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back to article Google News serves up...Wikipedia links

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales likes to discuss the "free encyclopedia anyone can edit" as some sort of breaking news source. And apparently, Google agrees with him. As noticed by The New York Times, the world's largest search engine is now including Wikipedia links on Google News, billed as "a computer-generated news …

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WikiWikiWiki

While I find Wikipedia an invaluable resource for an overview of established technologies (eg, what features does this model of intel cpu have?; Dang I have forgotten yet again if it is the anode or cathode of the LED I connect to the positive rail?), information on contentious issues such as current (and usually historical) events are things I would /never/ use Wikipedia for!

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Definitive infromation source

The weird thing is kids these days have mostly had it hammerred into them not to use wikipedia as a source of information, but adults seem to be more and more willing to quote wikipedia as a definitive source becasue "I googled it and this is what I found".

just another set of potholes in the information superhighway.

Oh..can wikipedia really be considered web 2.0? I mean its been around for a couple of years, its users have a smug sense of self-stroking satisfaction, and it still hasn't tuned a buck..thats only 2 of the three criteria I use to pick webtard sites (no money but overvalued, users handstroking each other, destined to fall apart in 18 months)

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But why?

I agree that Google is boosting Wikipedia, but I really don't understand why it would and will remain sceptical until I see a reasonable explanation. After all, Wikipedia is a huge pile of AdSense-free and double-click free pages; it's difficult to see it as anything other than a thorn in google's side.

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Shouldn't it link to WikiNews instead?

One would think that Google News would instead link to stories from Wikinews, the news reporting site, rather than Wikipedia, the encyclopedic site.

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RW

Wikipedia: the Great Soviet Encyclopedia for the whole world?

Just wait until the corporations and power-mad bureaucrats bring Wikipedia under their control!

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Flame

New York Times -vs- Wikipedia

Of course the New York Times doesn't allow Wikipedia-style misinformation. They have their own roster of professional liars, and their own preferred lies. No public involvement needed.

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Coat

@LaeMi Qian

You've got it spot on. As a general overview for 'stuff' it's hard to beat Wikipedia but if you're talking specific and accurate information, forget it.

Still, Wikipedia does have a point. In London commuters get the choice of one morning and two evening free papers. They are, without exception, complete crap. The quality of journalism is non-existent, aimed at the lowest common denominator. Why should free Wikipedia be any better (or worse)?

Mine's the one with the FT in the pocket - because it's the only paper I've found that doesn't seem to be written by journotards.

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Regular news isn't authoritative either

Yeah, Wikipedia isn't authoritative, the accuracy is random, and the editorial process isn't as deep as the New York Times's, but think about the last time you were at a newsworthy event and compared the press reports with what you saw for yourself. If the news-reading public was lucky, the reporter actually had some understanding of the topic (that's often not true about technology or science or war or world politics, but reporters are often perceptive even if they're not knowledgeable.)

A big part of a news editor's job is to make sure the reporting covers stories that are interesting, where interesting is usually defined as "sells newspapers or attracts viewers/listeners". In some news sources, that means making sure that the story is accurate; in some it means making sure that the story matches the correct political slant or artistic preferences. We'll see if including Wikipedia gets Google enough interestingness.

Wikipedia articles are fairly good about accuracy, because they're usually written by people who care about the topic they're writing about and may even know something. Occasionally you get, say, news about elephants and Stephen Colbert, but even that's still somewhere on the accuracy scale between Fox News and the Weekly World News.

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