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The power of Wikipedia!


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#51 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 11:56

How do you do that?

It was first for me... and also fifth!

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#52 KJJ

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 12:05

I checked again - still no sign of wikipedia on my google search :confused:

#53 Tim Murray

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 12:10

It seems to depend on exactly how you enter the keywords. When I tried, I got the following:

"Mille Miglia 1952" - no wiki on the first five pages.

"Mille Miglia" +1952 - wiki was the fourth result, plus a couple more on that page and the next.

"Mille Miglia" +1952 +results - same result as Ray (first and fifth entries).

If I clicked on 'UK pages only' I got no wiki (for two pages, at least).

#54 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 12:11

Well, I certainly wish I had those options!

#55 Vitesse2

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 12:28

Tim's part way to the explanation.

If you google Mille Miglia 1952 without inverted commas, then Wiki appears near the top.

If you enclose it in inverted commas then it doesn't, because Google looks for the exact phrase.

The first option gives "about 111,000" results, the second 1910.

Clear? :rolleyes:

#56 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 12:31

So how, if you want to get the 1952 Mille Miglia results, do you do it?

#57 Tim Murray

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 13:04

I tried:

"mille miglia" +classification

The fourth result led me to this

First ten places only, I'm afraid.

#58 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 13:17

I'll try to remember that... if I want results, put in 'classification'... if I want results, put in 'classification'...

#59 Tim Murray

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 13:25

Or the other way round, depending on circumstances. In any search, if one keyword gets you nowhere, try another.;)

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#60 KJJ

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 13:56

Ray - I find the best site for sportscar results is Martin Krejci's

http://wsrp.wz.cz/

Unfortunately there are times when it's painfully slow - like today. If that happens I do a google search something along these lines:

wsrp mille miglia non Championship races 1952 , then I look at the Google cache rather than the site itself, which usually opens straight away.

I can see what you mean about wikipedia and it's clones taking over though, I guess the answer is that when you find a useful site save it to your favourites.

#61 MrAerodynamicist

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 21:19

Originally posted by D-Type
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.

I would just like to point out, so that TNF does not commit the very crime Wikipedia is accused of (perpetuating inaccuracies or myths), that there was never a game of ping pong regarding Tripoli 1933. It read "The race was held in conjunction with the state lottery and the 1933 inaugural event is notorious for having been fixed. The scandal led to substantial rule changes." for the first 11 months of the article's history. Then after coming to the attention of this place, over a few days it underwent an iterative improvement until it read:

"1933 - Accusation of Foul Play

The legend goes that a handful of the drivers colluded to fix who won the race. This story first appears in Alfred Neubauer’s 1958 book Speed Was My Life (Männer, Frauen und Motoren: Die Erinnerungen des Mercedes- Rennleiters). However research suggests that the story is a myth, abet a popular one [1]

1. H. Donald Capps. Tripoli 1933 - A Hard Look at the Legend"

That paragraph has remained unchanged for the last year. Definitely no ping-pong!

Ref:
http://en.wikipedia....&action=history

#62 MrAerodynamicist

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 21:24

Originally posted by Leif Snellman
... or try "Pau" and compare it to

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

:mad:

If you want the plagiarism removed, the details are on
http://en.wikipedia....right_violation

#63 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 12:45

It got me again!

Looking for details of the Nash Palm Beach, I asked google to do its thing... Wikipedia came up second, then in fourth was 'Antique Car.com'... which carried the same minor detail as the Wikipedia site... that there had been a Nash Palm Beach entered by Allard in the 1953 Le Mans.

Curious as to how a car not built until 1956 would be in a 1953 race, and also why it would be entered by Allard when there was Healey right in Nash's pocket, I checked the Le Mans result site that came up at about number 7. But it had a clue right there on the page... the word 'Frazer' in light type before the bold 'Nash Palm Beach.' A clue!

Yes, Allard had a 1500cc Ford-powered Frazer-Nash at Le Mans... and the 'Antique Car.com' page carried a warning that it wasn't professionally edited and that it came from...











Wikipedia!

#64 Jim Thurman

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 05:59

Originally posted by 2F-001

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.


What Tony wrote here is very well put.

I wasn't going to weigh in here, but while doing a bit of research, I stumbled across a half-baked (or assed) attempt someone did on Wikipedia on NASCAR drivers (and before anyone tunes out simply because of the magical word: NASCAR, stay tuned because what I am going to bring up applies across the board in all areas on Wikipedia).

It appears as if all this person did was compose information from the Racing Reference.com website (which itself came from the Fielden-Golenbock "NASCAR Encyclopedia") and enter all the names and data until they got bored, tired...or both, apparently at the end of the letter 'B'. This leaves much unentered, not to mention the uncorrected errors from the book.

Now, as much as I hate finishing "projects" sloppily or lazily started by someone else (and I speak from experience, namely my early internet days), I think it behooves those of us in the know to make proper entries to Wikipedia in areas we are versed in, because I guarantee as Tony wrote, many lazy "journalists" will use Wikipedia as the beginning and ending of their "research". Especially when it turns up so readily via Google. Basically, I feel it's our duty to get it right. Otherwise...

To me, it especially rings true with this attempt at NASCAR drivers, since there is no biographical encyclopedia for drivers who competed in NASCAR's top series, many of whom were quite accomplished in other forms of racing or on local or regional level.

Anyone else have thoughts on this dilemma/opportunity?

#65 MrAerodynamicist

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 12:05

Morally, nobody has the slightest bit of duty to care about Wikipedia.

On a practical level, not doing anything about information on there you know to be wrong is only going to cause more problems. If it's a quick edit, you might as well just do it and get it out of the way. Whereas there's no point doing longer jobs if you're not really interested, so I'd just make use of the article's discussion page to have a bitch, and perhaps stick in a dispute template.

What's the url for the NASCAR stuff?

#66 Doug Nye

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 12:22

Just treat Whackypedia the same way any sensible person treats the tabloid press - the bare bones might have some diffuse foundation in truth, but never trust the detail and depth until you have explored elsewhere... As a first-stop I suppose it has some merit, but like any encyclopaedia it's only as good as its compilers and verifiers. If there aren't any capable verifiers what's in the shop window is likely to be distinctly 'off', stale, recycled, or just rotten right from the start... :rolleyes:

DCN

#67 Jim Thurman

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 03:33

Sorry for the delay, Mr. Aero...

http://en.wikipedia...._NASCAR_drivers


Perhaps "duty" was too strong a word, but I've thought of another question for the writers, researchers and historians amongst us to ponder in regards to Wikipedia...

Is it not in the best interest of all concerned to put the information where the most people are likely to see it?

Again, I see the U.S. media in particular using Wiki as the beginning, middle and end of their research. Right now if you took away Google and YouTube, there'd be no "news" :rolleyes:

#68 Allen Brown

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 11:41

A campaign has started to fight back against Wikipedia after a recent decision they made which will, in effect, make their google position even more dominant.

This site puts in language we can all understand.

If you're in favour of this campaign, please use Digg or Del.icio.us to indicate your support for the article above and help boost its visibility. The more people who click on 'Digg This', the more people will see the article and the more site owners will make the necessary changes.

Wikipedia is huge - it will take a lot of us to make a difference.

Allen

#69 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 12:42

I still don't think I understand it, Allen...

Is that all that's needed... to go to the digg site? Or do we have to register or comment or something else?

#70 Allen Brown

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 12:44

Ray

You may have to register (it's free!) to make it count. I was already registered so I'm not sure what you would see if you weren't.

Allen

#71 HistoricMustang

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 22:24

Well, finally had time to document here:

http://en.wikipedia....ational_Raceway

Perhaps it will survive. :cat:

Henry

#72 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:10

Originally posted by Fred Gallagher
As I understand it, anybody can write and publish a book.....


An irony here... a current eBay listing:

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#73 Michael Ferner

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 15:39

"Edited from High Quality Wikipedia articles"

So, does it have any pages at all? :confused:

#74 Bloggsworth

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 16:35

Why is everyone getting so het up about a free resource which makes no claims to be absolutely definitive, which in fact often asks for confirmation on points. I suspect 99.999% of Wikipedia entries are the best that the enterer can do, there are occasional mistakes, very little malicious - Recently an entry claimed that Ben Onwukwe, who played Recall in London's Burning, was dead when a friend of mine was actually speaking on the phone to him! The entry was corrected immediately.

Does anyone really expect Wikipedia to have the full results and reports of every major motor race that has ever taken place? Just motor-racing? What about the poor netball and Lacrosse fans? Are they to be denied their 1,000 pages? Darts? Tiddlywinks? Perhaps the full cast and chorus of every stage production in the UK?

Wikipedia is as correct as those who make the entries, if you think there are errors, sign up and correct them, put the vast knowledge of all things motorsport resident in this forum to good use...

#75 Vitesse2

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 17:09

Wikipedia is as correct as those who make the entries, if you think there are errors, sign up and correct them, put the vast knowledge of all things motorsport resident in this forum to good use...

As I understand it Wikipedia's Achilles heel is that it won't accept original research, so even if you have that knowledge - possibly gained from personal observation, deduction or distillation of several sources - it won't be accepted.

I'm sure that - for example - Michael could make literally hundreds of corrections to the pages about the Indy 500, based on his own research and knowledge. But the Wikipedia line would be (broadly) that "if it's not in a book it's not acceptable" - even if the books are wrong! On that subject, you only have to look at the threads here and at TrackForum about Russ Catlin: unless and until Catlin's distortions are thoroughly debunked and removed from the record, trying to change Wiki pages based on his flawed material will be a thankless task akin to painting the Forth Bridge.

I could personally make many changes and additions to the periods in which I specialise but in a lot of cases I couldn't back them up with the sort of "evidence" Wikipedia demands - even though I know I'm right.

Edited by Vitesse2, 22 January 2013 - 17:09.


#76 Nev

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 17:33

As I understand it Wikipedia's Achilles heel is that it won't accept original research, so even if you have that knowledge - possibly gained from personal observation, deduction or distillation of several sources - it won't be accepted.


Really? Are you sure "it won't accept original research"?

My understanding (borne from contributing to Wikipedia over the last three years) is that you can add anything you like as long as it can be properly backed up in some way. A lot of my research WAS derived from distillation of several sources (with an emphasis on written records rather than "heresay"). It is certainly wrong to say "it won't be accepted" in this instance - it was, has been and continues to be! One of the pages I contribute to also has contributions from a number of my peers and I am confident that page at least is as accurate as we are able to make it. Another strength of Wikipedia is that it can be updated as new data/information comes to light.

I'm with Bloggsworth on this one.

Rather than whinge about Wikipedia (not aimed at you Vitesse but others who have posted in this thread), why not enhance that resource by editing content as you see fit as long as your contributions can be backed up in some way? Why not add a new page if one doesn't already exist? There is such a wealth of knowledge in this forum it would be a shame not to see it made more widely available and more easily accessible.

The depth of knowledge and expertise on this forum never ceases to amaze me and I believe it would be of enormous benefit if it could be used to enhance Wikipedia. For one thing, Wikipedia is far better suited to recording and making available combined wisdom than this forum.

Edited by Nev, 22 January 2013 - 17:35.


#77 Michael Ferner

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 18:11

Why is everyone getting so het up about a free resource...


That is precisely the problem. Whether you see it or not, Wikipedia is the beginning of the end of civilization. A society that is not willing to pay for knowledge will starve of it. It is preposterous and extremely ignorant to expect scholars to work for free, nothing, zilch, not even peanuts. I may be fighting windmills, but I am absolutely unflinching in my detestation of that VERY STUPID idea. The sooner we get rid of it, the better!

#78 Allan Lupton

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 19:06

Rather than whinge about Wikipedia (not aimed at you Vitesse but others who have posted in this thread), why not enhance that resource by editing content as you see fit as long as your contributions can be backed up in some way? Why not add a new page if one doesn't already exist? There is such a wealth of knowledge in this forum it would be a shame not to see it made more widely available and more easily accessible.

Yes in recent years I have stopped whinging and tried to put a few matters right/add useful bits/etc. where I have the knowledge to do so.
There is always a risk of "ping pong" when you do change something and the original author doesn't accept the change, but it's not frequent unlike gratuitous vandalism.
e.g. under Ford Racing someone had entered "1936 - Ionel Zamfirescu won the Monte Carlo Rally driving a Ford Anglia" and after I'd corrected it to say "1936 - Ionel Zamfirescu and P. G. Cristea won the Monte Carlo Rally driving a Ford V8 Special" the "Ford Anglia" man reappeared - eventually saying they drove a "Ford Anglia with Ford V8 “Flathead”"
I was so fed up that I added "This is an incorrect correction to what I wrote on 6/3/2011. There was nothing Ford Anglia about the special which won as the [http://upload.wikime...tre_cristea.jpg picture here]shows. This is probably not deliberate vandalism, but near enough." and a Wiki editor must have sorted it out!

Edited by Allan Lupton, 22 January 2013 - 19:08.


#79 ensign14

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 19:29

That is precisely the problem. Whether you see it or not, Wikipedia is the beginning of the end of civilization. A society that is not willing to pay for knowledge will starve of it. It is preposterous and extremely ignorant to expect scholars to work for free, nothing, zilch, not even peanuts.

That may be a reason why wikipedia does not accept original research; essentially it acts as a collator of what's already out there. I would hope wikipedia would act as a stimulant - certainly I have bought books because the wikipedia articles have piqued me, and contained bibliographies...

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#80 ensign14

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 19:31

An irony here... a current eBay listing:

Pound to a penny that that's a print on demand, automatically generated by a scraping algorithm. There seem to be loads of these parasites on amazon and abebooks.

#81 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 19:41

The title is enough to make it look inaccurate!

Mind you, it's also getting away from the original purpose of this thread...

#82 Bloggsworth

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 19:51

Wikipedia has moderators, you can appeal to them when someone is being obtuse; and Wikipedia allows you to cite references, and even original research must have references or it is not research it's original thought. When I wrote a paper about a poem by Ted Hughes I had to quote source material, if posting about a particular car or driver there will presumably be reference material, programmes, results, photographs etc. Wikipedia is a free resource for us, it is not costless for those who create and maintain it, any more than is a public library or a radio programme; so to label it as unworthy or untrustworthy because we don't pay for it is an insult to those of us who have sent in what money we could spare to keep it going...

#83 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 22:19

Okay, what's so wrong with putting something in there and saying, "I was an eyewitness to this event."?

Is my memory 'source material' or not?

#84 Bloggsworth

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 23:57

Okay, what's so wrong with putting something in there and saying, "I was an eyewitness to this event."?

Is my memory 'source material' or not?



The difficulty is that it then becomes anecdotal, the entries should be impartial, without personal viewpoint. By the way, if you donate you get a nice email from Sue...

#85 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 00:11

Okay, so let's just say that I see something on there that's been repeated over and over in magazines and books...

But I was an eyewitness to the event and knew it wasn't recorded properly, can I correct it?

#86 seldo

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 00:18

Okay, so let's just say that I see something on there that's been repeated over and over in magazines and books...

But I was an eyewitness to the event and knew it wasn't recorded properly, can I correct it?

You're game Ray - that's a big chunk to bite-off. There's a fair bit to work through - You could make it your new calling in life... :)

#87 Bloggsworth

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:51

Okay, so let's just say that I see something on there that's been repeated over and over in magazines and books...

But I was an eyewitness to the event and knew it wasn't recorded properly, can I correct it?


In a situation like that you would contact the moderators as did my friend when telling them that Recall was very much alive. Where facts are in dispute you will often see a (citation needed) in blue beside the entry. Wikipedia really want the information to be accurate, though sometimes, where the "facts" aren't critical or in dispute, odd stuff stays for quite a while, like the legend that Bob Holness, the Blockbusters quizmaster, played saxaphone on Gerry Raffertey's Baker Street...

#88 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:09

I wouldn't be comfortable with that...

That would leave what I say open to some kind of implied challenge.

Of course, I am talking about if there were a situation where I was completely certain of my facts.

#89 Bloggsworth

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:33

I wouldn't be comfortable with that...

That would leave what I say open to some kind of implied challenge.

Of course, I am talking about if there were a situation where I was completely certain of my facts.



Ah! But those who made the previous posting were also sure of their facts - Leaving it open to citation means that anyone else who also saw what you saw could confirm what you said - Due diligence and all that. If you dispute a previous version Wikipedia will put a not saying that the point is under dispute, perfectly reasonable in my opinion.

#90 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 14:14

There was a race at Oran Park in the seventies some time on which I wrote the report in Racing Car News...

In that report I made it clear that I didn't agree with the official lapscoring and that Peter Brock and Warren Cullen had won easily. Brock agreed with me, but his team didn't protest the outcome... something you would normally expect to happen.

Of course, everyone else reported the 'official' view of the race and I was the odd man out.

So if I were to go to Wikipedia and find that race mentioned there and the 'official' results taken as gospel, and were I to edit in my side of the story, I could only quote myself.

How would I get on?

#91 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 14:20

You should try writing up what you saw but at another location, and cite *that* as a reference.



#92 ianselva

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 14:23

I dont quite understand why all these people are getting so aerated about the errors on Wikipedia, when there is hardly a topic on this forum that doesn't have differing opinions on the content. On almost any subject there are discussions about the facts being correctly recorded and not subject to memory errors.

#93 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 22:52

On Wikipedia it is presented as fact. If it's is edited, then it might happen after you read it or before you read it, you don't know there is a contentious point at all.

Here you are aware when something is disputed...

#94 Bloggsworth

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 23:26

Today the Daily Telegraph headlined a story about the new head honcho in the RAF, the first helicopter pilot to hold the position, they illustrated it with a photo of an unmanned drone - Everybody makes mistakes...

#95 proviz

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:26


The biggest problem with Wikipedia is not the mistakes, but the fact that the way it presents subjects is totally out of proportion. Anything that happened post 1990 gets a mention, whereas loads of earlier stuff is totally ignored.
To take an example, just compare the entries for Timo Mäkinen and Colin McRae. Colin gets about ten times the coverage of Timo. Does this mean his contribution to rally history was ten times more important? Mäkinen has two references, McRae 45!
Even within the copy about Mäkinen, his entry in 1994 Monte Carlo Rally is mentioned even though it was just a forgettable publicity stunt, but the 1966 disqualification is omitted. For a younger reader, who is not familiar with Timo's career, it gives a completely skewed picture of the man's standing in the sport.




#96 Allan Lupton

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:58

The biggest problem with Wikipedia is not the mistakes, but the fact that the way it presents subjects is totally out of proportion. Anything that happened post 1990 gets a mention, whereas loads of earlier stuff is totally ignored.
To take an example, just compare the entries for Timo Mäkinen and Colin McRae. Colin gets about ten times the coverage of Timo. Does this mean his contribution to rally history was ten times more important? Mäkinen has two references, McRae 45!
Even within the copy about Mäkinen, his entry in 1994 Monte Carlo Rally is mentioned even though it was just a forgettable publicity stunt, but the 1966 disqualification is omitted. For a younger reader, who is not familiar with Timo's career, it gives a completely skewed picture of the man's standing in the sport.

Yes but as mentioned above, if you can be bothered to do so you can add the rest of what you believe should be there to give the whole and appropriate picture.

#97 D-Type

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:54

It took me about four attempts (ping pong) to persuade someone that there were three models of Lotus Eleven: 'Club,' 'Sport' and 'Le Mans' although only two body styles: with and without head fairing and that the 1.5 litre Climax engine was not a standard fitting.

Edited by D-Type, 29 January 2013 - 00:01.


#98 uechtel

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:07

I have to defend the wikipedia concept here. One has to understand that it is something different like a forum and also not "good" or "bad" in itself. It´s just a platform and it depends on what people do with it. If you read the TNF threads you will also find much "bull****", but you would never question the forum as a whole because of this.

See some quite impressive examples (sorry, in German):

http://de.wikipedia....loni_(Formel_1)
http://de.wikipedia....Scuderia_Coloni
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minardi
http://de.wikipedia....Theodore_Racing
etc.

In case of the mentioned book I see the fundamental mistake of the author to BASE a book ON wikipedia, while the concept should be exactly the opposite! The concept of wikipedia is to SUM up the knowledge (for which you need some criteria, like accessable sources - no anekdotes, no 'hidden' material, no 'insider' stories etc. - AND relevance! To my experience the latter is the bigger problem as wikipedia members tend to compile much too much into the details so that they get problems to find really 'common' sources, which is my main point of criticism), while for writing a book I would expect the author to do some adequate research. So what use makes a book compiled from a publicly accessable compilation? In my opinion it´s just a ridiculous effort of the author to make some cheap money without having to work of his own.