Combating plagiarism with helpful checkers.

Recognizing itself as a site that relies on user-generated content, WikiAnswers has created and enforces a detailed Plagiarism Policy. It doesn’t happen every day, but when members do come across copied information in answers, it helps to know that there are ways for handling it:

  • Removing the copied material is a must.
  • Adding the web page with the helpful material as a Related Link is a great way to guide readers towards it without copying it directly.
  • Summarizing the content in your own words in the answer and citing/linking the resource is also acceptable and encouraged.
  • Of course, informing the user who copied the content into the answer is crucial so they don’t make the same mistake again. Most users are just trying to help out, and sometimes lose track. Use the message boards for this.

Earlier this week, I came across this blog post in Search Engine Journal which rates online plagiarism checkers.

They’re rating five checkers based on data source, registration required, reliability and usability. Seems like Copyscape came out the winner.

So if you come across an answer on WikiAnswers that seems to be from another site, plug it in to the checker and hope for the best.

Face to face with Wikiholics.

As you could not possibly have forgotten, there was a WikiAnswers Supervisors Conference back in September, where folks from deep inside the trenches – whether on the product development side or the active wiki side – got together in New York City to discuss, debate, laugh and cheer on the wonderful world of WikiAnswers.

At the time, a few of the ‘Wikiholics’ present volunteered to be interviewed and videoed in a quick documentary of their Wikiholicism for all of internet eternity. Now that we’re all back in our computer chairs/couches/beds with our laptops on hand and our browsers pointed to WikiAnswers, I thought it might be nice to review the footage and be inspired over and over.

Warning: this video contains explicit Wikiholicism. If you yourself are a Wikiholic and don’t think you’ll be able to last watching  a video instead of answering and editing, then this video is especially for you.

Like what you saw? Pass it around to your friends and family. This addiction can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere. And who are we to stop it?

What should you know about child safety on Halloween?

Boo!

It’s WikiAnswers Wednesday, and we’re coming dangerously close to Halloween these days. There are probably all kinds of questions going through your mind, like:

But there’s one question you may not have considered yet, and there is an answer to that question that will absolutely shock and horrify you:

What should you know about child safety on Halloween?

My dear friends – keeping yourself safe when those children come knocking at your door is the most important thing you can possibly do this Halloween. Children are the number one source of candy theft in America on October 31st.

They use all different kinds of tactics – they play on your fear, they employ terror, and of course, they charm with their cuteness.

Do not fall for it! Keep your candy to yourself! Kids just can’t appreciate a Reese’s peanut butter cup the way adults can.

For more Halloween Q&A… you know what to do:

Will answer for candy!

Speaking of categories…

Thought I’d pass along a list of some of the latest categories that have been added to the wonderful WikiAnswers category tree:

Browsing categories just got… browsier.

A whole bunch of new features and pretty touches went live on WikiAnswers today, but one that I am particularly fond of is the new layout for the Browse Categories page. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

You may or may not have hung out in that part of wiki-town before, but you should definitely stop by for the tag cloud, the Newest Categories list, the detailed categories tree, but most of all, the Find As You Type-supported Find a Category feature.

Brosw Categories on WikiAnswers

That baby comes equipped with all the categories on WikiAnswers. All you need to do is start typing the first letters of the category you seek and it pops right up in a suggested list below the box. Much like the Answers.com version on the homepage and beyond. Works great if you’re not sure what you’re looking for and you want to find obscure categories you’ve never come across before.

Here are some other great features that just went live today:

New message with an open mouth!

What’s that little hut I see?

Here’s a mystery word for you: succah. It’s pronounced soo-KAH or SOOK-uh.

If you know what it is, how it should be built and what you’re supposed to do inside it, what are you waiting for? Start answering before you-know-what is over.

If you’re wondering why on earth these huts have been popping up in backyards recently, let’s see if we can’t get you some answers.

Today’s moment of awesome.

WikiAnswers was rated as one of “four awesome instructional DIY websites” on Web Upon yesterday. Here’s an excerpt of what the post’s author had to say:

“This is a better quality version of the same forums as set by Yahoo! Answers; however, the moderation of this site tends to weed out more of the scam artists and internet thugs. I also find that Wiki Answers has slightly less traffic than Yahoo! Answers, but that traffic is of a more expert nature.”

It’s really cool to hear someone recognizing two of the major points I like to boast about WikiAnswers:

1. WikiAnswers really works hard on its moderation system; the over 400 Supervisors are volunteers from around the world, working around the clock to clean, organize and keep the site’s community running smoothly.

2. Expertise is the game! From doctors to lawyers, mechanics to teachers, WikiAnswers boasts all kinds of professionals who are dedicated to adding accurate answers to all kinds of questions.

Thanks for the recognition, Web Upon!