Anytime I want to look up a wikipedia article, I usually just Google it…or more recently, Bing it. Yesterday, I decided to go to Wikipedia’s home page, to see what’s new. I noticed something I was seeing for the first time – wikinews.
Wikinews? Ok from my knowledge of wikis, I should believe this “wikinews” is user-generated. I don’t know what surprised me the most. The fact that a user-generated news site exists, or the fact that users actually ‘generate’ news on this news site. I fired up TwitterFox and posted this “and how exactly does wikinews work” hoping someone would be kind enough to explain. A little over 2 hours later, the official English Twitter account for Wikinews responded and the following conversation started.
@en_wikinews: Wikinews works much like any other wiki. Collaborative journalism min this case. Plus we add an editorial review before publishing.
@xolubi: I’m surprised people actually submit news stories. And on time too.
@en_wikinews: We do have a policy about stale news. Many people contribute to Wikinews because they want to help provide Totally Free News.
@xolubi: How do you handle cases where news is submitted without the ‘actual’ source getting proper credit?
@en_wikinews: In order for news to be published on Wikinews, it must go through a 5 point independent review. Part of which is a copyvio check. (copyvio is short for copyright violation).
@xolubi: Care to share what this 5-point independent review comprises of?
@xolubi: Here’s hoping you don’t mind my questions.
@en_wikinews: Don’t mind at all, happy to explain. Wiki’s are open to all. The review process is documented in a template: http://enwn.net/9A37
@xolubi: Ok. Noticed a “post your opinion” link but no opinions posted yet. What will you say about traffic and how people see it as a news source?
@en_wikinews: There are “Opinion” pages for each article, welcoming comments from readers. Some articles get many comments http://enwn.net/cA24
@en_wikinews: As for traffic/news source: We’re not the biggest, but we’ve got a following. In July we had 5.9m page views http://enwn.net/3229
@xolubi: On a side note, look like wikinews has a URL shortener (from your tweets). Is it open to the public or for internal use only?
@en_wikinews: It is open to the public, but for WMF url’s only: http://enwn.net/bookmark.php – The instructions/interface are a work in progress. (I’m sure WMF is short for Wikimedia Foundation)
Whew! Sounds interesting to know a “user-contributed” news source exists and that it is actually active. I’m certain that as more people embrace it, the contributing community will grow and Wikinews will be inching a step closer to being a de facto news source. I may be wrong, but don’t say I didn’t say it.
And yes. We have yet another URL Shortner. Altho this works much like Digg’s digg.com or Stumble Upon’s su.pr in the sense that its specialized.
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