Tag Archives: wikipedia

AFP: Wikipedia losing editors, study says

“Wikipedia, one of the world’s biggest websites, is losing many of its English-language editors, crippling its ability to keep pace with its mission as a source of knowledge online, a study says. The study led by Aaron Halfaker of the University of Minnesota found that the number of “collaborators” or volunteer editors has been on the decline from around 56,000 in 2007 to some 35,000 at the end of 2012.

The researchers said there are a number of reasons, including the rise of automated programs or “bots,” but also noted that some potential contributors are being discouraged by Wikipedia’s structure.”

via AFP

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15 million free media files on Wikimedia Commons

“On December 4, 2012, Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, hit the 15 million media file milestone. The 15 millionth picture depicts Tropical Depression Seventeen-W, a tropical cyclone that developed during the 1996 Pacific typhoon season, and was created by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The public domain image was uploaded by User:Supportstorm, who has participated on Wikimedia projects since 2009. Supportstorm mainly contributes to Wikimedia Commons and English Wikipedia, specialising in tropical cyclones.”

via Wikimedia blog

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Wikipedia founder’s solution to inaccurate entries: ‘send us an email’

“Despite recent publicity about businesses and high-profile individuals attempting to edit their Wikipedia entries to show themselves in a better light, Mr Wales told The Telegraph that the problem of inaccurate or dishonest editing was “a dull roar in the background about a problem that I don’t think is getting worse”. Although he conceded it is “hard to tell” the extent of the issue, he said he welcomed negative publicity for inaccurate entries. “We’ve greeted investigations into our accuracy; I want to be able to say to companies ‘if you do this you will get bad press. It doesn’t make us look good but it makes you look even worse’.”

via Telegraph

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Levesons Wikipedia moment: how internet research on The Independents history left him red-faced

“Lord Justice Leveson forgot one of the elementary rules of journalism when he compiled the section of his report that covered the history of this newspaper. Journalism students are taught at college that when researching on the internet, they should not assume that the first site they come to is reliable.In his report the judge warned that inaccuracy in newspapers, “caused significant concern.” He also claimed that “The Independent was founded in 1986 by the journalists Andreas Whittam Smith, Stephen Glover and Brett Straub…”

via The Independent

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JSTOR provides free access to Wikipedia editors via pilot program

“One of the challenges facing the volunteer editors of Wikipedia is finding reliable sources to use as reference material — in our last editor survey, 39 percent named this as one of the largest problems hindering their contributions. The need was especially pronounced among our most active volunteers, who make hundreds or thousands of edits per month. To address this issue, the Wikimedia Foundation is collaborating with JSTOR, a service of the not-for-profit organization ITHAKA, to provide 100 of the most active Wikipedia editors with free access to the complete archive collections on JSTOR, including more than 1,600 academic journals, primary source documents and other works. The authors who will receive accounts have collectively written more than 100,000 Wikipedia articles to date. Access to JSTOR, which is one of the most popular sources on English Wikipedia, will allow these editors to further fill in the gaps in the sum of all human knowledge.”

via Wikimedia blog

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Is Wikipedia going commercial?

“When it began 11 years ago, Wikipedia represented utopian ideals: power dispersed more evenly than any democracy, participation open to anyone and work done solely for the promotion of knowledge. But utopian ideals often become diluted when put into practice on a large scale and inevitably fail. Today, to the dismay of many die-hard Wikipedians — the tenacious, voluntary editors who are the site’s backbone — the site also attracts profit-seeking writers. One such writer is Soraya Field Fiorio, a 27-year-old entertainment-relations consultant who has a sideline in writing commissioned Wikipedia articles for musicians and writers. “Just like when I write press releases, clients say, ‘I want this. I don’t want that.’ So it’s really part of a promotional package,” she said. She charges $30 an hour to edit an existing article, and will write a page from scratch for around $250. It’s not surprising that musicians, writers, artists or anyone else seeking a spot in the public eye will pay for the service: The website is often the No. 1  hit on Google, and the articles can function as the key component of a publicity strategy.”

via Salon.com

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New OCLC Webinar – “Wikipedia and Libraries: What’s the Connection?”

In this webinar, OCLC Research Wikipedian in Residence Max Klein discussed what’s happened between Wikipedia and libraries in the past and what it means for the future. In addition, he explained the connection between Wikipedia and libraries, discussed the variety of Wikipedia in Residence positions and the opportunities for libraries working with Wikipedia, as well as described how OCLC Research is working to integrate Authority Control into Wikipedia. He also presented “Behind the Secret Door: Tips and Tricks for Librarians using Wikipedia.”

via OCLC

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A Simple Trick to Understand Complex Wikipedia Entries

“Like it or not, Wikipedia has evolved into a major go-to destination for those in search of knowledge. Whether it’s to swot up on the films of Laurel & Hardy, or discover what E=MC2 really means, Wikipedia has you covered on most fronts. But what about topics that go way over your head? Or what if they simply go into too much depth, or assume a little too much prior knowledge for your liking? That’s where Simple English Wikipedia comes in.”

via The Next Web

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MIT Economist: Here’s How Copyright Laws Impoverish Wikipedia

“Unless you’re reppin’ the MPAA, you probably know that the modern copyright regime doesn’t work. You don’t have to believe in radical copyleftism — or even progressivism — to understand this. But it’s hard to know how the current body of law governing copyright and intellectual property affects individual works, simply because of the way communication, and ideas in general, work. One thing connects to another, and pulling apart the causes from the effects requires an Aristotle-like familiarity with contemporary culture.

But one MIT economist, who recently presented his work recently at Wikimania, has found a way to test how the copyright law affects one online community — Wikipedia — and how digitized, public domain works dramatically affect the quality of knowledge”

via The Atlantic

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WikiWars turns Wikipedia searches into a competitive sport

“Looking for something to do this weekend? Consider a game of WikiWars. The Gregory Brothers, a comedy troupe famous for creating viral online videos, has just released a new video that introduces the world to WikiWars, the high-stakes game of competitive Wikipedia searching. The premise of the game is fairly simple; Players are given a start word and an end word. Both players begin on the start word’s Wikipedia page, and must get to the end word’s Wikipedia page by clicking on highlighted links on the various pages. Whoever gets to the end page first, wins.

via LA Times

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