Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Friday, June 08, 2007

Wikigroaning: A nondestructive Wikipedia game.

The premise is quite simple. First, find a useful Wikipedia article that normal people might read. For example, the article called "Knight." Then, find a somehow similar article that is longer, but at the same time, useless to a very large fraction of the population. In this case, we'll go with "Jedi Knight." Open both of the links and compare the lengths of the two articles. Compare not only that, but how well concepts are explored, and the greater professionalism with which the longer article was likely created. Are you looking yet? Get a good, long look. Yeah.

There are a bunch of article pairs at that link -- it's pretty hilarious, actually, and I don't often say that about somethingawful.


llywrch said...

And that is why some of us work on improving the dull, routine articles of Wikipedia -- like adding an article for every county in the US or every woreda (district) in Ethiopia: to balance out the immense pop culture content.

(Okay -- by "us" I'm using that word in the sense of "admittedly me, but I hope I'm not alone." Some days, I'm not as confident that this is an accurate statement.)


Ben Yates said...

I think there's some weird psychosociological thing going on -- some innate component of human nature that causes people to get more excited about small topics their discontinuous community is focused around than universal topics. (It might also be that pop cultural topics are ones around which there hasn't been built a formal stratification of expertise, so ordinary people (read: non-professors) are more inclined to contribute.