Tuesday, July 03, 2007

What Wikipedia is all about

I'm a big fan of Wikipedia, the on-line encyclopedia. But while I sort of understand how it works, this article from the New York Times (via MediaChannel.org) has a lot of background that I've never heard before.

You'll meet Jimmy Wales, the founder, as well as a lot of the folks who make it all work.

Here's an example:
Natalie Martin, a 23-year-old history major at Antioch College in Ohio, was granted admin status last winter after contributing to the site for about nine months. She thought at one point in her life that she wanted to be a journalist, she said, “but then I decided that my only real interest in newspapers is fixing all the comma mistakes.” Martin works at the circulation desk of a local library — a job that often leaves her attention less than fully engaged, in which case she logs onto Wikipedia and looks for errors. Her usual M.O. is to check the “recent changes” page, a running log of the most recent edits made anywhere on the site, no matter how large or small. It gives you some sense of the project’s scale to learn that the roughly 250 most recent changes to the English-language Wikipedia were made in the last 60 seconds.
If you want to know a lot more about Wikipedia and how it works, give it a read.

Here's the link.

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