Nicholson Baker on Wikipedia

The March 20th issue of The New York Review of Books has a review of John Broughton‘s book, Wikipedia: The Missing Manual, by Nicholson Baker: The Charms of Wikipedia. Nicholson Baker delights in writing about technology, as you may know, but if you’ve read Baker’s writings on card catalogs and microfilmed newspapers you might be surprised to find how lovingly he writes about Wikipedia. This is absolutely the most fun article I’ve read about Wikipedia, and has much in it that rings true to me as someone who wrote and edited Wikipedia articles for a few months. Funnest fact? Nicholson Baker’s Wikipedia username is Wageless. Hee hee!!

One comment on “Nicholson Baker on Wikipedia

  1. I agree, that was a great article, and I loved the fact that Baker is a self-described Wikipedia “inclusionist”, and I love the fact that Wikipedia is a fount of all manner of obscure-but-interesting information. Baker is a force for good in trying to preserve that aspect of Wikipedia.

    I’ve played around with LIS Wiki, too, but that’s not nearly as much fun.

    When I was outside the Library world itching to get back in, Wikipedia was definitely my friend on long, boring night shifts at my previous employer in the insurance industry. I learned so much obscure trivia about popular culture of the 1970s and 1980s–especially pop music related info–that I would *NEVER* pick up from so staid a source as Encyclopedia Britannica.

    Playing with Wikipedia actually does sometimes bring back fond memories of spending hours upon hours of my childhood digging through my old 1979 World Book Encyclopedia set, though the experience is different by virtue of the fact that you can make small improvements in the articles, and it’s gratifying to see one’s edits stand the test of time, or be improved still further by someone else, but preserving the spirit of your original intervention.

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