Wikipedia vs. Brittannica; Folksonomy vs. Taxonomy

A post on Techdirt notes:

You may recall that we somehow got involved in a bizarre battle over Wikipedia, when I got into a discussion with a reporter who told me that Wikipedia was “outrageous,” “repugnant” and “dangerous,” mainly because it’s not reviewed by “professionals.” Despite a valiant effort, I was unable to ever convince the reporter, Al Fasoldt, that regular encyclopedias, complete with their experts, make mistakes too — and, in fact, the problem is that those encyclopedias can’t then be updated and fixed. In a story that was pretty much written to make Wikipedia fans gleeful, Many to Many points out that a 12-year-old boy has found a series of errors in the latest Encyclopedia Britannica. It may be wrong, but of course, it’s not “dangerous” because it’s been reviewed by experts. Apparently, certified false info is better than uncertified correct info.

I added the emphasis to that last sentence. A similar argument is raging about folksonomy and it’s relationship to taxonomy. There’s more to this at The Shifted Librarian and Teleread.

As a side note, Many to Many just got added to my newsread, and a specialt thanks to Teleread for always bringing interesting stuff like this to my attention.