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Wiki World

Wiki World

Wikipedia’s Big Data Can Be Used to Predict Summer Box-Office Hits

Robert Downey Jr. (Photo: Wikipedia.org)

If you turned to Wikipedia for a pre-Avengers deep dive into the Marvel canon or refresher on Harry Potter’s defenses against the dark arts, you are apparently not alone. What’s more, your digital breadcrumbs might be a preview of coming box-office receipts. A team of researchers has shown that Wikipedia data can predict how popular a film will be.

A team from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics looked at 312 movies that came out in 2010 (think Inception, Toy Story 3 and Twilight: Eclipse) and built a mathematical model that measured the number of readers and editors for the movie’s Wiki page. The model’s data was juxtaposed with box office earnings and showed almost a 77 percent correlation between popularity on Wikipedia and big opening weekends. Read More

Wiki World

You Can Now Make Your Own Free eBook Out of Wikipedia Articles

(Photo: Wikimedia)

If you tend to spend a fair amount of your time online submerged in a Wikipedia K-hole, mindlessly clicking the “Random Article” link until you snap out of it two hours later deeply engrossed in the entry for Kanye West’s song “Power,” then we have some good news for you. Wikipedia has enabled a new feature that allows you to seamlessly curate your own eBook out of Wikipedia articles, all for free. Read More

Wiki World

Sorry, Students: Even Jimmy Wales Agrees You Shouldn’t Cite Wikipedia in That Term Paper

Mr. Wales (Photo: Quora)

It’s a widely-accepted adage passed down from class to class that citing Wikipedia in a paper is not just lazy, it’s unacceptable. This reporter had a high school teacher who insisted she’d outright fail us if she found us even using Wikipedia to glean information about a paper topic. Granted, back then Wikipedia wasn’t the well-respected bastion of crowd-sourced facts it is today, but still: citing the Internet’s favorite encyclopedia was–and is–frowned upon.

It seems that even Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales agrees with this nugget of wisdom. In a recent Quora thread asking what Mr. Wales thought of professors saying Wikipedia isn’t a “viable source,” Mr. Wales cut the BS and agreed with your crochety 10th grade teacher. Sorry, kids. Read More