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Saturday, July 09, 2005

One day in London

What a terrible day Thursday was.

At first I didn't understand the magnitude of the events - only that something serious was happening. Later, maybe my efforts with Wikinews became some kind of coping stratergy... I don't know. What I do know is that I was pretty cut up at times that morning. Thank goodness the toll is a relatively low 50 odd - no more than the number of people who've died in car crashes this week. Takes nothing away from the horror of the events, but puts it into perspective.

As far as how Wikinews faired, I think my mail to the board of the Wikimedia foundation sums it up:

> >(09:44:11) Dan100: is anyone live?
> >(09:44:16) Dan100: I need help ASAP
> >(09:44:28) Dan100: explosions across London
> Underground
> >(09:44:32) Dan100: it's chaos
> Oh yes, I got help alright.
> We were the first on the web with the news,
> anywhere:
> http://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Coordinated_terrorist_attack_hits_London&oldid=96968
> Within a few hours, a team of people were working to
> create the most up-to-date and most authorative news
> article anywhere on the Internet. Co-ordinating
> ourselves largely through the IRC channel (which
> anyone can access with just their browser using a
> simple link), we had people from both around the
> world
> and right in London searching for photographs,
> getting
> permission to use them, taking notes from spokesmen
> and press conferences, and constantly updating and
> fact-checking our articles.
> Twenty-four hours later, our main article -
> http://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Coordinated_terrorist_attack_hits_London&oldid=98893
> has had some 60,000 hits. Small in comparison to any
> major news service, but it proves we're on the map.
> Our articles were listed on the Main Page as they
> were
> written. The lead articles were updated in moments.
> Everyone arriving at the site instantly could see
> what
> was happening and where to go to read more. Due to
> our
> much more rigorous fact-checking, our articles were
> consistently more accurate and more update-to-date
> throughout the day than the single Wikipedia
> article.
> To sum - with Wikinews, you could find more
> information, which was more accurate, in less time,
> than with Wikipedia.
> And tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after
> that, we'll go on reporting the news of the world
> with
> equally high standards of journalism. The difference
> between a dedicated news service and an
> encycolopaedia.
> Yesterday, we proved that the model of massively
> distributed citizen journalism not only works, but
> works extraordinarily well.
> Dan

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