Wikipedia blinks

Wikipedia blinks: (From the Financial Times) “Wikipedia is to introduce a more traditional fixed version of its contents in an effort to increase its reliability.”


Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia’s founder, said a new “stable” version of the reference would be added to the site and audited to ensure its accuracy.

Not only does this look like it’s a response to recent publicity regarding practices related to Wikipedia entries, it can also be interpreted as a response to the co-founder of Wikipedia (who Wales claims is not a co-founder), Larry Sanger’s launch of a more authoritative user-contributed reference.

In a related development, Wales told the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) that in January, Wikipedia will have a ten minute delay on changes made to “the most trafficked pages.”

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Wikipedia alternative aims to be ‘PBS of the Web’

Wikipedia alternative aims to be ‘PBS of the Web’:


“The vision of the Digital Universe is to essentially provide an ad-free alternative to the likes of AOL and Yahoo on the Internet,” said Firmage. “Instead of building it through Web robots, we’re building it through a web of experts at hundreds of institutions throughout the world.”

“By providing a service they’re calling “the PBS of the Web,” the Digital Universe team hopes to create a new era of free and open access to wide swaths of information on virtually any topic.”

They had me right until the part where they said “PBS of the web.” There is a PBS of the web. There’s also a UPS of the web, for that matter. And a UBS. While they’re working on their alternative to Wikipedia, I hope they work on an alternative to the description line, “PBS of the web.”

On a related note, Rogers Cadenhead adroitly skewers Wikipedia‘s founder (or “co-founder”) Jimmy Wales for his efforts to write-out of Wikipedia’s history, Larry Sanger, who, according to Wales, was not a co-founder of Wikipedia, but is unquestionably one of the co-founders of Digital Universe.

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Yes, Virginia, there is a Web 2.0

Yes, Virginia, there is a Web 2.0: I got this email from a young rexblog reader this morning, and I thought I should share it, knowing there are lots of children out there who this year are wondering the same thing:

Dear Rexblog:

I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Web 2.0.
Papa says, ‘If you see it on the rexblog, it’s so.’
Please tell me the truth; is there a Web 2.0?


Here is my response:

Dear Virginia,

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measure by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Web 2.0. Geez, Virginia, it even has A Working Group. Web 2.0 exists certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Google Maps mashups! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias (or Chicagos, for that matter). There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Web 2.0! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire Tim O’Reilly to come over to your house and explain Web 2.0 to you, but even if Tim O’Reilly showed up and you didn’t understand what the heck he was talking about, what would that prove? So what if nobody can actually explain Web 2.0 without using techno babble and business buzzwords? That is no sign that there is no Web 2.0. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see — and that’s why they develop buzzwords. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest man that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Web 2.0! Thank Asynchronous JavaScript and XML! Web 2.0 lives, and Web 2.0 lives forever, or at least until Web 3.0. A thousand years from now, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, Web 2.0 (or, Web 2,000.0) will continue to make glad the heart of children who have visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads.

Your pal,


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