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The thoughts, opinions, happenings, and just plain ramblings of a seemingly boring person.

Wikis & Weekend

So the weekend is winding down. It always goes way too quickly. On Saturday I did all the usual computer maintenance, and discovered a few funny things on the net: most notably the labelling of one character from Star Wars Episode I, as Captain Obvious. That link is to the leading Star Wars Wikipedia, humorously labelled Wookieepedia (a side note is something that Andrew told me last night of someone vandalising the Orthodox Wiki with links pointing to Wookieepedia).

WikipediaWikis are curious things, and their popularity is now so ubiquitous and widespread that there is basically a wiki for all manner of fields and subjects.

What is a wiki? According to Wikipedia (hehe), a " wiki is a type of website that allows visitors to easily add, remove, or otherwise edit and change some available content". Basically, nearly anyone can make changes to the articles and content on a wiki. The idea being that collective knowledge and resources will be shared.

As a result of the open nature of wikis, there are many criticisms of them as being biased, inaccurate, misleading, inconsistent, and subject to vandalism.

Below is a good example of what a vandal might do, lol.

Wiki Vandal

I largely agree with those criticisms for things for general articles that an encyclopaedia would normally contain, but for subjects like the Orthodox Wiki, Wookieepedia etc, they can be a wealth of information.

Also, because of normally high rankings of Wikipedia articles in web searches, I can imagine it being very prevalent of students stupidly using the frequently changing Wikipedia articles as sources in assignments and essays.

Anywho, I digress. On Saturday night we went to Church as usual, and afterwards went and had pizza for dinner. We also watched a bit of The Sound of Music which was on TV. My Mum really raised us kids on movies like that, Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The King and I, etc. It was enjoyable seeing parts of The Sound of Music now that I am older and am now aware of the historical context of pre-WWII Austria.

After that we (in hindsight, stupidly) went to my parent's place to watch the Arsenal game on Foxtel at midnight. I say stupidly, because I don't know why I bother any more. They only managed a draw against pretty much inferior opposition, and it was stereotypical of many Arsenal games that I manage to watch.

It usually plays out to the following script: Arsenal dominate the entire game, enjoying the lion's share of possession; Arsenal create many many scoring chances, and through a combination of bad finishing and good opposition goal-keeping, don't score; opposing team has one or two scoring chances in the whole match, and scores goals off their one or two chances; Arsenal battle to not lose the match, despite dominating it from the beginning. *sigh*

Anywho, today was indoor as well. We ended up losing 4-3 despite playing pretty well. I had a really good game, scoring two and setting up our third. Because I wasted a few more really good chances, and an atrocious goal-keeping mistake by Rolando, we lost the tightly contested match.

8 thoughts on “Wikis & Weekend

  1. *largely disagrees with wiki criticisms*
    yes, they are easily vandalised (as I know all too well), but for whatever reason, people can get caught up in the idea that they're making something big. an online encyclopedia is a tremendously big thing, and people can desire perfection in their own work, and can get very quick in taking away bad edits.
    I once added a page on Wikipedia, and then realised that it was the wrong title, so I went to move the article. In the time it took for me to copy and paste the information into an already existing article, someone had already deleted it because of the faulty title.
    Oh, and I've also used it as a resource in my uni essays (cited for general knowledge, and for specific information I would look on Wikipedia and accurately cite a real source).
    Wikipedia, like the old Napster (remember?), really shouldn't be able to work. But humanity, together, seems to be able to find enough decent people to make it work.

  2. Rolando: twice in two weeks? jk :p

    Andrew: TLDR. jk also.

    Your comment was so full of 'can's i thought you were taking a trip to the recycling plant! They CAN be vandalised, they CAN be wrong, they CAN be biased, they CAN be inconsistent, the article CAN change between the moment you get the quote or reference off the page and the second you paste it into your essay's Word doc.

    I like wikis and Wikipedia, but I think they should be taken for what they are: constantly changing collective knowledge that is open to changes from the whole public; whether that be a good or a bad thing.

    Hence I regard most wikis, but especially Wikipedia, as inappropriate for assessment references when in most cases a normal well-respected and well-known encyclopedia/dictionary will suffice.

    Wikipedia is good for a person wanting to gain general or initial knowledge on a particular topic/subject, but when you need a reference to put down on a paper or essay, imho getting it from Wikipedia is being a bit lazy.

    Assessors want and should have references they can check and verify. A Wiki article can change hundreds of times a day. If only for that, it's not appropriate for assignments and essays.

    Getting a source from Wikipedia? Good, great. Using Wikipedia as a source? Bad, evil.

  3. Hey slightly off topic, but ive got a geek/IT Question. I need to get a domain name for a web survey i am doing for my thesis, which is hopefully going to be http://www.websurvey.com.au. Do you have any domain registration places that you can recommend. Also I need it to be able to re-direct to my web survey, so are all domian name's able to do that?????

  4. Hi Rhys, big kettle of fish there.
    Firstly, if you want to register any com.au or .org.au domains, the registered domain has to strictly match the name (or the abbreviation of the name) of an Australian business or an organisation (or a promotion or service of which).

    The regulating Australian body is very strict (eg you need an ABN to register a .com.au, etc), and .au domains are very expensive compared to normal a plain .com or .org

    See http://www.auda.org.au/ for more info on registering a .au domain.

    Secondly, http://www.websurvey.com.au is already taken. I haven't registered any .au's before so i can't really give you any good reccomendations for those domains. Forget MelbourneIT though.

    I'd recommend registering a .com, it's dirt cheap at about $10 a year (note that's just registering the domain and not any actual web-hosting).

    You can usually redirect a domain wherever you want.

    Clear as mud? 🙂

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