Wikipedia a force for good? Nonsense, says a co-founder: “The founder of the Wikipedia online encyclopaedia criticised the Education Secretary yesterday for suggesting that the website could be a good educational tool for children.”
(Larry Sanger says on his blog that this was the media going “let’s you and him fight” with an out of context quote. He meant our governance is broken … which a fair few Wikipedians agree on.)
I got calls from the BBC and the Press Association. I didn’t play up to the “let’s you and him fight,” but did note that:
- Citizendium is more free content and therefore a good thing (per the WMF’s mission, no less) as it helps validate the model and open content in general.
- They’ve got a good community and seem to have started well.
- There’s certainly got to be more than one way to do this.
- Wikipedia is not “reliable”, and the best way to use Wikipedia in schools is for the teacher to teach the kids critical reading. Wikipedia is good if you think. Same for Citizendium, Britannica, autobiographies, blogs and newspapers.
The BBC wanted a telly piece, so I went to the Borders in Oxford Circus, and Borders kindly let the BBC film there. The interviewer, Rory Cellan-Jones, asked me the same question about reliability three or four times until I got it down to a nice soundbite.
They filmed a few walking-around bits in the reference section. Oddly enough, Borders don’t sell printed encyclopedias any more. We decided the Oxford dictionaries would be suitable (I mentioned how the OED used a model like ours starting 150 years ago — volunteer contributions).
This should be on BBC1 six o’clock news this evening. Probably a seven- to ten-second clip of me. That took an hour to make. Maybe I might actually not end up cut this time!
Edit: And a call just now from Andrea from Computeractive. I’ve got it down to two minutes now, each sentence repeated twice.
Edit 2: 15 seconds of fame! About 6:22pm BST. RealVideo stream. My head is way too shiny.