Kay
Topic Author
Posts: 1797
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 3:41 pm

How Does Wikipedia Work?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:05 am

An interesting encyclopedia, except that I just noticed that I can go in there and edit any defintion I like, like here for the word hypothesis, I can click on edit for each of the paragraphs and write anything.

Who wrote wikipedia, web users??? and nobody screwed the definitions just for fun? Do you think the original content is brought back automatically the next day when a moderator notices the rubbish typed by users?

Anyone can get their comments, whichever rubbish, immediately on the web page. usually in places like this, things need to be certified first, and then posted, not the posted first, and then deleted...

Weird.

Kay


Kay

[Edited 2005-12-01 16:13:09]
 
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ClassicLover
Posts: 3980
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

RE: How Does Wikipedia Work?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:08 am

They have people dedicated to checking the facts that people enter / change. Anything abusive, stupid etc etc is edited out.

Trent.
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
RichardPrice
Posts: 4474
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:12 am

RE: How Does Wikipedia Work?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:32 am

Quoting Kay (Thread starter):
Who wrote wikipedia, web users??? and nobody screwed the definitions just for fun? Do you think the original content is brought back automatically the next day when a moderator notices the rubbish typed by users?

Happens all the time. Anyone can post abuse, but equally anyone can revert a change back to the last known good version.

Wikipedia is more of a bunch of opinions than hard facts.
 
A346Dude
Posts: 1161
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:23 am

RE: How Does Wikipedia Work?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:42 am

Wikipedia is an interesting experiment. Clearly, the site is wide open to abuse, but I wonder how many people are so bored as to go around "vandalizing" entries just for fun. I'm sure it happens occasionally, but I suspect it would be cleaned up by someone (anyone at all, by the very nature of the site) fairly quickly.

In my experience reading entries on topics I know much about, I have rarely come across gross errors or inaccuracies. One thing I think they should make more clear, however, is that it is not a "real", edited encyclopedia. When I first came across the site, for example, I just assumed it was edited and unopen for changes by web browsers.

Anyways, I think it is a good tool to get to know the basics of a topic, but it really shouldn't be used as a sole source.

 twocents 

A346Dude
You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.
 
tristarenvy
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RE: How Does Wikipedia Work?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:42 am

Still a handy tool, I think. I have spent long periods of time just reading.
If you don't stand for SOMETHING, you'll fall for ANYTHING.
 
prosa
Posts: 5389
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2001 3:24 am

RE: How Does Wikipedia Work?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:42 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 2):
Wikipedia is more of a bunch of opinions than hard facts.

It's very useful for getting quick information on an unfamiliar topic, but is not a reliable source for serious research.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
mhodgson
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RE: How Does Wikipedia Work?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:44 am

I'm searching through it for various towns, and you can tell it is done by different people. There is no official structure, and some small towns have bigger descriptions than cities - it all depends on who writes the descriptions and what they know.

Its great for killing time though, you can find loads out from it!
No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
 
FlyingTexan
Posts: 2998
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2003 8:30 am

RE: How Does Wikipedia Work?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:45 am

Good Time Magazine Article on Wikipedia

A 'wiki' is a software technology. They have a group of about 1,000 volunteers who do the bulk of the work.



Quoting Kay (Thread starter):
nobody screwed the definitions just for fun?

Happened earlier this year with a definition of the Wright Amendment. Southwest Airlines was called a litigious company. The url of that edit came from AA’s headquarters in Fort Worth.
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
aloges
Posts: 14842
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:38 am

RE: How Does Wikipedia Work?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:28 am

Quoting Kay (Thread starter):
Who wrote wikipedia, web users???

Yes.

Quoting Kay (Thread starter):
and nobody screwed the definitions just for fun?

It happens all the time, it's vandalism. Here's an example: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?...:Contributions&target=84.12.61.228 Just click on "diff" to see what that troll added to various articles.

Quoting Kay (Thread starter):
Do you think the original content is brought back automatically the next day when a moderator notices the rubbish typed by users?

All versions of all articles are saved so any malicious change can easily be reverted.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
Kay
Topic Author
Posts: 1797
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 3:41 pm

RE: How Does Wikipedia Work?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 2:34 am

From FlyingTexan's article (thanks for that!):

"An obscenity randomly inserted on Wikipedia is removed in 1.7 min., on average. Vandals might as well be spray-painting walls with disappearing ink."


I'm impressed!!! Great concept indeed. As others have said, I know it's reliability is limited, but I must yet find a page about a topic I know, that surprised me with nonsense. It's been very effective and reliable till now.

Quoting Aloges (Reply 8):
Just click on "diff" to see what that troll added to various articles.

The first page I tried was blocked my company's internet filter. I guess that makes the point!  bigthumbsup 


Kay
 
TheSonntag
Posts: 4328
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RE: How Does Wikipedia Work?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 2:50 am

Wikipedia is great, and, most surprisingly, it works!!!

For example, the German edition has great facts about the Autobahn, some people then went and translated these information into the English version.

The German and English Wikipedia are really good, as they are the two biggest ones. The Danish one, for example, isn't nearly as good, not very surprising considering that there are 100million people that speak German and 5-6 million that speak Danish.

There are some areas, however, where the system fails. Usually political articles turn into Edit-wars, even though this should be avoided. For example, articles over Adolf Hitler caused some controversies in the German Wikipedia, as some right wing idiots claimed wrong facts, only to be corrected by left-wing idiots. This article is locked now by moderators. It is important to keep in mind that the NPOV (neutral point of view) isn't always easy to achieve. But it works most of the time, nevertheless!

Another problem of Wikipedia should be noted, however. Common myths that everybody believes are likely to be written into Wikipedia, even it they are not true.

But this doesn't change the fact that many articles are VERY GOOD, in fact. Some are much better than what I would have expected.
 
MD-90
Posts: 7835
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2000 12:45 pm

RE: How Does Wikipedia Work?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 3:12 am

And the founder is one of those typical bright, productive people from Huntsville, Alabama.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/garris3.html

Perhaps nothing right now is so astonishing as a demonstration of the wonders of spontaneous order as that online encyclopedia, Wikipedia. For those of you don't know, Wikipedia is the largest collection of encyclopedia articles in the world, which are written completely by volunteers. Anyone can edit the articles, anyone can write a new one. It now boasts more than 810,000 articles in English, as well as hundreds of thousands more in dozens of other languages. Each article was written, edited and rewritten by whoever in the world decided to contribute. The division of labor, the capacity of people for consensus building and totally voluntary cooperation, and the general goodness of most people to respect each other's boundaries are on display at this one site, and the entire world is better informed as a result.

Wikipedia is a microcosm of a phenomenon online that many statists would have denied was possible before it came about. Online we see millions of times more information than any of us has the capacity to read in our lifetimes – and it's all free to anyone who wants it. Interestingly enough, people will put effort into sharing information with their fellow man. The good side of humanity – the charity that we libertarians are so used to insisting exists and doesn't need government to thrive – is right there. It is online, for everyone to behold.
 
sean1234
Posts: 401
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2000 2:52 pm

RE: How Does Wikipedia Work?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 4:08 am

The moderators seem to be on top of things. I created an entry for my personal biography but it was deleted in about five minutes because I lacked "notoriety."
 
Kay
Topic Author
Posts: 1797
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 3:41 pm

RE: How Does Wikipedia Work?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:26 pm

Quoting Sean1234 (Reply 12):
The moderators seem to be on top of things. I created an entry for my personal biography but it was deleted in about five minutes because I lacked "notoriety."

 rotfl   rotfl   rotfl 
 
FlyingTexan
Posts: 2998
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2003 8:30 am

RE: How Does Wikipedia Work?

Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:48 am

Here is the October 19, 2005 USA Today story about the Wrong Amendment fight on Wikipedia.
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
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RE: How Does Wikipedia Work?

Sun Dec 04, 2005 5:42 am

Quoting Sean1234 (Reply 12):
The moderators seem to be on top of things. I created an entry for my personal biography but it was deleted in about five minutes because I lacked "notoriety."

hmm, how notorious do you need to be to not get deleted then? Big grin

Wikipedia is a great resource. While you should never use it as your sole source of serious information it can provide an excellent starting point.
And most of the information (especially on older, larger, articles) is surprisingly accurate and complete.
I wish I were flying
 
FlyingTexan
Posts: 2998
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2003 8:30 am

RE: How Does Wikipedia Work?

Tue Dec 06, 2005 7:44 am

From AP - Online Encyclopedia Tightens Rules

SAN FRANCISCO - Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that allows anyone to contribute articles, is tightening its rules for submitting entries following the disclosure that it ran a piece falsely implicating a man in the Kennedy assassinations.

Wikipedia will now require users to register before they can create articles, Jimmy Wales, founder of the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Web site, said Monday.
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
DrDeke
Posts: 805
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 7:13 am

RE: How Does Wikipedia Work?

Tue Dec 06, 2005 1:03 pm

I once wrote a Wikipedia article about a disgusting food item called a Bosco Stick, of which I buy far too many from our company cafeteria:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosco_Sticks

I think it's funny that an article that ridiculous has evidently gained acceptance there. I mean, I guess there is really no reason for it not to be there, but it just strikes me as damn funny.

-DrDeke
If you don't want it known, don't say it on a phone.

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