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

 

wikipedia-logo.png 

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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How Good Is Free?

March 17, 2008

After reading Chris Anderson’s blog about Oprah and free, I starting thinking about how good free really is. I feel that in Suze Orman’s case, she was able to get a head start because of Oprah. I mean, let’s face it, whatever Oprah does, most women find it inspiring. I agree that it was a great business tactic on Oprah’s part but if it wasn’t for Oprah, I don’t think Suze Orman’s book could have increased in sales the way it did. Then again, you just never know. I think we all have to agree that you get what you pay for, especially for those who own their own vehicles. Although, free can sometimes be a good thing, especially in technology these days… or at least in Suze Orman’s case. 

I decided to look into free software such as anti-virus programs. According to Wikipedia “The free software movement was launched in 1983 to make these freedoms available to every computer user. Software that does not provide these freedoms is referred to as proprietary software or non-free software.” (Wow that was before I was born and before my family even owned a computer!) I think it’s neat that individuals, especially techies, are able to use, study, and even modify these programs without restrictions. They can also be “copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with restrictions only to ensure that further recipients can also do these things”.

There are so many things that can destroy your computer such as Trojan, worms, Spyware and so on. Can these free security programs such as AVAST and AVG anti-virus really stand up to it all? Let the poll be the judge of that at Tech Support Alert.

Nod32

10/10 100%

 

Norton 9/9 100%

 

F-Sec     9/9 100%

 

Trend 8/8 100%
F-Prot 6/9 67%
Avast 6/9 67%
Kaspersky 9/11 82%

 

McAfee 8/10 80%

 

AVG 6/8 75%

 

Norman 7/10 70%

 

 Don’t let these numbers get you down. Most companies make a big effort ensuring their product pass the VB100 test. The VB100 test is a monthly trial that tests the product to see whether or not it can detect 100 Trojans. If a product doesn’t detect 100%, then it fails. Basically, even if it detects 99 Trojans out of 100, it still fails. That’s fairly demanding. Which in turn means that because programs such as AVG and AVAST aren’t companies, the demand for them to perform at this level is non-existent. However, the poll does suggest that AVG is a “middle man” so I guess you are getting a bang for your free buck. Unfortunately, AVAST doesn’t show that kind of performance.

In my case, if I were to invest into a computer I would purchase an anti-virus program such as Norton of Nod32 as they seem to show the best performance. However, if I were a techie, I would jump aboard the Free Software Movement. I think it’s great for people to be able to use these kinds of programs, although, I think it’s equally great that we have excellent programs such as Norton to chose from.

Rachel Marsden.

Rachel Marsden

Rachel Marsden is selling clothing on eBay that she claims belong to her ex-boyfriend — Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

“Hi, my name is Rachel and my [now ex] boyfriend, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, just broke up with me via an announcement on Wikipedia. It was such a classy move that I was inspired to do something equally classy myself, so I’m selling a couple of items of clothing he left behind, here in my NYC apartment, on eBay. Jimbo was supposed to come visit me in a couple of weeks and pick up some of his stuff, but obviously that won’t be happening now,” Marsden wrote.

I was curious to search what stuff Rachel is actually selling on ebay and I found this

In 2004, she was given a conditional discharge for harassing a Vancouver radio host following their breakup.

In 1996, while a student at Simon Fraser University, Marsden accused her swim coach of sexual harassment. The coach was fired, then rehired when SFU admitted its investigation was flawed.

Here is the link for the Article

Web 2.0

January 24, 2008

I’m suprised that no one made a post about Seth Godin’s Post Layering. I could be wrong but I find that this is what we’ve been talking about with regards to Web 2.0. Seth Posted: 

Here’s what we used to do:  

Create —> Edit —> Launch

Here’s what happens now:

Create —> Launch —> Edit —> Launch —> repeat

He used the example of wikipedia and how users are able to add content, and edit that content or the content of other users.He also went on to say that organizations are acting more and more this way, however there are some that aren’t able to do so, because that isn’t their function.I think that as we move on in the world more and more applications and organizations will move toward this method of doing things.  By being able to edit something continuously companies and/or their applications are able to adjust to the ever changing needs of their customers, making these organizations/ and or applications much more competitive.After reading Ch. 3 in Wikinomics, the book gives the example of Apache vs. Microsoft’s server.  Apache remains extremely competitive toward Microsoft because 1. It’s free 2. Users are able to adjust the server to meet their own specific needs so users don’t have to make due with what they bought with Microsoft’s server.As we move on, I can see having the ability to change things become more and more desirable.  Although “turn-key” software, provides less work by the user, the openness of the business world and the internet will become just as competitive if not more, than the conventional “as is” way of doing things. ~Jerry 

Google Depression

January 24, 2008

This is only going to be a short entry, but I’m really depressed at the moment. I Googled myself earlier when we were originally talking about it, but I was nowhere to be found. There is an American Screenwriter who comes up for at least the first 20 Google entries. Geez, doesn’t this guy know he should share!

I checked again today, in hopes that I might finally exist after all this blogging, but nope, I’m still non-existent. This is when I noticed that the “other” David McKenna had a wikipedia entry about him. Upon reading his entry, I decided that just because he is more famous then I am, it doesn’t mean I don’t deserve a space on that Wikipedia page. Therefore, because anyone can edit Wikipedia, I added myself to the page.

It is a very simple paragraph on me, and even as I wrote it, I debated whether I should put that information of me on the web. Anyway, here is is. On further inspection, I noticed the title of the Wikipedia page was “David McKenna (writer)”. I then second guessed myself on whether I had the right to be on the page because it specifically said (writer). On further debate, I decided that the word “writer” is pretty broad and can apply to me too. In fact, I am writing right now, so I think I still fit on the page.

Thats about all, just wanted to update everyone on what I’m wasting my time on.   I guess it wasn’t such a short entry. 🙂 On the plus side, I’ll be on Google now, but by using the power of the screenwriters name. Whats everyone’s feelings on this? Do you think I overstepped my Wikipedia boundaries? The word “writer” can be taken as a reference to a specific person, so do I really have the right to be there? The beauty is, if everyone thinks I was in the wrong, I can still take myself off of it. The power of Wikipedia!

Cheers,

David McKenna

P.S. I couldn’t get any links to work on Wikipedia, anyone have any suggestions on how this works?