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The power of Wikipedia!


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#1 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 23:54

I hate it! Absolutely hate it!

You put the details of whatever it is you're searching into Google and up comes Wikipedia! And there's never just what you want there... never!

But it's always at the forefront of the Google selection, making you believe it has the answers. It doesn't...

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#2 HistoricMustang

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 00:29

Originally posted by Ray Bell
I hate it! Absolutely hate it!

You put the details of whatever it is you're searching into Google and up comes Wikipedia! And there's never just what you want there... never!

But it's always at the forefront of the Google selection, making you believe it has the answers. It doesn't...


Ray, you are so very correct!

I am not sure the reason for Wikipedia as most originators use this venue for their sole purpose of exploit. :confused:

Henry

#3 RA Historian

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 03:04

Originally posted by Ray Bell
I hate it! Absolutely hate it!

.


As I understand it, anybody can put whatever they want into Wikipedia. Thus rendering it absolutely unreliable and useless.

#4 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 05:24

Such hyperbole.

Wikipedia is a fantastic starting point for covering the generals of the topic you are exploring. But I'd never use it as defense in an argument or for more detailed research.

#5 DNQ

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 06:12

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld
Such hyperbole.

Wikipedia is a fantastic starting point for covering the generals of the topic you are exploring. But I'd never use it as defense in an argument or for more detailed research.

I agree.

I am a university student, and I would never even think about researching from Wikipedia ... but if ever I need to find out the basic-gist of something in a hurry, it is always my first port of all.

I can go from knowing nothing about a subject - say, the history of Swaiziland for example - search for "Wikipedia" AND "Swaiziland", skim-read, and instantly have a basic, basic knowledge.

It is a brilliant resource for finding basic information in a super-hurry.

It is not meant to be a site for serious research.

#6 Hieronymus

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 07:04

Originally posted by DNQ


I can go from knowing nothing about a subject - say, the history of Swaiziland for example - search for "Wikipedia" AND "Swaiziland", skim-read, and instantly have a basic, basic knowledge.


Swaiziland or SWAZILAND?

#7 ensign14

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 07:09

Have they found their navy yet?

#8 275 GTB-4

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 07:11

Originally posted by ensign14
Have they found their navy yet?


The Swiss have a Navy... :eek:

#9 Lec CRP1

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 07:28

The article on Dave Walker is ok. Or at least, I think so. Ok, so I did write it myself....

#10 Allan Lupton

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 08:16

Originally posted by RA Historian


As I understand it, anybody can put whatever they want into Wikipedia. Thus rendering it absolutely unreliable and useless.


That is actually true of the internet as a whole.
Before you even think of believing what you find, make sure that the originator has some qualification for writing what he has.
It used to be the case that "because it is in a book, it must be true" – now that's the belief if you find it on the internet.

#11 Geoff E

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 08:23

If it's not too much trouble, add -Wikipedia to your search line in Google. (minus Wikipedia)

#12 2F-001

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 08:37

On one hand, I can see that it can be useful in giving a snapshot (or perhaps, more correctly, on overview) of what is generally thought or believed about a particular subject.

On the other hand, I believe that Wikipedia forbids original research - that is, posted content should be citing, or be based upon, existing material previously published elsewhere (in whatever medium). This might be said to render the format tailor-made for recycling and perpetuating old myths, even those that have already been debunked by more thorough research. One of the chief problems then is that such a readily-accessible resource is bound to be visited and quoted or copied by less diligent researchers than those expressing their reservations here. And so it goes on... I accept that provenence remains an uncertain area for any published material, I cannot help but be more suspicious of this format than most others, but the chief concern has, surely, to be the potential speed and scale of proliferation of doubtful material outwards to other 'sources'. Or am I just a grumpy old f**t?

#13 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 08:44

Did you ever find something you didn't know on racing in a encyclo-pedia?

#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 08:46

Originally posted by Geoff E
If it's not too much trouble, add -Wikipedia to your search line in Google. (minus Wikipedia)


Just tried that, got a couple up without any of the pest...

Then trying to refine it, got Wikipedia only!

#15 ensign14

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 08:56

Originally posted by 275 GTB-4


The Swiss have a Navy... :eek:

The Swazi navy.

Middle urban myth

#16 Hieronymus

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 09:14

Originally posted by ensign14
The Swazi navy.

Middle urban myth


I think the Swazi's have made an offer to run the South African Navy in future, especially now that Zimbabwe is playing a key role in the South African Air Force. :p

#17 Geoff E

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 10:28

Originally posted by Ray Bell

Then trying to refine it, got Wikipedia only!


It's important to remember not to delete the minus sign.

#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 10:51

Originally posted by Geoff E
It's important to remember not to delete the minus sign.


I didn't...

#19 isynge

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 11:03

If Wikipedia annoys you quite that much and you still insist on using Google why not build yourself a custom vertical search engine? (see: http://www.google.com/coop/ )

In fact, given the repository of knowledge on here surely it would be within our collective capabilities to come up with an authoritive list of decent sites (even decent Wikipedia entries) that could get indexed by Google and readily retrievable. Or is it actually more fun just to complain...

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#20 Lec CRP1

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 11:03

Y'know, I don't like the tone of this thread at all. Wikipedia has some wrong info in it, yes. So does every other GP encyclopedia such as the one at grandprix.com, or a 'resource' like 8W. Some of us regular Wikipedia people do take pride in being as accurate as possible.

You may well think that the typical Wikipedia contributor sits at their PC and inserts libel, fiction and implausible info into articles. However, the reality is less exciting, such as the time I spent yesterday removing graphic descriptions of sexual acts that someone had put into (of all things) the page about Boron.

If you see an inaccuracy in a Wikipedia article that really, really annoys you, why not fix it yourself? I'm sure users of Wikipedia will be most grateful.

#21 Allen Brown

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 11:13

I had to go and look at the last couple of versions of the Boron article. It amazes me that so many idiots have the time to vandalise it in this way but also that so many people like Lec CRP1 have the time and energy to fix it again.

However, I do agree that it's a very useful starting point for subjects I know nothing about.

The syntax you're looking for in Google is "-site:wikipedia.org".

Allen

#22 Allen Brown

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 11:15

BTW, I wrote one Wikipedia article to try it out and there has only been one single edit to it by anyone other than me. Which probably only proves that Boron is much more interesting than the French Hillclimb Championship.

Allen

#23 James Page

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 11:43

Allen - is the Guy Frequelin who won the championship in 1979 the same chap who runs the Citroen WRC team? If so, that's something new Wikipedia's taught me! By the way, I agree that it's a good starting point for research/fact-checking.

#24 Allen Brown

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 13:03

Why ask me, why not look in Wikipedia?

:)

#25 D-Type

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 13:57

I got my fingers burned by Wikipedia once. Someone had said on WIKIPEDIA that Dario Resta was born in Scotland, which had been picked up by a couple of other sites so i included the fact Here and got politely told off by the members of TNF.

That is the weakness of the format. They need some sort of control possibly with additions/corrections going to a holding area. As a test; what does Wikipedia currently say about the Tripoli GP/ At one time there was a game of ping pong between those who believed Neubauer and those who had read Don Capps.

As a starting point - fine. But don't trust it implicitly.

#26 Barry Boor

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 17:12

My only experience of Wikipedia caused my eyes to open wide when I read that a certain F. Migault had a 'sizeable accident' in Austria in 1972 driving the Connew.

I altered it to read more accurately.

Other than that, I have never delved therein. TNF is much more accurate in matters motorsporting and I don't actually care about anything else.

(except Chelsea)

#27 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 17:29

Originally posted by Lec CRP1
Y'know, I don't like the tone of this thread at all. Wikipedia has some wrong info in it, yes. So does every other GP encyclopedia such as the one at grandprix.com, or a 'resource' like 8W. Some of us regular Wikipedia people do take pride in being as accurate as possible.....


I would like to point out at this time that this is not and was not the point of my original post...

It's simply that Wikipedia seems to have made it impossible to find anything else with Google!

#28 Haddock

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 17:52

I quite like Wikipedia - for general information its free, and much more straightforward than an encylopaedia. On the other hand, I'd say that as a rule of thumb, the more obscure (or controversial) the subject, the less likely it is to get anywhere near the truth.

Got burned once, I think, quoting Ellen Lohr as 1988 F3 champion, when in fact, as far as I can tell, she never even won a race.

#29 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 18:06

But that has nothing whatever to do with the topic here...

How can you effectively use Google if Wikipedia clogs it up?

#30 Disco Stu

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 18:26

One result at the top of a search page is hardly clogging up Google.

#31 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 18:52

Originally posted by D-Type
I got my fingers burned by Wikipedia once. Someone had said on WIKIPEDIA that Dario Resta was born in Scotland, which had been picked up by a couple of other sites so i included the fact Here and got politely told off by the members of TNF.

That is the weakness of the format. They need some sort of control possibly with additions/corrections going to a holding area. As a test; what does Wikipedia currently say about the Tripoli GP/ At one time there was a game of ping pong between those who believed Neubauer and those who had read Don Capps.

As a starting point - fine. But don't trust it implicitly.


I am not much of a fan of Wikipedia, even if I do think there is merit in the basic approach. I have found far too many errors in any number of entries on a wide variety of topics that I actually know something about. Sorry, life is too short to spend my remaining days correcting Wikipedia entries. I had forgotten about the 1933 GP di Tripoli ping pong match.... How did it end up? Me or Neubauer?

#32 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 19:03

Originally posted by Disco Stu
One result at the top of a search page is hardly clogging up Google.


Try the top four or five...

And then some less obvious ones after that!

#33 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 21:36

Originally posted by HDonaldCapps
I had forgotten about the 1933 GP di Tripoli ping pong match.... How did it end up? Me or Neubauer?

You won on points ;)

#34 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 22:50

Originally posted by Ray Bell
But that has nothing whatever to do with the topic here...

How can you effectively use Google if Wikipedia clogs it up?


Allen Brown has already answered that query, Ray, if you read his post.



But I know what you mean, there's so many copycat sites from Wikipedia, and not Wikipedia itself, per se, that it makes looking for some drivers latest whereabouts far, far more difficult than it needs to be.

They're the problem, as effectively Wikipedia itself only brings up one hit.

#35 MrAerodynamicist

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 00:03

I have to say for me, Wikipedia has supplanted google as the starting point for finding out basic factual stuff. If only because it's so free of spam, advertising and other junk that blocks up the rest of the internet.

And as has been pointed out, it's of no less verifiable provenance than the vast majority of the internet.

#36 dretceterini

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 02:17

I have found wiki to be useful for getting basic information on things like cities. If you consider it nothing more than a starting place, I think it is OK...

#37 David Hyland

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 04:16

On a related topic, today I stumbled across a wiki devoted to motorsport.

Its stated aim is to "unite motorsport fans by sharing their knowledge. This wiki will cover all forms of motorsport from NASCAR to Formula 1."

It's currently a bit, er, well, empty, but from the smallest acorns...

I also came across an existing NASCAR wiki.

David.

P.S. And of course, there are pages for Formula One, Grand Prix and V8 Supercars at Uncyclopedia.

#38 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 04:33

Originally posted by Richie Jenkins
Allen Brown has already answered that query, Ray, if you read his post.....


And thank you both Allen and Richie...

I must have read that in a hurry when I was a library computer or something. Tried it, it worked, though I learned you have to separate the "-site:wikipedia.org" from the rest of your line in the google bar.

#39 Victor

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 18:16

Originally posted by Lec CRP1
The article on Dave Walker is ok. Or at least, I think so. Ok, so I did write it myself....


Ok but needs a picture.

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#40 Lec CRP1

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 18:57

Originally posted by Victor


Ok but needs a picture.


Most Wikipedia entries on F1 drivers (and many other people born in the last 100 years or so) lack pictures. This is not because of the lack of photos available online, but the lack of ones that are either public domain or ones that are permitted by Wikipedia's copyright rules. Images that lack those criteria are usually deleted within a week.

#41 Fred Gallagher

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 09:14

Originally posted by RA Historian


As I understand it, anybody can put whatever they want into Wikipedia. Thus rendering it absolutely unreliable and useless.


As I understand it, anybody can write and publish a book...........

Fred

#42 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 09:25

But, if I can revert to the point of the thread, no book can make it difficult for you to look further...

That was my issue with Wikipedia, it simply blotted out the ease of using google.

#43 Allan Lupton

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 10:10

Originally posted by Ray Bell
But, if I can revert to the point of the thread, no book can make it difficult for you to look further...

That was my issue with Wikipedia, it simply blotted out the ease of using google.


Interesting this, as I have never had this problem (yet . . ) and I don't even use the "-wikipedia" bit.
Maybe Google uk is different from the one you use?

#44 Catalina Park

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 10:33

I just did a little test, I typed a word into Google and looked which result was from Wiki.

Dodge Phoenix = 5th result.
Chrysler = 3rd result.
Morris 1100 = 10th result.
Brooklands = 15th result.
Rene Bonnet = 1st result.
Ray Bell = no Wiki result! :cool:

#45 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 10:52

Okay, then, try 'Mille Miglia 1952' and see if you can find anything beyond first place!

#46 Leif Snellman

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 11:09

... or try "Pau" and compare it to

http://www.kolumbus....lman/t1.htm#PAU

:mad:

#47 Vitesse2

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 11:09

Originally posted by Fred Gallagher


As I understand it, anybody can write and publish a book...........

Fred

Indeed.

But a real publisher will submit it to peer review of some sort. I'm not saying Wikipedia is akin to vanity publishing, but it's close in terms of the lack of pre-publication editing.

And note that I've deliberately excluded self-publishing, since some (though not all) self-published books only fail to attract a commercial publisher because they're seen as uneconomic.

#48 KJJ

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 11:19

Originally posted by Fred Gallagher


As I understand it, anybody can write and publish a book...........

Fred

Well said!

No reason for TNF to be so smug about wikipedia, no doubt a combination of forum posts and the Google search engine is also responsible for spreading a few errors around the web.

BTW I googled "Mille Miglia 1952" and there was no wikipedia reference on the first ten pages of results, I got bored then.

#49 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 11:45

Okay, I will admit I put 'results' in there too... but here is the top of my search...

Wikipedia then three book ads, Wikipedia again and then more books!

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#50 Allen Brown

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 11:53

Originally posted by KJJ
BTW I googled "Mille Miglia 1952" and there was no wikipedia reference on the first ten pages of results, I got bored then.

How did you do that? When I google "Mille Miglia 1952" wikipedia appears fifth.

Allen