The Longest Now


WP critics deemed ‘boring’; competition for Wikinews
Thursday December 23rd 2004, 9:40 am
Filed under: %a la mod

For those of you who can’t wait for the next Quarto to come out, here is a quick rundown of some media highlights from December:

Forbes had one of their encyclopedia editors (they manage American
Heritage these days) half-heartedly compare WP to Britannica Online :
checking Haydn, Millard Fillmore, warblers, King James II.

…Frederick
Allen, Managing Editor of American Heritage admitted, ‘it looks as if
Wikipedia’s gotten a lot better, more thorough and more
accurate.’…Even the Wikipedia’s James II of Britain article beat
Britannica in size, reach and outside references…

(For those of you keeping score at home, it is James II of “England”,
if you please.)

Meanwhile, Tim Bray sat down and wrote a delightfully thoughtful piece
on the emerging properties of  Wikipedia.

…the
proposition that the Wikipedia is a misguided waste of time is boring.
Something poorly-understood is happening here, and the observed results
are immensely better than intuition from first principles would
suggest. This is interesting; it seems obvious to me that there are
lessons to learn here, about reference publishing in particular and
knowledge husbandry in general.

And journalists continue to get heated up about collaborative journalism:

Mark Glaser wrote a passionate piece on the collaborative news org he
wants to work for, almost a community Wikiproject (see also his earlier notes on Wiki and journalism).  Then Mitch Ratcliffe spun a long editorial on Wikinews itself

And now some local citizen journalism enterprises are starting to take shape:
from the fully-realized Baristanet, “serving Montclair, Glen Ridge, and Bloomfield, NJ”, and the entire town of Greensboro, NC…  to Pegasus News,
“launching in Dallas in late 2005, but with a cool blog up now,” which
plans to eventually expand to “every major U.S. city with a monopoly
newspaper”… to Dan Gillmor’s “jumping out of a window, and building a
parachute in midair” departure from the SJ Merc to start his own venture that enables and illustrates the kind of grassroots journalism he has been writing about.
 
 ========

Finally, a question for the style gurus: is it “Wikipedia” or “the Wikipedia”?
Someone had better start thinking about this, fast. A quick score sheet from recent pubs:

– Frederick Allen, American Heritage editor  : “Wikipedia”
– Matt Rand, /Forbes/ writer : “the Wikipedia”
– Mitch Ratcliffe, veteran journalist : “Wikipedia”
– Robert McHenry, Former /Britannica/ editor  : [unintelligible]
– Tim Bray, Encyclophile : “the Wikipedia”
– Val Souza, Express Computer columnist, India : “the Wikipedia”
– Dr. ‘Alfaso’ Gizmo, semi-anonymous journalist : [frothing, unintelligible]
– Wired Magazine, various writers : “Wikipedia”


1 Comment so far
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This may be too late, but I think: y’all (or we, I guess) must decide of Wikipedia is a name or or if it’s a noun. If former, “the” is a little redundant. If it’s not a name but a noun, then “the” will help to clarify that there is one particular object that is being referenced. But I don’t know if I’m right with this, I can come up with all sorts of exceptions and pseudoexceptions…

Comment by Tuyen 01.08.05 @ 4:33 am



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