March 13, 2007
WikiMania ... and more ...
This blog entry is all about interesting websites I've been looking at...
Part 1: Wiki-Mania
Lately I've been feeling something I can only describe as “WikiMania.” I think Wikipedia is so amazingly useful I added a Wikipedia search box to the front page of my website, and was very pleased with myself when I figured out how to do so. Now I've discovered there are a lot of variations of Wikipedia that are quite interesting and worth taking a look at if you're looking for a cool website to peruse, check them out...
Wikiliality--a parody of Wikipedia (not part of the WikiMedia family of projects)--I recently heard of an incident involving Stephen Colbert and Wikipedia; apparently Colbert was able to motivate fans to deliberately alter information about the endangered status of African Elephants as a way to make fun of a media stir about the reliability of Wikipedia (because it's entirely reliant on user participation), and they were successful in making it seem like Elephants are doing pretty well. As a result fans created a parody site called Wikiality, using the term Colbert coined. This is something you probably would appreciate only in you're a fan of Colbert and his continuing sarcastic mockery of conservative punditry.
Uncyclopedia, yet another sarcastic spoof of Wikipedia that is extremely funny and well done.
Mupit Wiki: I heard about this on episode 13 of net@night about Wikipedia. This is by far the coolest variation of the Wikipedia concept I've seen; it has the same look and feel of Wikipedia but its focused purely on the universe of Muppet trivia.
Wikinews (part of the WikiMedia family of projects). This has the same user generated concept as Wikipedia but directed entirely to news. From what I've checked out so far it already is awesome. I imagine that this service will truly grow as time goes on and more wiki users get involved. It seems like there is finally a good news companion to Google News.
Wikipmapia, not affiliated with Wikipedia or any of it's Wikimedia affiliated projects, WikiMapia combines the Wiki concept with Google Maps, to allows anyone to in their words “describe the whole world.” Kinda cool, but also a wee bit freaky because anyone can say anything about anyplace on earth.
Part 2: The Race for Space
In the 1960s America won the race to the Moon (allegedly). Now it seems that two commercial enterprises are gearing up for the race for commercialized space flight. The first company I heard about awhile back is part of the Virgin family of companies, named appropriately Virgin Galactic (their airline is Virgin Atlantic). And I heard on net@night the founder of Amazon.com is starting his own space-flight endeavor named Blue Origin. This makes a lot of sense to me. The commercialization of space travel could really give financial power to expanding the horizon on space exploration. (Russia has already taken passengers into space to help fund their space travels.)
Part 3: Educational links
In college I often wondered if I was really getting any knowledge that I couldn't discover otherwise, or it was more about learning the ways I can find and use information that was the really valuable knowledge. That's why I was interested to hear out about this site, from an episode of Diggnation, that contains links to credible academic sources for educational material. It's a cool link. Making information more available and education more accessible is really the best hope for the Internet. And it seems that the Wikipedia family has a project with similar goals.