Ponderance

(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

PodWars & Wiki Cred!

Sunday, December 04, 2005
While I think the Wikipedia is a fantastic resource, I'm often skeptical about its day-to-day reliability. In most cases when students ask, I suggest they use it as a starting point but try to find other sources and references (which, luckily, most Wikipedia articles tend to link to). "Podcasting", though is a tougher question because the Wikipedia defintion is almost always cited as the definition (something that only really happens with digital culture stuff). That said, the current debates over who did what to start podcasting, when they did it, and what the Wikipedia says, are extremely relevant in seeing how well the Wikipedia can cope as a communally authored social lexicon.

Meanwhile, the Pod/Cast/War rundown ...
Adam Curry's been outed editing the Wikipedia, but anonymously, removing key aspects of podcasting's history which lessen his role.

Meanwhile, Dave Winer and Adam Curry are once again at each other's blogging throats. Adam seems to have tried to brush it off, but that's not something Dave usually lets happen!

To kick things up a notch, the mainstream news is taking an interest and Adam Curry is looking a little less saintly. Meanwhile, Dave notes that there has been a serious attempt to lock down who did what when in the origins of podcasting:
Adam Green did a podcast of the story of podcasting by splicing together podcasts from Adam Curry, Dave Slusher and myself. Very interesting way to tell a story. Permanent link to this item in the archive.
I think listening to that might clarify things a little ... I'm off to download it in a minute.

In the Gadget sphere, Richard Giles is less than impressed by Curry's antics ...
In a more recent blog post, Adam had this to say, ?I apologize to Kevin Marks for my history of removing this fact on WikiPedia. I really believed this was untrue?.

In August, before I submitted my chapter, I had Adam Curry proof read for accuracy (Dave Winer ignored any requests for his input). Adam replied ?Looks great, reads well, is accurate.? So why does he claim that he thought the above statement was incorrect. This seems to suggest that he either ignored what I?d written, didn?t read it properly, or did know about Kevin because I bloody well wrote about it in the chapter he proofread.

I'd say something trite like, 'history will decide', but the whole point is, it won't. The Wikipedia is the closest thing we have to a living historical entity and all these pod wars highlight is how integral debate is in trying to keep it healthy.

Update: The NY Times is also talking about "rewriting history" in the Wikipedia in "Snared in the Web of a Wikipedia Liar".

Update 2: Rex Hammock has more in a post whose title says it all: "Use Wikipedia as a gateway to facts, not a source of them".

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