16 December 2005

Wikipedia Update!

CNN.com has a short piece about an article in the journal Nature, which concluded Wikipedia's accuracy is on par with Encyclopedia Britannica, at least for scientific articles.

This is good news (and not surprising)… but the part that made me laugh out loud was this line:
Encyclopedia Britannica officials declined to comment on the findings
because they haven't seen the data.

I think it's hilarious, and really illustrates the genuine strength of Wikipedia. Even on an issue that directly affects Britannica (i.e. the comparable quality of it's prime competitor), the "Britannica officials" haven't figured out how to review the data in a timely manner… while the Wikipedia founder (there are no "Wikipedia Officials," of course!) is all over it!

How much longer will Britannica be able to exist? What do they really bring to the table? Not much, if you ask me...

Just for chuckles, check out the "Why Try Britannica Online" page, where Britannica officials try to make the case for giving them $70/year. Reasons include:
  • More Comprehensive - over 120,000 articles! (but Wikipedia has 687,619!)
  • Trustworth Results (see afore mentioned Nature journal)
  • Less time searching (as if Wikipedia is hard to search?)
  • Help for students (um, this is unique?)

Looks to me like the Britannica Officials are making buggy whips...

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