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Archive for December 15th, 2007

Wikipedia does not know all

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

When I come across something unfamiliar and want a quick synopsis of something, I generally begin by typing it into Google. Usually, one of the top five or so results is a Wikipedia entry.

So when my friend pointed out this doll for sale on eBay going for $1,200 I was floored. Why the heck would anyone pay that, I wondered. Apparently, whoever Sasha is is a big deal.

I turned to Google to find out about these dolls. A bunch of collectors came up and a few eBay auctions, and this quick-hit synopsis of the craze on About.com was very helpful.

But where was Wikipedia in all this?

We often joke in the newsroom that Wikipedia is omniscient (hey I can’t use big words in the paper, so when I can sneak them in conversation, I do). That is to say, Wikipedia is all knowing.

My prior usage of Wikipedia as a quick-hit summary for things when I don’t particularly care about the authority of the information, when I’m just generally curious about something random, like say why an ugly doll would net $1,000+, has always netted decent results.

But I learned that apparently all the entries on Wikipedia haven’t been created yet, as I kind of assumed they had. Sasha Serie is not in their index. I was able to, after trying to think of several combinations including the creator’s name, find out that there is a listing for “Sasha dolls” that deals with this. But it still did not come up in my Google searches, and that entry could use some sprucing up.

Being that it is Wikipedia, I could try and fix it up (maybe add a photo or some annotations — where’s this information from?!). But I won’t because I don’t know much about it and would have to rely on Google to tell me, thus I’d find myself in that perpetual cycle. My favorite part of that entry is this: Those who Google ‘sasha dolls’ or ‘Sasha Morgenthaler’ will find themselves offered a wealth of Sasha-related sites – some historically-oriented, some devoted to their owners’ Sasha collections, some selling dolls or dolls’ clothing. LOL. No links. Just tell them to Google it. Which is kind of ironic for my purposes, being I was trying to Google to find the Wikipedia entry, and now the entry is telling me to Google the topic. Here we go in that cycle again.

In the end it’s irrelevant anyway: I’m not interested in any doll that costs nearly as much as my computer. No thanks. But seriously. $1,200 for a doll?