Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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I was going to write about Palin’s wikipedia entry yesterday, but I had a wedding to go to. In that time, the New York Times covered it pretty well, but I’ll add my two cents anyhow.

I, like many, went straight to Wikipedia when I heard the news that Palin was McCain’s VP choice because a) I assumed it would be fairly concise and b) it showed up high on the Google results. I wasn’t overly surprised to see that the page had already been updated to say that she was the nominee. Soon after stories started to come out about a single user (who went by “YoungTrigg”) that did a hefty amount of the editing.
Like I said, the Times did a fine job summing up the story, so I’ll just add a few thoughts: First, Wikipedia is now the number one result for Sarah Palin. That’s a pretty amazing thing. We kind of take Wikipedia for granted now, but it’s kind of crazy to think that this thing written by hundreds or thousands of people is more influential than anything coming out of a single mainstream media outlet. Not saying it’s a good thing or a bad thing, just an impressive thing. Second, and I mentioned this when I wrote about Russert’s wikipedia entry, but the speed at which Wikipedia can update major stories is extraordinary. It’s reaching a point in its reach and influence that all changes (for major people/events) are made immediately. In economic terms, there it’s coming close to perfect efficiency.

Hard to believe.

August 31, 2008