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Mr. Cauz, Tear Down This Wall
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Fans of general resource material likely had mixed emotions about Encyclopedia Britannica president Jorge Cauz’s announcement and subsequent fightin’ words this week. Adding public editing Britannica.com is an exciting step, but bloviated rips on Wikipedia was all ooh and no ahh.

That’s because there’s no need after all (for us, Google, or Wikipedia) to feel defensive—any thunder Cauz could bring down is still a long way out.

Remember Scrappy Doo? Don’t know why I bring him up. Just thought of him for some reason.

Britannica Goes 2.0, Prez Slams Wikipedia/Google
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Encyclopedia Britannica is finally giving in to user-generated crowd wisdom—to an extent but not without some harsh fightin’ words aimed toward Google and Wikipedia.
Britannica Goes 2.0, Prez Slams Wikipedia/Google

Yahoo Sets Wikipedia App To Default

On Wikipedia’s eight birthday, Yahoo has set its Wikipedia Searchmonkey app on by default. The application pulls more information from Wikipedia and makes it viewable in the search results.

Wikipedia results will appear with deep links to as many as four sections of the article about the searched-for topic, a photo if one appears in the corresponding article, and a snippet from the top of the article.

For example, if one were to conduct a search on Cyrus the Great of Persia, the result would appear like this:

Wikipedia Passes Fundraising Goal
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If this recession thing gets really bad, maybe the government can just call in Jimmy Wales.  Wales, Wikipedia’s founder, seems to have been instrumental in helping the online encyclopedia hit a fundraising goal, and Wikipedia should be set for at least six months as a result.

Wikipedia Begging, Needs New Revenue Model
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When all is said and done, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales’ legacy is secured. He created one of the best resources of information in history. Keeping that legacy alive, though, may require a new revenue model.

Wikipedia Gets Big Grant To Simplify Contribution Process
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Back in March, the official article count for all versions of Wikipedia combined hit 10 million.  It was an impressive moment, but one that might have come much sooner if not for some overly complicated procedures.  So Wikipedia has been given a large grant to make contributing to the volunteer-written encyclopedia easier.

German Politician Thinks Better Of Blocking Wikipedia
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German Left Party politician Lutz Heilmann didn’t like some of the claims printed in a Wikipedia article about him.  As a result, Heilmann filed an injunction against the German version of the site, caused a massive outcry, and has now backed down in the face of all the attention.

Google’s Knol Does Its Thing In Three New Languages
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Google’s Knol isn’t doing so well.  Despite being portrayed by some outsiders as a would-be Wikipedia-killer, the knowledge-sharing site has been more or less ignored since its launch.  Google’s solution: launch it again, this time in German, Italian, and French.

Remembering 9/11 Across the Web
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Today marks the anniversary of one of the darkest days in our country’s history. Seven years later, the memories still haunt us, as well as fuel discussion. The web provides an outlet for venting, theorizing, and just plain memorial, and it’s as good a platform as any for just that. Nothing has a wider reach.

Wikipedia Inadmissible in a Court of Law
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A court has ruled that Wikipedia entries are not legitimate sources for dictating a court ruling. Shockingly, it was a U.S. Appeals Court that decided this in response to a previous ruling, rather than being taken as a given in the first place. Ars Technica explains:

McCain’s VP Choice Evident On Wikipedia Weeks Ago
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In case you didn’t hear the collective explosions powercharging out of heads around the country, Republican Presidential nominee John McCain picked Alaska governor Sarah Palin for his vice presidential running mate. Since the news broke a little while ago, Wikipedia might as well be on fire, but despite a rapid community editing free for all, her page was prepared fairly far in advance.
 

Google Knol Launches

Google went live with Knol, a platform to read and write articles on all kinds of subjects. Knol was being tested privately since some time and had been pre-announced back in 2007. The address is knol.google.com, but notably not knol.com or knol.org or even googleknol.com. This project is somewhat reminiscent of Wikipedia, though there are many differences as well.

Google Opens Knol For Knowledge-Sharing
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We’ve noted time and time again the way in which Wikipedia receives loads of traffic from Google, and to be honest, there’s no clear sign that this will change.  But Google has gone so far as to launch Knol, a sort of would-be competitor.

New Wikipedia Editing System Being Weighed
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Wikipedia is defined by its community contribution model, and so far, the approach has worked quite well.  The German version of Wikipedia has been experimenting with an edit approval system, though, and it seems the system may be ready to spread.

Under the stricter rules, anyone and everyone can still edit articles.  The main difference is that new changes are kept out of public sight until a designated checker can look at and okay them.

Evri Gives A Peek At Data Graph
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The firm once known as Hypertext Solutions began allowing people to take a look at its take on natural language and search.

Google Doodles Lead To Increased Search Traffic

When Google doodles appear on major holidays, it sometimes takes a moment of thought to connect the picture and the occasion.  When Google doodles honor more random people and events, it appears that a lot of searches take place.

Britannica Takes A Cue From Wikipedia
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It wasn’t that long ago the people behind Encyclopedia Britannica turned an academic nose up toward Wikipedia for its populist ways. That may have been a tad premature, especially when one counts 57 million monthly visitors versus Britannica’s three million.

Then again, Britannica’s three million are paying visitors.

Microsoft Enhances Wikipedia Results in Live Search

Until a couple of days ago, if you would type in a query that would be available on Wikipedia, then the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) just came out with the exact match and the link to the article.

Jimbo Wales Channels Sly and the Family Stone

For what it’s worth, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales sees the growth of Internet usage in the Middle East as a boon to the world’s exposure to "ordinary people" of the region. Such exposure, he said, would soften the region’s image abroad.

Wikipedia’s Five-Year Growth Figure Almost 8,000 Percent
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New stats show that Wikipedia isn’t growing nearly as fast as it used to.  The number of unique U.S. visitors to the site increased by an amazing 7,900 (or so) percent over the last five years, however, and Wikipedia seems to owe search engines for its continuing popularity.

Powerset Follows Hype With Debut

After a lot of blog buzz, Powerset finally launched its search engine with the initial aim at pulling information out of Wikipedia more effectively.