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Wake up Wikipedia – it’s NOW

I am probably at the bottom end of the interest scale for World Cup matters. But I do try and spot an opportunity to make people’s lives easier, if it can be done with little effort.

I also do the odd Wikipedia edit – nothing serious, mainly adding a few photos here and there. So when I spotted the question “what’s the hashtag for the World Cup?” a few times, I thought I’d try something, mainly by way of experiment.

Bringing the worlds of reference orthodoxy and real-time together, by adding a line to the Wikipedia World Cup page: “The tag[defined] in most active use to identify content and discussion about the tournament on Twitter[defined] is #wc2010.”

It lasted 9 minutes. Then removed as being ‘unencyclopedic’. Yes. I understand what that means, and have no gripe with the Wikipedian who wielded the axe. But it raises an interesting question of policy – as real-time information becomes more than a nice-to-have and moves, through expectation, to necessity. Should Wikipedia change its stance in areas like this? Or will its insistence on citation standards for everything begin to erode its relevance in the long term?

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2 Responses

  1. Dave Pearson says:

    It reads like you’re saying that personal whims are the new measure of relevance.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully not. But externally verifiable evidence of widespread real-time public interest should count for something, no?

    A quick, unscientific test by search just now shows that around 50 people per MINUTE are creating content on the World Cup using this tag. Before the competition has even begun. That’s more than a whim; that’s published fact. It’s just a different type of published fact than the sort Wikipedia currently recognises.

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