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September 14, 2005

Wikipedia: Only as good as its contributors

A cursory inspection of Wikipedia's information on non-profits reveals that there's very little information on non-profits at all. While I have found great information on everything from Trackback to the Elko Tract, the information on non-profits is clearly lacking. And what is there doesn't cast non-profit associations in a favorable light. There is an entry for trade association, but there isn't one for professional society.

One of these days, I'll edit some of the entries to more accurately reflect what trade associations do. And add an entry for professional society while I'm at it. But I wonder if someone with a vested interest in the public's perception of associations should lead the effort?


Jeff De Cagna said...

Ben, thanks for raising this issue because it is one I've been thinking about as well. I'm concerned that, at present, there isn't a comprehensive and easily accessible resource where one can find current/historical information on either individual associations or the association community as a whole. Wikipedia provides an excellent opportunity for us to create just such a resource. In fact, for some time now, I have had in the back of my head the idea that we should launch an "Associations on Wikipedia Project." Through the project, we would recruit representatives of individual associations who would be responsible for updating and maintaining their pages on Wikipedia. In addition, we would create a clear point of access to the association-relevant pages.

Do you think we can get ASAE & the Center interested in the concept?

Ben said...

There are, in fact, quite a few assns which have entered Wikipedia data on themselves, and I agree that ASAE & the Center should be interested in doing this. I wouldn't be surprised if a few entries have actually been edited by ASAE/Center staff. I've actually thought about having a segment of our members update and augment Wikipedia entries instead of implementing our own wiki. I would like our assn to get credit for our members' work, which doesn't seem to be something Wikipedia currently offers, but that's a secondary concern.