very good band I enjoy, as well as adding info to topics I know a bit about.

Wikipedia matches my ideal of how infomation should be available. Anyone can get access to it, and everyone can contribute back. The system has a few problems where errors in obscure areas doesn't get fixed quickly, but I have found it to be a very good reference for expanding my general knowledge.

End post
writing time: 25 minutes

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