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Encyclopedia of Alabama – managed better than Wikipedia?

By Stanistani



I do a lot of Google searches, and for some odd reason, they often include search terms about Wikipedia.

Some only look at the first few results. I am not one of those people. Five pages of Google results into a recent search, I found The Encyclopedia of Alabama.

I muttered to myself, “Well dip me in chicken stew and take me to a fish fry!”

An online encyclopedia! What a concept!

It’s the sum of human knowledge about The Heart of Dixie!

I ran a few searches and poked around at its interface. Hey, an article about a prominent son of Huntsville…

Jimmy Donal Wales!

Claire M. Wilson, Auburn University wrote: Huntsville native Jimmy Wales (1966- ) is the founder of the Internet Web site Wikipedia, a groundbreaking open-forum online encyclopedia, is president of Wikia, Inc., and is chair of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Well, that’s an interesting article in many ways. Note that a real, named person wrote that article. It’s true that she swallowed the ‘Jimbo as founder’ myth, but reading further, Larry Sanger’s role is mentioned prominently, and some critical views of Wikipedia’s arc.

She also happens to be the Senior Editor at Encyclopedia of Alabama. What are her qualifications?

Claire Wilson’s LinkedIn wrote: I have been a science and humanities editor and writer for more than 20 years and have worked on a wide variety of publication types, ranging from textbooks, to four-color magazines, to online media. My particular specialty is editing and working with scholarly, academic, and professional writing to make it accessible to a general audience.

Hey, Wikimedia Foundation! Remember that search for Sue Gardner’s successor? *points upward*

“But can she understand Neutral Point of View?” the neckbeards mumble.

Ohhhh, kinda.

Here’s a

…continue reading Encyclopedia of Alabama – managed better than Wikipedia?

Royal Society Hosts Wikipedia Edit-athon To Add Information on Female Scientists


By Mancunium, with Yerucham Turing

Bustle, the somewhat controversial news website for women, wrote in its February 23rd edition:

No matter what you tell your college professors, we all know that Wikipedia is everyone’s go-to source for basic information about pretty much everything. So when women are massively under-represented on the site – both in terms of editors and in terms of subjects – it’s a big problem. Which is why Britain’s Royal Society, a 350-year-old institution dedicated to science (not that I got that off Wikipedia or anything), is working to fix this problem by hosting an edit-athon to bulk up entries for female scientists. […] The organizers also hope that simply by training more women in the ins and outs of Wikipedia editing that these women will feel more confident making edits and that, slowly, the gender imbalance among Wikipedia editors will become smaller. […]

On March 4, Wikipedia held its “Women in Science Wikipedia Edit-a-thon” at the Royal Society in London. According to the Guardian, “40 volunteers used the society’s resources to expand and create articles about women in science and engineering. ”

Bustle understands that a Wikipedia BLP can’t just present a few dry facts about a person’s professional career. For instance: “Marie Skłodowska-Curie won the Nobel Prize in Physics and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry”; that’s just boring, and we can find that kind of information anywhere. Wikipedia, in contrast, gives us all the facts we need to judge Mme Curie as a woman:

In 1911 it was revealed that in 1910–11 Curie had conducted an affair of about a year’s duration with physicist Paul Langevin, a former student of Pierre’s.[45] He was a married man who was estranged from his wife.[43] This resulted in a press scandal that was exploited by her academic

…continue reading Royal Society Hosts Wikipedia Edit-athon To Add Information on Female Scientists

Wikipedia donors feel entitled to more than a mug or a tote bag

By Gregory Kohs

This blog post is one of a five-part series of investigative reports by Gregory Kohs, documenting conflicts of interest among individuals and organizations who have financial ties with the Wikimedia Foundation.

The first report is The Thin Bright line The second report is Wikipedia donors feel entitled to more than a mug or a tote bag The third report is Business as Usual The fourth report is Wikipedia’s Friends With Benefits The fifth report is Look who’s visiting the WMF

Last week, Wikipediocracy revealed an investigative project, where our researchers are finding that many of Wikipedia’s biggest financial backers appear to be writing and altering content on the encyclopedia that will benefit themselves or their businesses. The revelation struck a chord with many readers. Our blog generated 22 comments. A Slashdot news thread about the investigation garnered 125 comments. Reporters from three different mainstream media publications inquired for more information about our discoveries. This practice of “conflict of interest” or “paid advocacy” editing has been opposed by most of Wikipedia’s leadership, especially with Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales applying pressure via his “Bright Line Rule” which prohibits paid or conflicted editors from ever directly editing their own Wikipedia articles.

Our first installment pulled back the curtain on just one such financial donor: the creators of the game, “Cards Against Humanity”, who as a marketing stunt donated $70,000 to the Wikimedia Foundation. Our research had shown that the #1 most-prolific editor of Wikipedia’s article about Cards Against Humanity was a creator of the game, and we expressed some suspicion that the #3 most-active editor was also closely aligned with the company. Through the magic of crowdsourcing, with all of the additional attention our blog brought to the Wikipedia article, it was not only confirmed more conclusively that the #3

…continue reading Wikipedia donors feel entitled to more than a mug or a tote bag