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Aussie Tech-Focused Wiki Launched 155

Posted by timothy
from the history-is-written-by-the-koala dept.
daria42 writes "Wikipedia's great for some things — like looking up the in-depth history of 4chan, for example — but not great for others, such as finding out the micro-history of the technology sector in certain countries. That's why Australian technology publication Delimiter has launched a public wiki site purely focused on the Australian technology sector — its personalities, issues, companies, and events. Already the site has better coverage of some areas than Wikipedia, leading to the question of whether more such small wikis should be created for certain verticals."
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Aussie Tech-Focused Wiki Launched

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @11:15PM (#31813448)

    Wikipedia's great for some things — like looking up the in-depth history of 4chan

    That is what is wrong with Wikipedia.

    • by eclectro (227083) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @11:21PM (#31813486)

      That is what is wron^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H

      There, I deleted it for ya.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by wmac (1107843)
        Someone has added an x-rated photo titled "Example of pushing limits". Did you added it to the Auzi monstrous! wiki?

        I managed to take a snapshot of your crime :) http://i43.tinypic.com/11mgtvr.jpg [tinypic.com]

        (See the history if you cannot see it)
    • by TheLink (130905)
      Uh no. That's what I use wikipedia for. Where else are you going to find info like that?
  • Advantage? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by qazadex (1378043) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @11:17PM (#31813456)
    Why not use the effort in creating articles in an entirely new wiki to instead improve or add articles for Wikipedia? Wikipedia as we know it today would be much less useful if broken up into thousands of subdomains.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      But isn't the internet really just thousands of sub domains? And it's useful right? Even the Wikipedia folks seem to think that it is okay to have many sources of "fact" see also links aka references at the end of each Wikipedia entry. Is this a Wikipedia issue or just a problem with somebody else calling their user create collection of "facts" a wiki? I like Wikipedia and appreciate when people add to it but refuse to limit myself when people choose to maintain their own website(s) even ones that happen to

    • Re:Advantage? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @11:25PM (#31813526) Journal
      It does seem curious. In wonder if they ran up against some faction of US-centric "notability nazis" on wikipedia(in which case starting their own wiki is probably the most logical response) or whether they made the(arguably stupid) move of looking at wikipedia, noting that it didn't have what they wanted, and then making their own.

      Distinct wikis are quite sensible when dealing with matters that aren't within Wikipedia's area of interest(the dedicated Star Wars and Star Trek wikis, among others, would be a bit much shoehorned in to wikipedia proper, for instance). In this case, though, the Australian tech industry would seem to be as logical a candidate for entry into standard Wikipedia as any other country's, if perhaps understandably less heavily contributed.

      Assuming that the license isn't something totally off the wall, somebody could probably do a more or less automatic mass import; but it still seems sort of pointless.
    • Re:Advantage? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @11:25PM (#31813528)

      Have you ever tried to create or edit articles in Wikipedia?

      I've had dentist visits which were less painful.
      I've dealt with powerhungry asshole admins in fps games who were more understanding.
      I've dealt with complex series of rules (i.e. United States Tax Code) which are easier to circumnavigate than Wikipedia's ego-driven drivel.

      And my edits were on non-mainstream articles.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by toastar (573882)

        Have you ever tried to create or edit articles in Wikipedia?

        I've had dentist visits which were less painful.
        I've dealt with powerhungry asshole admins in fps games who were more understanding.
        I've dealt with complex series of rules (i.e. United States Tax Code) which are easier to circumnavigate than Wikipedia's ego-driven drivel.

        And my edits were on non-mainstream articles.

        I concur, we need a wikipedia like tool dumb down to a myspace/geocites level

        • by tepples (727027)

          I concur, we need a wikipedia like tool dumb down to a myspace/geocites level

          This exists. It used to be called Wikicities and is now called Wikia. Essentially it's a set of wikis for everything that won't fit in an encyclopedia. And I recommend it for any vertical [wikipedia.org] that can stand the ads.

    • Re:Advantage? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by timmarhy (659436) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @11:30PM (#31813562)
      because some articles will never improve on wikipedia under the current management, that's why.
    • by Protoslo (752870)
      Articles about obscure corporate figures, obscure companies, obscure Pokemon, etc. are exactly the kind of things that get deleted from Wikipedia on account of "relevance."
    • by xQx (5744)
      Parent post deleted - not notable / not encyclopedic.

      (That's why.)
    • by mcvos (645701)

      Why not use the effort in creating articles in an entirely new wiki to instead improve or add articles for Wikipedia?

      Because your work is likely to be deleted. Not every little tech company meets wikipedia's notability standards.

      A few years ago, I added a bunch of pages on CMSs, and especially open source enterprise CMSs, to the Dutch wikipedia. Some of those were immediately deleted because it wasn't interesting enough and few other articles linked to them, although I imagine a lot of people would be interested in that sort of info. A specialised tech wiki would definitely help out there.

      Of course it'd be nice if that in

    • by tverbeek (457094)

      Wikipedia can't be the solution to every information-gathering problem. And despite some slogans to the contrary, it clearly doesn't want to be. It has policies of Notabiliy, No Original Research, and Neutral Point of View that effectively make it unsuitable for certain information. If you want in-depth, exhaustive information about other topics, you consult a more specialized resource, such as drum and bugle corps [drumcorpswiki.com], Star Wars [wookiepedia.org], Star Trek [memory-alpha.org], garden flowers [gardenology.org], movies [imdb.com], Pokémon [bulbagarden.net], Peter Pan [peterphile.info], travel [wikitravel.org], alternate [conservapedia.com]

    • Why not use the effort in creating articles in an entirely new wiki to instead improve or add articles for Wikipedia?

      On the flipside, why should they contribute to the Wikipedia?

      Wikipedia as we know it today would be much less useful if broken up into thousands of subdomains.

      Quite the contrary. The internet has show us again and again that One Site To Rule Them All is an idea that simply doesn't work all that well.

  • It's Senator Conroys all the way down...
  • by Qubit (100461) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @11:19PM (#31813472) Homepage Journal

    Aussie Tech-Focused Wikipedia Launched

    No, it wasn't. Some business in Australia unconnected with the Wikimedia crowd decided to put up their own wiki (running MediaWiki, like half of the other wikis out there). Good for them.

    Why didn't Slashdot cover it when Penny Arcade got their own Wikipedia [wikia.com] ? Oh wait, it was because that didn't happen, the same way Australia didn't get their own Wikipedia for technology.

    Anyhow, if someone's going to give the Land Down Under their own honest-to-goodness Wikipedia wiki, I think it should be about ways to get rid of invasive species. Any Aussies here? You've got what: rabbits, poisonous toads, some kind of insect, and.... what else?

    • Any Aussies here? You've got what: rabbits, poisonous toads, some kind of insect, and.... what else?
      Much of Australia's wildlife has been decimated by introduced species. You left out foxes, cats, carp and I think the insect you refer to is the European wasp, or maybe it is fire ants, both of which are wild.

      Probably the worst invasive species is Homo sapiens, which brought in all the other species (that includes our indigenous people, who introduced the dingo a few thousand years ago, decimating wildlife on

      • by timmarhy (659436)
        yep, it started 40,000 years ago when aboriginals arrived and started burning the land - they wiped out all the super mammals and countless plant species that couldn't take the regular burnings.

        the next most destructive animal to arrive would have to be the cane toad. it out competes native frogs, anything that eats it dies and we still don't have anyway of stopping it.

    • by fabs64 (657132)

      Restricting the conversation to seriously destructive imports I'd say the next ones would be cats, foxes and european carp.

      Particularly cats, disgusting destructive pest animals those things are.

    • by FiloEleven (602040) on Monday April 12, 2010 @12:47AM (#31813908)

      I think it should be about ways to get rid of invasive species. Any Aussies here? You've got what: rabbits, poisonous toads, some kind of insect, and.... what else?

      New Zealanders. ;)

    • "I think it should be about ways to get rid of invasive species. Any Aussies here? You've got what: rabbits, poisonous toads, some kind of insect, and.... what else?"

      Rats, mice, goats, deer, pigs, hare, water buffalo, camels, horses, donkeys, cats, dogs, foxes, argentine ants, elm bettle, cane bettle (despite the toads that were introduced to eat them), fruit fly, European wasp, carp, trout, starlings, sparrows, Indian miners, blackbirds, song thrush, and a heap of plant species.
    • Just so the history books understand my rant, the title used to be:

      Aussie Tech-Focused Wikipedia Launched

      ...and now it's magically changed to

      Aussie Tech-Focused Wiki Launched

      See, there's no "Updated on date blah blah by timothy: line as there is in most updated slashdot articles [slashdot.org].

      Maybe Slashdot needs its own Wikiped... I mean, Wiki. Then we'd get version control for free!

  • Of course! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by martas (1439879) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @11:20PM (#31813476)
    a dedicated wiki will always have better chances of attracting people with knowledge on a certain very specific subject, so yeah, it's a good idea. however, i'd like to see all such sites heavily integrated with and indexed by wikipedia itself, so that finding the information is easier.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, I've maintain a 20,000 article wiki about a specific topic and every time I've made even minor changes to the topic's article on wikipedia they get reverted/changed to inaccurate statements and so then I end up spending half a day looking up arcane wikipedia rules to justify my edits (which eventually stand up) but only after all the hassle of fighting with the reverters/deletionists.

      After a while I just said screw it and don't bother anymore.

    • by ynotds (318243) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:29AM (#31814070) Homepage Journal

      I'm much more inclined towards dumping my archives and knowledge of the Australian computer industry, especially from the 1980s when I was in the loop with many key players, into something like this than trying to make more than the most minor edits to Wikipedia itself.

      For some time I've been saying it would be best if Wikipedia could connect relatively seamlessly with specialised wikis where each local or narrow community could manage their own authentication process.

      If I could find some way of better covering living expenses short of selling my soul to assist somebody else's agenda, I could easily spend a hopefully longish retirement working mostly on similar projects. The only problem is that I'm sitting on at least half a dozen other areas where I have more again that should be made available and I doubt Aubrey de Grey is going to keep me alive long enough to get them all done.

      • by Trepidity (597)

        For some time I've been saying it would be best if Wikipedia could connect relatively seamlessly with specialised wikis where each local or narrow community could manage their own authentication process.

        This sort of happens. Different areas have different groups of active editors who tend to be the main participants in discussions, and different norms end up prevailing. Some of them are even codified, so e.g. academics [wikipedia.org] and fiction [wikipedia.org] have their own separate notability policies. It happens even more as areas ge

  • If these people really are notable, even in a niche, and there are decent references to cite for their articles, Wikipedia will eventually create articles for them.

    There are ways to keep a specialist encyclopedia ahead of Wikipedia's coverage of that specialty, but they usually involve having a lot of expert authors, and/or decades of previous work that's hard to replicate. For example, Wikipedia's coverage of classical Greek and Rome isn't as good as one of the massive multi-volume encyclopedia sets on the

    • If these people really are notable, even in a niche, and there are decent references to cite for their articles, Wikipedia will eventually create articles for them.

      2005 called; They want their optimism about Wikipedia back.

  • Amazing! (Score:5, Funny)

    by kamapuaa (555446) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @11:23PM (#31813508) Homepage
    Wow, you mean there's a wiki *besides* wikipedia, out there on the web? One that deals with a specialized topic in more detail than would be appropriate for wikipedia? That's amazing, a definite first, thanks a lot timothy!
  • hmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by danny_lehman (1691870) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @11:24PM (#31813512)
    I caught myself reading the articles in an Australian accent..
    • Re:hmm (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DavidRawling (864446) <<hulk_> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Sunday April 11, 2010 @11:35PM (#31813582)
      No you didn't. Or to be more precise, it's what you thought was an Australian accent, but which is in fact as far from a normal Aussie accent as true English is to a US citizen ;-). Let's face it, most imposters can't even pronounce "G'day" (No, it's not "Gooday") properly. Can you mate?
      • Dialect, not accent.

  • "the question of whether more such small Wikis should be created" And the answer would be 'yes'.
  • by the_raptor (652941) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @11:27PM (#31813546)

    Wikipedia doesn't want full depth coverage of specific areas. Once they wanted to contain the "sum of human knowledge" (including catch rates for pokemon) but these days they want to be an online encyclopaedia based on reputable sources. They encourage you to go off and make your own wiki if you want to have deep coverage of a particular area.

    For example the article on 4chan contains superficial background information. There is another entire wiki dedicated to the full history of 4chan and the memes it generates. The wikipedia article focuses on Project Chanology and /b/ because that is probably what got 4chan the most press coverage (which is what wikipedia admins like to base articles on, but hardly covers all knowledge of a subject).

    Wikipedia wants you to write encyclopedia articles. They don't just want an infodump of "non-encyclopaedic" information. If you do the latter they will tell you to take you "non-notable fancruft" to another wiki.

    • Wikipedia wants you to write encyclopedia articles. They don't just want an infodump of "non-encyclopaedic" information. If you do the latter they will tell you to take you "non-notable fancruft" to another wiki.

      Looking at the significant number of infodumps of "non-encyclopaedic" information that Wikipedia has... I really wonder about that. Every damm minor pornstar has his or her own article (usually a stub). Every damm player who ever wore a uniform for a major sports team has his or here on article (

  • Isn't that was wikia does? It lets people set up specific wikis on specific subjects that cover things in more depth than would be allowed by wikipedia due to article notability standards?

    That's kind of a duh statement.

  • No, and yes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SuperBanana (662181) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @11:34PM (#31813580)

    Probably would have been roughly as effective to publish an article in a major mag or popular blog saying "Hey, we need more coverage in wikipedia, please contribute."

    Why is this worse? Because the small wikis don't have the infrastructure. Financial, technical, and human resources- the volunteers who have spent years figuring out the best available way to do stuff, Etc. etc.

    On the plus side, something relatively obscure gets shuffled off into its own wiki. I only wish the same could be said of all the extensive articles on various fictional universes...

    • by tepples (727027)

      Probably would have been roughly as effective to publish an article in a major mag or popular blog saying "Hey, we need more coverage in wikipedia, please contribute."

      As several other comments to this article have pointed, out, smaller wikis have different standards of inclusion and thus won't necessarily be so trigger-happy on the delete button. Do you want to have to train every contributor on the fine points of defending a particular source's reliability?

  • Not notable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @11:36PM (#31813586)

    There's also the fact that wikipedia removes anything "not notable." What is "not notable" is usually whatever a bunch of wikipedia bureaucrats decide. Wikipedia, being run by your traditional fatnerd, is more likely to label this sort of stuff as "not notable" as opposed to something they would find notable (like the made-up histories of individual Final Fantasy characters or the stats of pokemon characters).

    • Re:Not notable (Score:4, Informative)

      by Explodicle (818405) on Monday April 12, 2010 @09:44AM (#31816210) Homepage
      This is a very popular opinion on Slashdot, but it's simply not true. Notability is determined by sources [wikipedia.org]. In fact, your Pokemon example is particularly dated; in 2007 most of the Pokemon articles were deemed not notable [wikipedia.org] and merged into what's now very well sourced coverage.

      General comments against Wikipedia notability get modded up because most people have had something deleted. Specific comments that specify what got deleted get modded down because most of the time it wasn't actually notable at all.

      I'm not all talk, though. If anyone reading this ever actually is the victim of some beaurocrat's arbitrary preferences, leave me a message [wikipedia.org] and I'll make sure any article that passes the inclusion requirements gets to stay. There's a whole Article Rescue Squadron [wikipedia.org] full of people who are willing to do something about the problem instead of just whining about it on Slashdot. Yeah, I get it, "I don't have the time to join a Wikipedia group, Wikipedia can go fuck itself, it's a lost cause"... but you've got plenty of time to complain about it here.
      • On the contrary, I used to edit wikipedia, I know exactly what sorts of games you wikipedia bureaucrats play. It's exactly like nerds are trying to roleplay a bureaucracy. I'm glad I stopped trying to contribute to that site a long time ago.

        Though, my reasons had little to do with notability. Although I should mention that something can be put up for a vote over and over again until it finally passes, in which case it can't be easily put up again; you guys did that to the GNAA article, after all.

      • This is a very popular opinion on Slashdot, but it's simply not true. Notability is determined by sources.

        In other words, if you can pile up enough authoritative looking 'sources', the article becomes notable by sheer weight of footnotes.

        In fact, your Pokemon example is particularly dated; in 2007 most of the Pokemon articles were deemed not notable and merged into what's now very well sourced coverage.

        And here we see a symptom of exactly the reason that many people avoid dealing with Wikipedia, th

        • You just don't get it - people talk here on Slashdot because they are tired of Wikipedia bureaucratic fights. They don't want to get involved because they've been wounded before and don't want to get shot at again.

          I used to work at a soup kitchen, but I got tired of all the beaurocracy. Once I made a pot of soup that didn't meet their byzantine sanitation requirements, and they threw it out! An insult to my perfect cooking! Screw that.

  • Well, of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Angst Badger (8636) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @11:47PM (#31813636)

    Already the site has better coverage of some areas than Wikipedia, leading to the question of whether more such small Wikis should be created for certain verticals.

    Wikipedia aims to be a general encyclopedia, larger and more thorough than any print encyclopedia to be sure, but it's still a general reference. Of course more specific references should be created. It's not like this is a new idea: search Amazon for books titled Encyclopedia of... and you'll find thousands, many (though probably not most) of which are serious scholarly works.

    Excepting mathematics and the sciences, which are arguably applicable to the whole of human experience in one way or another, practically every other area of human knowledge has a highly specialized audience to one degree or another. Every last possible detail about pre-1947 aircraft engines, for example, might be of great interest to aerospace historians and engineers, but it's probably not of much interest to anyone else. Or an encyclopedic reference to every last town in Ohio might be hugely interesting to Ohioans and genealogists, and at least occasionally significant to broader research, but again, of limited interest to the general public. Unless Wikipedia (and its donors) are prepared to maintain a comprehensive reference to the entire body of human knowledge, specialist references are unavoidable.

    Finally, the quality of the articles in those specialist references might be higher than in Wikipedia. Every field has sloppy researchers and trolls, of course, but a relatively specialized field probably has a smaller proportion of both than would be attracted to a general reference, within certain limits, e.g., one could reasonably expect a wiki devoted to quaternions to have better writers and fewer trolls than AbortionPedia.

  • by mirix (1649853) on Monday April 12, 2010 @12:26AM (#31813818)

    I want a wiki that contains a coredump of all human knowledge, notable or not. I'd get stuck in even worse wikiloops.

    You know about some obscure film that was a knockoff of batman produced by 2 Chileans and a Russian in Azerbaijan in 1974?
    BRING IT ON. I want to know the life story of the three producer/director/actors as well. What the name of their third cat was. What brand of cigarettes they smoked. Everything is notable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by maxwell demon (590494)

      I want a wiki that contains a coredump of all human knowledge, notable or not. I'd get stuck in even worse wikiloops.

      Then just start it. I'll happily contribute the article "List of positive integer numbers which have exactly two digits when written in standard decimal notation without leading zeros." Yes, I know those numbers! :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by imakemusic (1164993)

      Talking of Australia, Batman and Wikipedia...

      Did you know Melbourne, Australia (or technically the town that became Melbourne) was founded by John Batman [wikipedia.org] and he named the land Batmania. I shit you not.

  • Despite all the whining about slashdot "editors", I'd rather have them pick stories, rather than these PR marketing bullshit submitted.

    I really hate to use such language, but "slashdot" has a brand value. Don't destory it.

  • by dakameleon (1126377) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:13AM (#31814016)

    A "wiki for Australian technology" already exists in a way, though mostly focused on the internet: it's the Whirlpool.net Wiki [whirlpool.net.au]. Brilliant resource.

    • Apart from a bunch of data pages on locally prominent sports, Whirlpool is very much a now reference.

      Delimiter seems to be aiming more for a sociological view of Australian IT.

      For me the simple test was Microbee, the only locally developed computer which ever gained significant market share and which is prominent in Delimiter's wiki [delimiter.com.au] but absent from Whirlpool.

      Clearly the publicity here is already doing some Delimiter good as there are already quite a few more pages and categories than when I looked a few hou

  • Already done (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:19AM (#31814038)

    Surely Whirlpool's wiki is an 'Aussie tech-focused wikipedia', and it's already got thousands of mature articles, e.g.

    A series of articles on working in IT industry in Australia:
    http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/?tag=it_telco

    A comprehensive guide to PC parts, prices and specs:
    http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/?tag=rmp_sg_whirlpoolpcs

  • I was editing on the Creatures Wiki [creatureswiki.net] in late 2004, and launched WikiFur [wikifur.com] in July 2005 - in part, because Wikipedia didn't want detailed articles on that particular topic. You're a little late to the party, but welcome. :-)
  • Wow, this is NEWS! I am sure there is a Wiki with more furry-related information than Wikipedia, too. Do I care? No. Does it appear on /.? No. And a good thing, also.

  • ...leading to the question of whether more such small Wikis should be created for certain verticals.

    The first time I heard a sales guy use the term "verticals," I stopped him because I had no idea what that meant. He said that verticals are markets - health care, construction, etc. I said, "so a vertical is an industry?" Yep, he said.

    I still hear the term a lot and think it's useless. To me, "vertical" implies a chain of processes leading towards a finished product. For example, the old railroad tycoons wou

  • Wikipedia already links to zillions of external websites for deeper cover on a topic - why should a detailed history of the Australian tech industry be any different?

In order to dial out, it is necessary to broaden one's dimension.

Working...