24 July 2006

Wikipedia Phone Home

I'm a big fan of Wikipedia; I use it several times a day. But that does not mean I am blind to its manifest (and manifold) faults. It does mean that I want it to get better.

So I was particularly interested to read about the latest kerfuffle involving an entry that was edited inappropriately and the battles to get it rectified, because it involved Bernard Haisch, who is the president of the Digital Universe Foundation. Digital Universe is a major project that, among other things, will offer a test of whether it is possible to use wikis to organise knowledge in such a way as to enjoy all or most of Wikipedia's advantages without its most egregious disadvantages.

Haisch's measured complaint is well worth reading. But perhaps even more interesting is Larry Sanger's comments on the incident. As the co-founder and "chief organiser" of Wikipedia from 2000 to 2002, Sanger is uniquely well-placed to draw lessons from the saga. Now might be a good time for Wikipedia to phone home and take cognisance of Sanger's views.


Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more. Although actually, an unbroken Wikipedia wouldn't inspire gems like this one...

Glyn Moody said...

I don't get it: if all this information was sourced from Wikipedia, surely it's true (apart from the misspelling of Euclidean, presumably deliberate)?