Tag: Wikipedia

Is Wikipedia dying? Thoughts from an admin and former contributor

Is Wikipedia dying? Thoughts from an admin and former contributor

Internet
Wikipedia founder Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales recently bemoaned the current state of the site -- specifically, he said that the number of contributors is decreasing at a rapid rate. According to an Associated Press article, Wales stated at the most recent Wikipedia conference in Haifa, Israel, "We are not replenishing our ranks. It is not a crisis, but I consider it to be important." Wales cited Wikipedia's Byzantine editorial guidelines and the site's demographic challenges -- the core group of geeky men in the 20s apparently discover women eventually -- as the main reasons for the attrition. To be honest, I can't even remember the reason why I stopped actively contributing to the project. But there was a time when my involvement with Wikipedia bordered on obsession. I made my first edit ju...
Interesting stuff I now know thanks to Wikipedia (Vol. 4)

Interesting stuff I now know thanks to Wikipedia (Vol. 4)

Listcruft
For those new to this series, the premise of this is simple.  I just use the Random Article link on Wikipedia (happy 10th anniversary!) and see if anything good comes up.  More often than not, nothing does.  Here we go! American actress Louan Gideon, whose most notable work was on the Nickelodeon series The Secret World of Alex Mack, has had a host of other memorable roles such as Woman, Grieving Woman, Saleswoman, and Hostess.  But I remember her best from the Seinfeld episode "The Millennium", when she played the speed-dial obsessed stepmother Mrs Hamilton. The Stock Exchange Luncheon Club was a members-only dining club situated on the seventh floor of the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan.  It opened in 1898 and closed in 2006.  They admitted their first African-American membe
John Shuster, internet darling of the day

John Shuster, internet darling of the day

Sports
Even if you're not a huge fan of curling, you're probably familiar by now with John Shuster's underwhelming performance as captain of the U.S. team at this year's Winter Olympics.  Through four matches, Shuster and the boys have zero wins.  But what makes this year's futility especially painful is Shuster's propensity for coming up short at crucial moments.  Three matches have been lost because he couldn't make his final stone count. Well the mob has spoken and they're not happy.  In addition to the deluge of anti-Shuster Tweets, the captain's Wikipedia entry has undergone some creative editing.  Luckily it's all saved in the article history.  Here are a few choice ones just from today (in addition to the edits that show him as deceased): A personal tidbit - "Shuster failed four tim
Interesting stuff I now know thanks to Wikipedia (Vol. 3)

Interesting stuff I now know thanks to Wikipedia (Vol. 3)

Listcruft
As with the first two entries, the premise of this is simple.  I just used the Random Article link on Wikipedia and saw if anything good came up.  (a lot of it is quite useless) The town of Britton, Michigan is named after storekeeper John Britton, who in 1888 paid $500 to rename the town of Balch after himself. There is a variant of Scrabble called Clabbers, whose rules are the same except for one: The letters used must form anagrams of acceptable words. The Grammy Award for Best Gospel Vocal Performance, Female was only given out from 1984 through 1990.  Amy Grant won it four times. The 1968 Cannes Film Festival ended early, without awarding any prizes, due to a French general strike in May. I can't believe I didn't know this, but Adolf Hitler had a sister, Paula Hitler.  She
Interesting stuff I now know thanks to Wikipedia (Vol. 2)

Interesting stuff I now know thanks to Wikipedia (Vol. 2)

Listcruft
The Japanese name for Japan, 日本, can be pronounced either Nihon or Nippon. There are five entries thus far in the Walter the Farting Dog series of children's books. Thibaw Min was the last king of Burma (aka Myanmar). After the British completed their conquest of Burma in 1885, Thibaw and his family were exiled to India. The Netherlands won two gold medals at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona - one in the Women's 800m and one in Equestrian Jumping Team competition. New York Airways became the first scheduled helicopter carrier in the United States and the first passenger helicopter carrier in the world when it commenced passenger operations on July 9, 1953. It offered scheduled service from atop the Pan Am Building in Midtown Manhattan (New York City) to other airports in th
Interesting stuff I now know thanks to Wikipedia (Vol. 1)

Interesting stuff I now know thanks to Wikipedia (Vol. 1)

Listcruft
Sherlock Holmes has an older brother, and his name is Mycroft. At 727 feet, the Renaissance Center is the tallest building in Michigan (the Empire State Building, by comparison, is 1,250 feet). Geraldine Doyle is the model for the iconic WWII "We Can Do It!" poster, but didn't even know it until 1984. Gargoyle originates from the French word gargouille, originally "throat" or "gullet". California currently has 53 congressional districts in the US House of Representatives, the most in the country. Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming each have one. Washington D.C. has one non-voting delegation. The Persian word for snow is rendered in English as barf, and is a product line of soaps in Iran.
Let’s make a band!

Let’s make a band!

Internet
Ever notice how most posts that spread internet memes usually start with a proclamation by the author that they don't usually do memes? Well not me. But seriously, I usually don't spread memes. I like this recent one I found on Thom's site, however, so I'll contribute. The Rules 1. Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random. The first article title on the page is the name of your band. 2. Go to http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3. The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album (you might have to click new random quotes at the bottom). 3. Go to http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/. The third picture, no matter what it is, is your album cover. You then take the pic and add your band name and the album title to it, then post your...
Are you addicted to the Internet?

Are you addicted to the Internet?

Funny Stuff, Listcruft
There is no shortage of press and academic research covering the topic of so-called Internet Addiction. Of course, the first reaction of any true addict is "not me!" This denial is usually followed by surprise, realization, and then descent into an all-too familiar shame spiral. In the interest of science and self-improvement I've spent the last few weeks keeping a meticulous log of my daily activities, in order to better understand just how the Internet fits into my life. The results, needless to say, confirm that I totally have this thing under control. Just take a look at last Thursday's log (time spent is total throughout the day, not consecutive): 45 minutes spent updating my Wikipedia watchlist to make sure some snot-nosed high school punk hasn't vandalized one of my favor...