Last night, Alan Ferrier from Edienburg, Scottland, did the impossible: He improved the perfect wikipedia photo caption. With the addition of the word “right” to this photo of a man playing bagpipes and an “indifferent” penguin, Ferrier showed the world the power of editing Wikipedia for hilarious, and factual, gains.
That’s when things took a turn. Twitter began editing this picture of Piper Kerr, who is on the right, ok?
Then found other pictures that could use more facts, like this one of seated economist Guy Standing.
Users found numerous captions in need of extra truth, like this one of Cecil the Lion’s brother, Jericho the Lion, who is also a lion.
And some they didn’t have to caption at all:
It just goes to show that there can never be too much truth in the world.
David Spargo apparently really wanted to meet the band "Peking Duk," so much so that he was willing to poorly edit the band's Wikipedia entry in order to convince a security guy he belonged backstage. Lucky for him, it worked.
The ill-placed and poorly formatted "Family David Spargo" was legit enough to dupe a surprisingly gullible security guard into letting David past him, where he introduced himself to the band:
"We ended up having a bunch of beers with him and he was an absolute legend. He wasn’t a creep or anything. He was like the most normal dude we’ve ever met. That’s what makes it more hilarious."
Was it worth it? Absolutely.
Would it work a second time? Probably not.
One man, 1,000,000 edits: Justin Knapp, a 30-year-old Wikipedia editor from Indiana, has spent the bulk of his free time since 2003 giving the open-source encyclopedia the ol' spit-and-polish, and he's finally hit seven digits. And that's easier said than done, considering the site is the sixth most-visited in the world.
Among his crowning achievements on the site is the bibliography on the George Orwell entry, the most comprehensive of its kind in the world; it took Knapp more than 100 hours to complete. He also has tasked himself with keeping the site's information on music albums up-to-date. And all for what?
"I've never accepted any restitution for my work on Wikipedia -- it's purely voluntary. ... Far be it for me to say that it's an act of love to edit Wikipedia. But I really do feel like it helps other human beings. That makes me feel good -- knowing that somehow I can be a small part of helping someone who I'll never know."
End Of An Era of the Day: Encyclopaedia Britannica, the mother of all alphabetized knowledge, will be putting its 244-year-old print business out to pasture effective immediately.
This makes the august encyclopedia publisher's 32-volume 2010 edition the last of its kind.
"Some people will feel sad about it and nostalgic about it. But we have a better tool now," said Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. president Jorge Cauz. "But we have a better tool now. The Web site is continuously updated, it’s much more expansive and it has multimedia."
Indeed, over the last decade, Encyclopaedia Britannica has seen online rival Wikipedia slowly eat away at its market share, with its high-minded notions of free information for all by all.
By comparison, a complete set of Encyclopaedia Britannica books will set you back a cool $1,395. Additionally, dead-tree tomes lack the self-correction and expansion features that come standard with Wikipedia, and are increasingly necessary in today's fast-paced world of the 24-hour news cycle.
Curriculum products for schools have been Encyclopaedia Britannica primary source of revenue since encyclopedia sales peaked at 120,000 in 1990. According to the company, nearly all the other money it makes comes from subscriptions to its website. Print encyclopedias make up less than 1 percent its profits.