« Co-Opting Mini? | Main | Barriers: Jersey vs. Pennsylvania »

October 17, 2006

Wikipedia, Mini-Microsoft, Etc.

I thought this was sort of funny. In a comment on Mini-Microsoft, someone quoted the Mini-Microsoft Wikipedia entry as an authoritative source. The topic being discussed was whether Microsoft could be fixed and the effect Mini-Microsoft could have. The commenter wrote, "I am not a Microsoftie so I don't know if the views expressed on this blog have had any effect on day-to-day processes and procedures but according to wikipedia it has already inspired some changes such as the employee review process" and then quoted the Wikipedia page about the review change: "Mini-Microsoft is widely credited with inspiring this change, although this has never been confirmed".

I think the stuff on the Wikipedia page is pretty accurate (since I wrote it), but it's interesting that someone arguing with blog commenters cites the Wikipedia page as a trusted reference. The Wikipedia page is arguably EASIER to modify than Mini's comment stream, since Mini has to approve comments whereas Wiki edits happen right away (although they can also be made to unhappen by anybody, whereas only Mini can delete a comment). It's a curious dynamic that someone who wanted to bolster their argument in a blog could first tweak up the relevant Wikipedia page and then say "See, it says it right here!" Proving once again that there are things Wikipedia is good for, and things it is not good for.

The Wikipedia page for Mini has not attracted the bevy of activity that I hoped it would when I created it (although that article currently has an impressive 109 spam comments on it). It just shows that history is written by the winners. Meaning: what you here about on the web is all the stuff that goes viral and gets massive attention. You know about that video with the guy dancing and the girl who pretended to be that other girl and that person on myspace. You don't hear about the vast majority that remain at the end of the long tail. For example, Cory Lidle's page was created slightly over a year ago. If you look at the edit history, it had 51 edits before he died, with a cluster after he was traded on July 30; it's had 810 edits in the past week. It lingered in relative obscurity until suddenly something (unfortunately something tragic in this case) happened. Of course Lidle's page was getting more action than Mini's beforehand. Mini might be more important to me, but as Lucy Van Pelt once asked, "Has he ever been on a baseball card?"

Posted by AdamBa at October 17, 2006 03:14 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


I'll trade you a 1975 Paul Allen rookie card for a mini-microsoft card! ;-)

Posted by: freebeer at October 17, 2006 04:41 PM

Hi there. I guess it's kinda funny if you think about it. I did not quote Wikipedia as an authoritative source since I know the controversy over its accuracy. But I thought it was an objective site. I wasn't aware that there is no monitoring of the edits by the site.

Posted by: Superb Momentum at October 17, 2006 09:02 PM

Wikipedia relies entirely on other people noticing things that are wrong and changing them. This is the genius/madness of the site.

After reading freebeer's comment I had a genius/madness idea of my own: "blogger baseball cards". Let THAT simmer in your brain for a while.

- adam

Posted by: Adam Barr at October 17, 2006 10:35 PM