Google has shown an affinity for Wikipedia for years, often listing entries as a top source for many types of web searches. Now they’ve added links to Wikipedia pages with news stories on Google News. This seems like a small detail, but it gives Wikipedia even more credibility with the most popular search engine.
Google News already gets news from both traditional media like major newspapers, CNN and Reuters (though the AP hates this fact), as well as new media (popular news blogs like Marketing Pilgrim). There are also links to YouTube videos. This further blends how we get news and what is credible.
Like traditional news, Wikipedia has evolved into a site run mostly by gatekeepers who decide what information stays and what gets deleted. It’s just a totally different culture (more like a gang than editors). What is included or not included is highly political. If you’ve ever tried to edit a Wikipedia page you know what I mean. However, the system of payment—whether in traffic or cash—is not so straightforward. People edit for pay, or try to find people with connections to spare their edits from being deleted the second they’re live.
On the other hand, Wikipedia tries to tout itself as being commercial-free and fact-based. It’s a great source for breaking news and for a historical background of current events. You get most of the details in one place—and compared to other sources, it’s quite comprehensive.
Google says they are just testing the feature. I predict it will stay.
What do you think? Thumbs up?