ClueBot NG, as the bot is known, resides on a computer from which it sallies forth into the vast encyclopaedia to detect and clean up vandalism almost as soon as it occurs.
It is one of several hundred bots patrolling Wikipedia at any given time. Its role in repairing the Supreme Court article illustrates how bots have quietly become an indispensable – if virtually invisible – part of the Wikipedia project.
“Wikipedia would be a shambles without bots,” a Wikipedia administrator known on the site as Hersfold writes in an email.
English Wikipedia alone surpassed four million articles this month. It contains an estimated 2.5 billion words, equivalent to millions of pages, and it is 50 times larger than the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
But the project is so vast, and its maintenance so labour-intensive that it defies the capability of its human administrators and editors to keep it in order.
European news editor Robin Good used to write all the time about a concept he called Newsmastering.
Newsmastering is the ability to identify, select, aggregate, filter and distribute/publish news and informatiom streams on very tight, specific themes/topics.
Newsmastering is a new emerging and much needed network function allowing the huge news flow to be categorized, filtered, de-spammed and re-routed and contextualized in one thousand and more ways.
The output generated by a skilled and qualified newsmaster enables a great number of individual to avoid needing to subscribe to tens of RSS feeds or to having to visit multiple sites daily to keep themselves on top of the latest relevant news to their specific field of interest. The newsmaster aggregates and compiles very high-quality news feeds which completely replace the need to visit or subscribe to large number of RSS feeds, suddenly providing those same individuals with much greater time available to them and much higher quality up-to-date news available to them at all times.
It’s an incredible time to be a news geek. Who can be fastest, smartest, best, add the most value, exercise the most compelling editorial judgement, capture social experiences and build a loyal audience?