Category Archives: wikipedia

Wikipedia is still Web 1.0

How many websites are there that takes any url and convert that into a tag cloud and give it back to you? ZoomClouds.com and TagCloud.com offer converting an RSS feed into a tag cloud. TagMyCloud.com converts plain text you paste in a textbox into a tag cloud. TagCrowd.com also converts plain text, but allows either pasting text or uploading a file. However, at present ToCloud.com is the only one offering converting any webpage into a tag cloud.

So, tocloud.com was listed on Wikipedia under http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_Cloud under external links. Within the brief time it was on Wikipedia, several users visited the website and even built their own tag clouds and put them on their web pages. Check some of these users. However, one moderator removed the link with a comment “non-notable and advertisement”.

I don’t have any problem with moderating. But I do have objection to the type of moderation. First and foremost, wikipeida itself lives off of donations. So, what’s wrong for a service provider to generate revenue in whatever legal way possible (placing ads in this case), as long as there is some service that the end users are interested in? If the public doesn’t donate, what would happen to Wikipedia? Sure some bigwig corporations will run the show, but with some ulterior motives.

The second issue I have with the moderator’s comment is “non-notable”. IMHO, the comment sounds like Wikipedia is modeled towards “rich get richer” scheme. I mean, if Wikipedia wants to link only the notable links, what happens to all the people who are interested in building their own tag clouds? Just because any of the sites mentioned above are not popular doesn’t mean that the “Tag Cloud” concept is limited to the services provided by just del.icio.us and flickr. Is it? And who is a single moderator to be able to decide what is notable and what is not? This is where Wikipedia should grow into a Web 2.0 model. Let everyone vote whether an external link should belong in an article or not. Those that get lesser votes will go down and the rest will bubble up.

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Beware of privacy when contributing to Wikipedia

For good or bad, wikipedia keeps track of each edit and the associated ip address. It also provides the ability to search for all the edits coming from a given ip address. This is useful for the guys who keep the wikipedia as clean as possible without spam and other junk. I think they also maintain blacklisted ip addresses.

I see one big problem with this ip address tracking. Whenever a person visits a website, the website also knows the ip address of that person. Now, using that ip address and querying up against wikipedia will give the website access to information about the person! Depending on what articles a person has edited, it will then be possible to know what a person’s knows, likes etc. So, for example, let’s say you are a person interested in Yoga and edit a bunch of Yoga articles on Wikipedia. Now, the moment you go to Amazon, if Amazon customizes their website for you showing a lot of Yoga books and related stuff, that would be good? Or spooky!

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