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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • TROY'S COLUMN: What’s on the Internet is true?

  • In which the Gazette's editor is startled to discover he's named as a source in a Wikipedia article....
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  • The Internet has become an invaluable tool for all of us, with the exception of those who continue to live under the delusion technology is a bad thing, as was the radio, TV, indoor plumbing and rap (OK, on that last one I actually agree with you.)
    Don’t get me wrong, I know every one of these items, except for indoor plumbing (how could that ever be a bad thing unless you are flushing your pet alligator), could be used in an inappropriate manner.
    I’ve seen the junk on TV and heard things in rap that even make me blush.
    So, it is no surprise to know there are more than a few sites on the Internet that I would consider just plain wrong – not only in terms of morality but also in what it presents.
    I remember standing in the RVMS/HS media center several years ago and hearing the head of the media center Susan Halvorson talk about this new site called Wikipedia.
    She told me students were using the site on a regular basis as a source of authority. She made it clear this Web site should not be considered a valuable source of information, because it allows anyone and everyone to submit information on any given topic – right or wrong. After reading a few of the entries at the site, I gravitated toward agreement.
    Then a couple of weeks ago I came across something that changed my mind.
    While doing some research for a story, I opted to check out the Wikipedia information just to see how it handled the facts.
    After reading the brief descriptive information on the topic, I glanced toward the bottom of the page to see what sources it had used for its information.
    That is when I saw it.
    The source of all sources – something that could legitimize the entire site and give credibility to its information.
    That’s right.
    The source was me.
    On the bottom of that page amongst the “resources” was a link to an article I had written previously on the topic.
    While some of you just might argue that is the final straw and now you are never going to that site again. After all, what information has that Gazette editor ever gotten right?
    Regardless of your opinion, I am now convinced Wikipedia can be a good source. You might even read a few facts from the site as I write future articles.
    So when you read about the time Abraham Lincoln visited Redwood Falls to commemorate the bicentennial you can be sure that information is true.
    After all, everything you read on the Internet is true, right?
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    I want to congratulate Benjamin William Schmidt of Parker who recently earned his Eagle Scout Award.
    Although this Boy Scout from Troop 88 does not live in Redwood Falls, his dad, Greg grew up here. His mom’s name is Linda. He is the first in his family to earn the Eagle Scout award.
    A very proud grandmother dropped off the program from the Eagle Scout ceremony recently.
    I want to encourage Redwood area residents who have loved ones with some kind of connection to the community to submit that information, and as we can we are willing to publish it – so long as we deem it a strong enough connection to the area.
    Send information to me via e-mail at tkrause@redwoodfalls-gazette.com, or drop it by the office during our regular business hours. We love telling stories like this and look forward to telling yours. Call me at (507) 637-2929 if you have questions.
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