David Weinberger -- author of the magnificent Small Pieces Loosely Joined -- has published a great article anaylzing press-coverage of Wikipedia called "Why the media can't get Wikipedia right."
In the press-storm following on from Seigenthaler's damning of Wikipedia, there has been a stream of unfair criticism of Wikipedia. The press -- both mainstream and tech -- has hunted for ways to damn Wikipedia, nits to pick and indictments to lay, not to mention a healthy dollop of legal hysteria about the possibility that Wikipedia could be sued for libel.
Weinberger expertly dissects the media's claims about Wikipedia (a resource that I consult daily) and makes some shrewd guesses about why the press can't think straight about Wikipedia.
There were lots of little errors of tone. For example, Robert Lever, writing for the Agence France-Presse, said:
In an unusual bit of self-criticism, Wikipedia notes on its site that some complain about "a perceived lack of reliability, comprehensiveness, and authority" in the encyclopaedia.
"Unusual"? Wikipedia has been a continuous state of self-criticism that newspapers would do well to emulate. It has discussion pages for every article. It has handled inaccuracies not defensively but with the humble understanding that of course Wikipedia articles will have mistakes, so let's get on with the unending task of improving them. Wikipedia's ambitions are immodest, but Wikipedia is not.
And Daniel Terdiman wrote for C-NET:
The article stayed on Wikipedia – the free, open-access encyclopedia – for four months before Seigenthaler finally got the service's founder, Jimmy Wales, to agree to take it down.
"Finally"? Sounds like Jimmy Wikipedia Wales was resistant? Nah. I asked Jimmy about this. He was contacted by Seigenthaler once. Jimmy immediately removed the previous versions of the article so people couldn't come upon it by accident. Previous versions are not indexed by the search engines, but, Jimmy said, "We do that fairly often as a courtesy to people, if there's something disparaging to people in the article." Added Jimmy, Seigenthaler "didn't request that it be deleted. He seemed to be surprised that we were willing to do that."
Looking for a tiny PC that still has space for a gaming-quality video card? SFF PC Cases is a remarkably detailed spreadsheet listing dozens of models, complete with cost, dimensions, volume and even important build tips. The very smallest are not practical for powerful builds, but the critical “Maximum GPU length” field is right there […]
Enjoy Michael Mullany’s review of the Gartner Hype Cycle, with all the things tech predictors got right and all the things they got wrong: “we’re terrible at making predictions.” Lesson 6: Some technologies keep receding into the future There are some notable technologies that recur on the Hype Cycle and every time they appear they […]
Why we secretly love our cords. Tamara Warren: There’s a certain security in the cord. It’s the idea of connection, perhaps even dating back to our days in the womb. … A battery, no matter how sophisticated, is fleeting. When we have our cords with us, we are in constant pursuit of power, even when […]
The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of […]
Guaranteeing your privacy online goes way beyond checking the “Do Not Track” option in your browser’s settings. To ensure that your internet activity is totally hidden from Internet Service Providers, advertisers, and other prying eyes, take a look at Windscribe’s VPN protection. It usually costs $7.50 per month, but you can get a 3-year subscription […]
This project management bundle will help you get organized and learn how to lead a team to success. You can pay what you want for these five courses when you pick them up from the Boing Boing Store.To help you become an invaluable asset for your company, this bundle includes a curated collection of professional […]