The idealist, the optimist, and the world they share.
by David Mehegan, The Boston Globe/ February 13, 2006
Wikipedians are a varied group, and while they may not know one another except online, most share two things: comfort with computers and the online world, and delight with the idea of contributing to a free encyclopedia for the entire world. Here are some faces and voices of Boston-area Wikipedians.
Brandon Stafford, 33, of Cambridge, works in information technology for a local company.
''In about 2002, I started noticing it in Google results and thought, 'This is stupid -- an encyclopedia that anyone could edit?' -- and dismissed it. About two years later, I started noticing [Wikipedia articles] are pretty comprehensive, better than most online references I have seen. Recently, I had a relative who might have Crohn's disease. I searched on Google, and the fourth item was the Wikipedia page.
''It might not be reliable, but I know that people are generally [contributing] because they want to provide accurate information. They're not getting anything out of it -- no money. I don't think disseminating false information is satisfying to people, but distributing useful information is.
Feathers: Really? Well, that's when politics are not involved my dear. How come this doofus can say that there's no interest to disseminate false information?