Wikipedia is brilliant and very, very useful. Wikipedia is also inherently flawed and somehow this suprises people. Wikipedia lets anyone edit or create entries, this is brilliant for topics that are niche in interest, say Space Marine Chapters from Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 game, topics that few people are passionately interested in will often be brilliant on Wikipedia. Fan’s pride themselves on getting it right.
Wikipedia can struggle when you get to more popular topics, and especially suffers when you get to issues that are hotly debated. This is why I fail to see why there is any controversy at all about some politicians on Capitol Hill having their staff edit their entries. Xeni Jardin on Boing Boing seems to think this is news, to me this is a just natual and part of Wikipedia. In a way I am glad to see it, it means that some on Capitol Hill are starting to ‘get’ the internet, that can’t be a bad thing. Of course politicians and celebraties are going to edit their entries, they have massive egos how could they be expected to reisist? The solution is simple, go and edit it back. This is work I know, but that is built into Wikipedia, if you really care, you can affect it. If you don’t care the egoists can have it their way. I tend to trust niche entries on Wikipedia, but even in niches I tend to verify from outside sources. Wikipedia is brilliant, but if that is the only place you get information on you Senator, you are the problem, not Wikipedia.