Monday, August 13, 2007

Where Wikipedia works

Where Wikipedia works | Technology | Guardian Unlimited: "One of the areas where it stands out is in providing episode guides to popular TV series such as Friends, House and The Simpsons. How many encyclopedias have a 1,400 word entry devoted to Homer's Duff Beer? When it's a labour of love, it gets done."

A good article about Wikipedia, written in a 'this is what it's useful for, non-hysterical' sorta way... but blimey, that closing paragraph doesn't half pain the picture of a trivial geeks' paradise! Personally, I think Wikipedia is good for getting a flavour of a subject, but if one of the areas where it really stands out is for episode guides then the alarm bells ring loud an' clear about how far its information can be trusted and how much faith we have to put in the benevolent nerds (sorry any non-nerdy Wikipedians... but... really... the sun is shining, you're not getting paid for it... ermmm... it is a smidge nerdy) who compile and tussle over its minutiae. Experts on trivia do not experts make overall. Good, bad, accurate, inaccurate. Wikipedia is a zeitgeist taster of knowledge, but for academic purposes should it really ever be treated a definitive source if it's simply not meant to be definitive??

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