German Ingenuity, As Applied To Wikipedia

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The German-language version of Wikipedia may see some changes in the very near future. A new editing system, designed to reduce the amount of vandalism (and plain inaccuracy), is going to be implemented. These issues are commonly identified as the online encyclopedia’s biggest problems.

Nate Anderson of Ars Technica explained the overhaul. “In the German system, any user will still be allowed to make edits to any article. Those edits won’t show up in the live version of the site, though, until a registered user with a certain level of time and experience approves the changes.” The exact details don’t seem to have been worked out just yet.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales told CNET, however, that the feature “will likely be instituted . . . by the end of August.” “This is going to be a time when (the Germans) are going to be first to an innovation,” he said. Explaining the motivation behind the change, Wales explained, “We want to let anybody edit, but we don’t want to show vandalized versions.”

The editor of the Online Journalism Review seemed to lend his support. “They’ve earned the right to experiment with it in any way they see fit,” Robert Niles said, “so I’m rooting for them to get it right and make it even better than it is.”

If the changes to the German version of Wikipedia are effective, expect to see them implemented on a wider scale. “It would be fun for me to announce to the press that the front page of Wikipedia is open for public editing for the first time in five years,” Wales told CNET. Of course, if the site is “fixed,” we may lose a reliable source of humor.


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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.

German Ingenuity, As Applied To Wikipedia
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