Wikipedia turns into a news site
Wikimedia, the parent organization of Wikipedia, has launched a new page which maintains a running count of the most popular search queries on the online encyclopedia. Though only up for two days, the page has caught the attention of Digg readers, one of whom summarizes the list neatly: "Sex, terrorists, and anime.... Well, and some celebs." That's not far off, but the top ten also includes items currently in the news, such as the former planet Pluto and Wii, the new video gaming platform from Nintendo.

Sex aside, the use of Wikipedia as a real-time news monitoring mechanism may be the most interesting aspect of the new page. As another Digg reader remarks: "What gets me the most is that people use Wikipedia like a search engine rather than an [encyclo]pedia." Indeed, the convergence of the open-source encyclopedia and news is just another example of the trend of readers taking control of the news online.

It also reminds us of the famous words of Phil Graham, onetime publisher of the Washington Post: "So let us drudge on about our inescapably impossible task of providing every week a first rough draft of a history that will never be completed about a world we can never understand." Nowadays, though, thanks to sites like Wikipedia, everyone's writing the rough draft.
Posted by Oliver Ryan 10:18 AM 0 Comments comment | Add a Comment

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