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Archive for December 4th, 2005

Typepad

I know Typepad has been experiencing problems, but when checking my statistics I have had 1000 page hits evaporate this evening. I went from 16,400 to 15,400 in an instant. Was this some sort of Daylight Savings for page views?

Update: No sooner did I send an inquiry my old number returned. Strange.

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WikiProblems

The Times Magazine has an article on the accuracy issues of Wikipedia.

ACCORDING to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, John Seigenthaler Sr. is 78 years old and the former editor of The Tennessean in Nashville. But is that information, or anything else in Mr. Seigenthaler’s biography, true?

The question arises because Mr. Seigenthaler recently read about himself on Wikipedia and was shocked to learn that he "was thought to have been directly involved in the Kennedy assassinations of both John and his brother Bobby."

"Nothing was ever proven," the biography added.

Mr. Seigenthaler discovered that the false information had been on the site for several months and that an unknown number of people had read it, and possibly posted it on or linked it to other sites.

If any assassination was going on, Mr. Seigenthaler (who is 78 and did edit The Tennessean) wrote last week in an op-ed article in USA Today, it was of his character.

The case triggered extensive debate on the Internet over the value and reliability of Wikipedia, and more broadly, over the nature of online information.

Wikipedia is a kind of collective brain, a repository of knowledge, maintained on servers in various countries and built by anyone in the world with a computer and an Internet connection who wants to share knowledge about a subject. Literally hundreds of thousands of people have written Wikipedia entries.

Mistakes are expected to be caught and corrected by later contributors and users.

The whole nonprofit enterprise began in January 2001, the brainchild of Jimmy Wales, 39, a former futures and options trader who lives in St. Petersburg, Fla. He said he had hoped to advance the promise of the Internet as a place for sharing information.

It has, by most measures, been a spectacular success. Wikipedia is now the biggest encyclopedia in the history of the world. As of Friday, it was receiving 2.5 billion page views a month, and offering at least 1,000 articles in 82 languages. The number of articles, already close to two million, is growing by 7 percent a month. And Mr. Wales said that traffic doubles every four months.

Still, the question of Wikipedia, as of so much of what you find online, is: Can you trust it?

By and large, my answer is "yes." However, anything as open and huge as Wikipedia is bound to have a certain number of vandals who post garbage. As the article points out, the project is so overwhelmingly gigantic you cannot have adequate oversight. I love Wikipedia for the fast answers but it seems to me that they should begin some sort of registration mechanism so that your right to contribute is revoked if you cause problems. Allowing people to contribute anonymously at this level only invites trouble.

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On their shoulders, I mean. Grow up.

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Blog Rolling

Four new blogs will appear in my blogroll, and none are what you might typically find on a conservative blogger’s sidebar. However, my criteria has evolved from a typical incestuous list of people who parrot each other to something quite different: I am interested in what these people have to say. I find each engaging and earnestly biased in their own ways. They all have one thing in common, aside from the fact that their writing provokes, amuses, and otherwise interests me. Read them to find out. They are, in no particular order:
Blogrolling has always been been a bit of an enigma to me. I mean, do these people with blog rolls a mile long really read all of them? If so, how do they eat? My brother in arms Andrew Clem has a roll that I am certain he reads often. Andrew and I began to correspond about baseball years ago (we’ve even had cheese steak at a Phillies game this past opening day) and I enjoy his thoughts immensely. He also fills in the gaps for me by blogging about things I meant to write about but didn’t, especially baseball.
One thing a blog should have is commentary. People who mail it in every day and link to Instapundit and Michelle Malkin drive me nuts. Malkin, by the way, at least tells you whats on her mind. Glenn Reynolds has become Drudge in a way- he either has a staff patrolling the ‘net or he gets hundreds of emails a day and if you are lucky you’ll get posted. But interesting commentary? Bah. At least he posts his column though.
Being de- bloggrolled is the Bull Moose Republicans. Last post: 10/26. The guy has either lost his inspiration, got a high maintenance girlfriend, or both. This is my 2nd time with this site. It is a fantastic idea, but like all good ideas it means nothing if you don’t follow up.
Everything else in my "blog" category I read regularly. I know there are ways to get feeds and updates efficiently but for now I surf from my IE’s bookmark list. When I get the time I’ll install a newsreader or whatever these people have now. It has been just about a year since I began this project, and it has kept me sane. I’ll admit to whoring myself slightly for traffic, but by and large I’d do this anonymously for the cathartic value.
Today was the first snowfall here in Westchester County, so I will leave you with a Summer image taken from the front door of a beautiful property I have listed for sale.
27_marsh_hill_dr_004_1

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