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Colin White

I like the various blogs associated with my many hobbies and even those to do with work. I find them very useful and I was excited when the Business Intelligence Network invited me to write my very own blog. At last I now have somewhere to park all the various tidbits that I know are useful, but I am not sure what to do with. I am interested in a wide range of information technologies and so you might find my thoughts will bounce around a bit. I hope these thoughts will provoke some interesting discussions.

About the author >

Colin White is the founder of BI Research and president of DataBase Associates Inc. As an analyst, educator and writer, he is well known for his in-depth knowledge of data management, information integration, and business intelligence technologies and how they can be used for building the smart and agile business. With many years of IT experience, he has consulted for dozens of companies throughout the world and is a frequent speaker at leading IT events. Colin has written numerous articles and papers on deploying new and evolving information technologies for business benefit and is a regular contributor to several leading print- and web-based industry journals. For ten years he was the conference chair of the Shared Insights Portals, Content Management, and Collaboration conference. He was also the conference director of the DB/EXPO trade show and conference.

Editor's Note: More articles and resourcesare available in Colin's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

February 2006 Archives

Wikipedia is becoming an increasingly useful resource for both personal and business research. This free and user supported encyclopedia covers a huge range of topics and even has entries for Claudia Imhoff’s “exploding snake” (see her blog), and also, not to be outdone by a snake, an entry on exploding whales.

The problem is that Wikipedia is also exploding with information. In December, the forum received 4.7 million edits from its users. As with any content management system, governance is a key issue. Without governance, there is no control over how information is published and maintained. There are stories about how competing companies are removing and editing each others entries in Wikipedia. The Washington Post reports that Capital Hill is playing WikiPolitics by polishing up and editing representatives and senators biographies and speeches. For a while, Wikipedia had to temporarily block certain Capital Hill Web addresses from altering entries.

On the positive side, Nature Magazine reports that Wikipedia’s accuracy on science-related articles is similar to that of Encyclopedia Britannica. Perhaps this has to do with the April 1, 2005 news story about Encyclopedia Britannica buying the Wikimedia Foundation!

The bottom line is that as Web sites like Wikipedia and Google grow in volume, it will be close to impossible to govern them. As Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central says “it’s all about truthiness.”

Posted February 9, 2006 4:09 PM
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