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April 19, 2005



It tells us that there are nerds that are eager to show off? Heh heh. "FIRST WIKIPEDIA UPDATE LOL"


Technically speaking, it did exist, under the title [[Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger]]. But of course, you're right on the larger point -- the article's had more than 1,000 edits since being "moved" to its new title.

Dennis G. Jerz

Shortly after Benedict XVI was announced, I googled the name... Google News turned up meaningful results, but the main search results weren't returning anything meaningful.

I googled again a few hours later, and while the main search results hadn't changed, there were many more Google ads down the right side of the page.

I've posted screen caps, if you're curious.

I just tried again -- Google is still pointing to pages that are purely speculative.

I'll echo what Michael said -- Ratzinger was a well-known church figure, and a front-runner for the papacy, so his biography would have already been fairly extensive.

Jeremy Pepper

What I wonder is if the Wikipedia updates were done on company time, at the persons' offices and using the office fat pipes.

That is the real telling tale, and why I expect to see more fired for blogging, fired for Wiki'ing in the future.

Usher Lieberman

Maybe the best way to do PR is for corporate types to encourage their employees to be seen as benefitting the online community and giving them the time during the day to contribute to blogging and wiki projects. That way, online community members associate their good deeds with the company they work for, everything is about branding.

Stephen Downes

For the few seconds between the announcement that Ratzinger was named pope, and the announcement of his choice of name, the Wikipedia entry was titled Pope Joseph... I just happened to catch it on the fly (it was changed before I could update it)...

Brian Slesinsky

Lots of vandalism going on. At this moment, the article says that he's 8 years old and "in fact, he was Hitler himself".

I'm sure it will be fixed (I didn't bother), but why do we have to see the vandalism while it's happening? Edits should be proposed and rejected behind the scenes.

Jeremy Dunck

Were that the case, who would be the ones to see and approve or reject these edits "behind the scenes"?

Steve Wilhelm

I did a quick search of some of sentences from the Wikipedia page on Google News and found two instances of material copied directly from other copyrighted works.

I have added links to the original works on the Pope's Wikipedia page. We will see if they will be considered "vandalism" and removed.

Jack Krupansky

Wikis certainly are cool and encourage community collaboration, but only up to a point. The current technology does not allow for alternative views, except to the extent that the overseers and community tolerate the expression of alternative views within the single text of an article. There's simply no technical provision for writing a complete alternative to an article, but leaving the current article intact out of respect for an alternative point of view.

Apparently, the Wiki technology (and Wikipedia in particular) was designed only for very cohesive communities.

In practice, there is a fair amount of toleration, but that may be illusary since anybody who feels that "the community" has a bias against them may tend to refrain from expressing views that may be quashed or watered down in "the community editing process".

-- Jack Krupansky

Ryan Sholin

Google might not have been turning anything up, but a Technorati search Tuesday at around 3pm Pacific turned up a load of blogs already all over Benedict XVI for better or worse. Lots of real emotion, lots of accusations and refutations - and quick.

Brian Slesinsky

Jeremy: In my imagined system, edits could be done by anyone and approval could be done by any registered user with a minimal track record of good edits. Anyone caught vandalising would lose approval privileges. (Of course this requires some sort of governance. The details aren't so important as the recognition that no, it isn't cool to have everyone's edits go live immediately.)

Dennis G. Jerz

A follow-up. The Wikipedia article now comes up first in Google, followed by CNN's announcement, followed by the Vatican's announcment.

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