February 09, 2006

Wiki-Wiki-Wikipedia: This is the remix

So because of the line of work I'm in, I often read/scan technology journals, trade magazines, and other relatively dry media sources. This has a tendency to be approximately as much fun as shredding the tip of your finger while grating cheese, but occasionally there's a real gem, because when nerds get entertaining, they don't fool around. Today I discovered one such gem when reading back articles in Red Herring.

Evidently, Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, is having some trouble with "anyone's" edits. It seems people aren't just editing the origin of the Uromastyx or the weather patterns in the Gulf Coast. Oh, no. Some particularly vengeful interns and nerds have discovered that they can use Wikipedia to wage war on the reputations of the haters, conservatives and creeps around them. Read on:

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia has been seeing alterations in entries for members of Congress, including insults like “smells like cow dung” that seem to originate from within the halls of Congress itself.

That reference was made in the entry for Eric Cantor, a Republican representative from Virginia, according to CNET News.com. Another entry, about Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, said he “was voted the most annoying Senator by his peers in Congress. This was due to Senator Coburn being a huge douche-bag.”

I'm loving this. I guess Wikipedia isn't as excited about it, but they're also not losing any sleep. They're just deleting the changes as they discover them -- but nobody's getting any special treatment. That means it can sometimes take days, even weeks, for the edits to come down. Which means you know some greasy, pale kid in a bow-tie who is pissed he'll never be a crack-snorting senator is faxing and doing coffee runs with a smug little smile on his face for at least a few days of his sad but ambitious errand-running, schmoozing existance. The Wiki-Gods quoth:

“We treat edits from Capitol Hill just like we treat edits from grammar school. If they don’t behave themselves, they get blocked.”

Basically, edit THAT, you herd of Capitol Hill pansies who smell of poo and are huge douche-bags. My thoughts? Yay for spiteful, abused, under-appreciated interns, obviously! Meddle on with your bad selves! There's simply not enough tomfoolery, ballyhoo and debauchery these days. I'm all for it.

My office today got a copy of the new PostSecret coffee table book. We're total geeks, I know, but we're also design snobs, Dave Matthews fans, suit-haters, hookah-smokers and vouyers, which makes us a bit more dynamic, don't you think?

Anyway, the book is really gorgeous, and I think the secrets are more powerful in print than on the site. They're more personal, or something, when you're holding them in your hands.

They're actually laugh-out-loud/goosebumpy/tear-temptingly good.

Pick it up. (I'm getting another one -- for my house -- immediately.)


Anonymous said...

I completely agree on the Post Secret thing. I blogged on it a while back. I totally love the idea behind it.
Just a note.. Love the blog! Keep us giggling secretly from our crappy cube farm dwellings.

Trebuchet said...

Oh, Jesus. You're in a cubicle? Being a self-admitted "job-snob", I refuse to work anywhere that wants to stick me in a felt-covered land of mid-tone gray squares. I think I would completely lose my mind and harm someone. Either that, or I'd just give up and play minesweeper all day. Or bejeweled. God, I'm a nerd. But I'm a nerd with an office, at least.

Also, I'm really uncomfortable talking on the phone for work purposes when other people can hear me. Another problem with cubicles. I totally get stage fright and lose all focus. It's very "deer in headlights", which is bad, bad, bad in my line of work, where you always have to have something - no, the right thing - to say.

auntiegrav said...

Cubicles: I used to have an office (well, a Lab, actually) on a factory floor, and would visit the engineering cube farm when necessary. We used to play cube fishing. That's where you walk into the room of cubicles and just yell "HEY!", and either pick the first head that pops up, or count the number of heads that pop up.
I always think of the CF as a cross between Dilbert and the Far Side. Just put cows in the cubes (A.K.A. "Veal Fattening Pens").

Wikipedia..."Net Creativity": I put it in, but then I read the rules and it isn't supposed to be there...yet. So I left a note for the Wikipolicia to go ahead and remove it if they like.