In the past week I have noticed there were a few newspaper articles and blog posts on Wikipedia.

 

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Wikipedia is a free multilingual, open content encyclopedia project operated by the non-profit, Wikimedia Foundation. The site has been established since 2001, and is the fastest growing and most popular general reference work available on the internet.  It ranks number 7 on the top sites in Canada. 

Wikipedia has over 10 million articles posted in 253 different languages.  Just the other day, in a post by Mike ArringtonWikipedia had reached its 10 millionth article.

All of the articles posted on Wikipedia have been written interactively by volunteers from all around the world. The site can be edited by anyone, with an exception of a few pages, and that poses a problem.  

Dave Winer wrote a post on how random people think they have authority to write on Wikipedia, this is a problem because it creates invalid information and readers become wrongly informed. Just imagine how many people do it considering, we did it once as a class demonstration.

 

It has about 10-15 people who are actually paid employees of the company and they edit and monitor recently added content. Wikipedia wished to expand their staff to about 25 people by 2010. 

In an article found on the Globe and Mail website it stated that some people who contribute monetary donations to wikipedia thought that the organization is being reckless with the donations it receives, while others thought they should be spending more of the funds. Wikipedia needs the funds to keep their site up and running. This is why they seek out people who would like to donate to the site. Wikipedia is a site that needs to think of the long run because, according to most it is here to stay. Looking for donations is crucial for the sites operations. The donations keep the site in working order and pay the few employees on the payroll.  Alfred P. Sloan is donating three, 1 million dollar installments over the next 3 years. With his donation, he hopes that Wikipedia can become more financially stable in the years to come.

The sad thing is though, if wikipedia didn’t focus on donations they would have to go to the alternative of advertising on the wikipedia site. I don’t know about anybody else but I do not want to see any ads on the site. Ads just create clutter and confusion in my opinion. Hopefully Wikipedia will continue to look to its contributers for financial support, or we will soon be seeing ads on the wikipedia page.

 

Jen 

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This may be a little bit of an overstatement, but from the talk of nearly EVERYONE over theFriendfeed Logo last two weeks, Friendfeed is the next big thing. So far I’ve noticed Robert Scoble, Dave Winer, Fred Wilson, and Techcrunch comment on it, and I’m sure I’ve missed or dismissed many other bloggers commenting on Friendfeed.

What my understanding of Friendfeed is, is a one stop shop for all of your information needs. Tired of having to check out your Twitter, RSS reader, delicious, etc. accounts to get all of the latest news? Now all you have to do is join friendfeed, which amalgamates all of your friends twitter/blog/everything else together so you can get updated on everything they are doing, but in the same spot.

Besides the incredible benefits and A-lister recommendations, why is Friendfeed so good? For many reasons really. One of which, is their commitment to the user. Fred Wilson had a little bit of beef with a few aspects on Friendfeed, and so created a list of things they would like changed. Shortly after he received an email from one of the founders of Friendfeed saying he had passed the list around to the employees of the company, and they liked them and immediately began working on them. Now that is customer service.

Also, Dave Winer has been very impressed with the fact that Friendfeed has done a lot of work, and relatively quickly, dealing with Twitter users on Friendfeed. Although Twitter may be an acquired taste, people who use Twitter demand that it works well on Friendfeed. Friendfeed has worked very hard in making this possible.

Thats all for now I guess.

Cheers,

David McKenna

Dave Winer has been writing what may be the web’s longest running blog, and he is credited with inventing RSS. He also wrote a piece of software, Radio Userland, that was one of the first RSS Readers and blogging tools. This probably makes him the father of weblogs, so we’ll add him to our required reading list.

Dave is a technologist and a hacker. He’s often posting about small software projects he’s working on. These days it’s something called FlickrFan. He also posts about politics, baseball and anything else that’s on his mind. His posting style is a little less “article-oriented” then others. That is, his posts are often smaller pieces, without titles, posted frequently through the day.

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