Thursday, 11 December 2008

Faster than a speeding Wikipedia update...

Yesterday we had a fairly major change at work - many rumours were circulating, most people knew what they thought was happening but were waiting to hear about it through "official" channels. Then at about 1100, lo and behold an article appeared on the website, pretty much confirming the news.

So, I thought I'd update a particular Wikipedia page with this news item - all very properly linked back and citing the website - and thought not much more of it. I've made a few minor Wikipedia edits like this before so didn't really think it was a big deal.

The funny part came throughout the afternoon. By the time I left for the day I had heard at least 4 separate individuals at work mention the Wikipedia article, giving it far more authority than I would have expected! On further review, it seems the page is top result for an obvious Google search - suddenly all becomes clear...

Given that the only way these people could have been alerted to the Wikipedia page was through Google searches, it's a pretty dramatic example of how quickly the informational grapevine works these days. And also a surprising example of how quickly one little edit can get a great deal of attention!

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