June 25, 2005

Wikipedia Wars and New Tools to Use

Wikipedia is a cool concept where anyone can enter information about a subject, and thus a "people's reference" comes to life. Unfortunately (as the L.A. Times recently discovered), it also allows any nitwit with a cause to enter, delete, edit and overwrite information about any subject. This means that Joe Bigot can write an entry on the KKK and make it sound like a social club with a few naughty fringe elements who got carried away with the whole lynching thing. Likewise, Daisy Treehugger can pound out a screen on Halliburton and the price of Ozone and to the unaware, it carries the same credibility as actual fact.

I like Wikipedia a lot. I don't trust it at all, but I like it.

This morning I stumbled across this idea and ensuing project to create a tool to track the editing history of a Wikipedia entry:

I'd love to see a tool for animating Wikipedia history for a given entry or block of text (see Udell's screencast for an example). Bonus points for highlighting what changed in each version, and extra special bonus points for a way to scrub backwards and forwards through time.

Check out the link and be amazed as they've made some quick progress towards the goal. I'll have to dig a little deeper, but this sounds like just the thing to help decide if a Wikipedia subject has been hijacked for a cause or not.

Thanks to Dawn for the original link which led to the link where I saw another link to where I found this. Oh, and you get to see a video where Tom Cruise kills Oprah.

Posted by: Ted at 09:23 AM | category: Links
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