Feb 01 2011

Happy 10th Birthday, Wikipedia


When I was a lad, we were told “Go look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls”
Now, in turn, I can look up ‘Funk and Wagnalls’ in Wikipedia, which turns 10 this week.

Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopaedia. It contains 17 million articles (over 3.5 million in English), which have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site. Wikipedia was launched in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger and has become the largest and most popular general reference work on theInternet, having 365 million readers. (according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia )

A BBC documentary to commemorate the occasion asks the question ‘Can Wikipedia be trusted?’


Given the fact that anyone can edit an entry, **can** it be trusted? In practice, we all trust it all the time.
However, this 2009 version of the Alstonville entry possibly contained some slight inaccuracies about the naming of the town’s ‘Sporting Facilities and Parks’.


Oliver’s claim of sporting immortality was short lived. The page was revised by some spoilsport within 43 minutes.

And this, the very first entry about Caroline Chisholm, was posted in 2004 by an enthusiastic Alexandra, aged 11. It was the only information about ‘the convict’s friend’ in Wikipedia for three months. Now, there have been more than 500 revisions, which have perhaps made it a little more sophisticated.


What I Learnt On 1st February in other years

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