London bombings get speedy entry in Wikipedia

Real-time is turning into history faster than ever before on the Web. In what may be one of the quickest turnaround times for an online encyclopedia, the Wikipedia site posted a very detailed and comprehensive Web page on the bombings that rocked London on Thursday morning.

The page is very thorough, including a description of the blasts, timeline, update on trains, buses and roadways, information on official and global reaction and links to survivor lists.

The page also has links to photos and to a long news article in the Wikinews section of the Web site written by a Wikinews reporter that includes details, hotline numbers and links to a variety of other news stories on the four coordinated blasts that killed as many as 37 people.

Part of the open-source mass media movement, Wikipedia is a free online reference whose content is created by users and can be added to and edited by users. People around the globe contribute around the clock, meaning the pace of its evolution and its size and accuracy are only as good as the people who touch it at any one time.

In contrast to Wikipedia's quick, thoughtful work, the Web site of The New York Times appeared to have been in too much of a rush with one of its stories on the bombing.

In an odd bit of editorializing, The New York Times posted a headline that said: "After Bombs, London Is Stunned, Bloodied, but Oddly Stoic."

Thankfully, the headline was changed to: "After Bombs, London Is Stunned, Bloodied and Stoic."

CNET's Ed Frauenheim contributed to this blog.

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