I was viewing the presentation by Steven Walling titled “Why Wikipedians are the Weirdest People on the Internet” (embedded below) and the second slide was a twit by alisonclement which says:
Yesterday I asked one of my students if she knew what an encyclopedia is,
and she said, Is it something like Wikipedia?
Amazing! Changing times indeed, I remember when I was a kid and one of the most valuable things in our house was a 20-something volumes encyclopedia, admiringly and respectfully placed at the center of our best cupboard … ;)
The presentation (embedded below) consists of 148 slides. Below I selected few interesting ones.
• Wikitravel: only 5% of those who press “edit” actually save
• Wikipedia: 1/5 to 2/5
• WikiHow: 30% with guided editing
• Wikia: WYSIWYG editor >> 50%
Sources: Jack Herrick, WikiHow; Erik Zachte, Wikimedia Foundation
Slide 91: An experiment by The Guardian on crowdsourcing journalism.
The Guardian obtained two million pages of explosive documents that outed your country’s biggest political scandal of the decade. They’ve had a team of professional journalists on the job for a month, slamming out a string of blockbuster stories as they find them in their huge stack of secrets.
How do you catch up? If you’re the Guardian of London, you wait for the associated public-records dump, shovel it all on your Web site next to a simple feedback interface and enlist more than 20,000 volunteers to help you find the needles in the haystack.
Your cost for the operation? One full week from a software developer, a few days’ help from others in his department, and £50 to rent temporary servers.
Beside the content (which is interesting, he has a message), the way of presenting it is fabulous!!! I want to do something like that as well in the future!
An interesting tidbit of information. In the talk Professor Philip Zimbardo mention that in the Sicilian dialect (Sicily in the southern part of Italy) there is no verb tense for future! I checked quickly and what I got was a discussion in the Sicilian Wikipedia pointing to a web site that is now down. Being warned about the source, below you can find the translation in English, I modified some parts but over all Google Translate did a great job. Enjoy! “THE FUTURE. In Sicilian dialect is missing the future tense of verbs and any statement about future action is constructed with present tense and the word becomes preceded by an adverb of time (eg: Duman vegnu, Tomorrow I come). Paul Messina explains: As you can understand (almost philosophically) this anomaly? Is the starting point for a link between language and culture, ways of being and thinking. This is the historical consciousness of Heideggerian being-here to produce a continuous reduction of the future to present, of ‘hic et nunc’ (‘here and now’) and this occurs having full possession of the past definitely conquered now. Sicilians are masters of time or, to put it in Tomasi di Lampedusa word, are Gods. But to be (or to be believed to be) masters of time can mean mentally dominate life and death, to be sure of its inviolability only in the present, one that appropriates the future time to prevent death, unavoidable shadow existence. What counts is the present. Being and becoming, in short, blend or merge themselves in the metaphysics anxiety”.
Scigen is a program that generates random Computer Science research papers, including graphs, figures, and citations.
According to Scigen blog, the randomly generated article “Cooperative, Compact Algorithms for Randomized Algorithms” by Rohollah Mosallahnezhad of the Iran Institute of Technology was accepted for publication in the Applied Mathematics and Computation journal. You can check by yourself on the publisher site which admits it was accepted and now removed. What is even more sad is that the reviewer provided many corrections to be resolved without realizing that the paper was just 8 pages of randomly generated text, figures, graphs and citations. How depressing is that, eh?
You can generate a paper and check previous random papers accepted in conferences. But for even more fun, be sure not to miss the randomly generated presentation these crazy folks gave during one of these bogus conferences. They presented slides which they were never seen before, which incidentally I think it is a great exercise for a presenter, if you can make it over presenting slides that have no meaning and you have never seen before, nothing can stop you. And I really love the guy dressed up as Einstein with fake mustaches.