[Wikipedia-l] in response to your article "Librarian: Don't use Wikipedia as source" in the Post-Standard

Christopher Mahan chris_mahan at yahoo.com
Sat Aug 28 17:26:51 UTC 2004

> we just had someone on the de mailinglist who purposely modified
> four articles 
> and introduced a mistake in each of them.

That's nice.

> He also told us which
> articles he  
> modified and claimed that none of the mistakes was detected by now.

Could it perhaps be that he was trusted to not do that (misplaced
trust if you ask me).

> I checked 
> three of the articles he was right with his claim.

That's nice too.

> In the german article about "consumer surplus" the error was there
> for about 9
> (!) days before I removed the nonesense. In other articles the
> errors were 
> there for more than 9 days.

A whole nine days? Woa, that's like incredible. I would not believe
it. Now, a year would be a real challenge. 

> I agree with most of what you wrote, but I think it is a mistake to
> believe 
> that we have any kind of review system which is on par (wrt error 
> elimination) with a real peer review. 

A real peer review is done by people who are paid. We are volunteers,
and while some people might think our work worthless, we don't. 

> At least my experience is
> that the 
> probability for finding a mistake in Wikipedia is by far higher
> than for 
> Britannica.

And britannica has been around what, 100+ years?

> best regards,
>   Marco 

Marco, tell your friend next time he wants to experiment, to use the

And if you like Britannica so much, then, it's there for you to use.
Oh, and I forgot, you have to pay to read Britannica articles. (look
up Blade Runner, the movie)

Now, granted, the review on W takes more time, but we don't release
every year, we release constantly. 

There is a program afoot to make a printed wikipedia, and I am sure
tht your attention to detail and factual accuracy would be extremely
valuable in reaching the completion of the project. 

Chris Mahan
818.943.1850 cell
chris_mahan at yahoo.com
chris.mahan at gmail.com

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