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Judging Wikipedia Quality Using Social Networks


Wikipedia has been simultaneously touted and derided for its quality standards. I decided to run an experiment to test each hypothesis using my computer program that extracts names from documents. I wanted to see how well Wikipedia does at capturing the social connections of cultural icons, relative to a standard biography written by an individual. I ran an experiment that extracted all the names from the Wikipedia page for the great 1960’s rock singer Grace Slick, and compared that to the list of names from the book (out-of-print, approx. 175 pages) “Grace Slick – The Biography”. The results are not so favorable to Wikipedia. Of the 434 names extracted from the text of the book, 402 of the names do not appear on Wikipedia. So the Grace Slick Wikipedia page only lists 32 names of contacts. Some obvious omissions in Wikipedia article include Slick’s band members of Jefferson Airplane, Marty Balin, John Barbata, Spencer Dryden, Jerry Peloquin, Skip Spence, as well as other influential musicians Slick had contacts with including, Graham Nash, Neil Young, and Frank Zappa.

Here is a full list of the names of Grace Slick social network that do not appear on current Wikipedia page for the artist. From the book Grace Slick: The biography, ISBN: 0-385-13390-1, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 78-22351 copyright 1980 by Barbara Bowes and Grace Slick Johnson. A related memoir by Grace Slick can be found at Somebody to Love?: A Rock-and-Roll Memoir

Peter Abrahm
Lou Adler
Jerry Aiello
Herb Alpert
Paul Anka
Marty Balin
John Barbata
Susan Barnett
Scott Beach
James Beard
Harry Belafonte
Jean Bennent
Martin Bernheimer
Leonard Bernstein
John Birchers
Gary Blackman
Molly Bloom
Mike Bloomfield
Jack Bonus
Emily Bronte
David Brown
Lenny Bruce
Eric Burdon
David Busby
Mary Beth Busby
John Cabell
Herb Caen
Laurel Canyon
Lewis Carroll
Bob Carter
Ron Carter
Craig Chaquico
Julia Child
John Cipollina
Eric Clapton
Del Close
Bill Coblentz
Judy Collins
Larry Cox
Miles Davis
Stephen Dedalus
Tom Donahue
John Donne
Spencer Dryden
Pat Dugan
Will Durant
Bob Dylan
T.S. Eliot
Duke Ellington
Steve Elvin
Phil Elwood
Gil Evans
Leonard Feather
Jose Feliciano
Eddie Fisher
Ben Fong
Dale Franklin
Ron Galella
Al Garimasu
Peter Van Gelder
Stu Ginsburg
Ralph Gleason
Sally Goes
John Goodman
Bob Gordon
Bill Graham
Albert Grossman
Carol Guardino
Bill Haigwood
Bob Harvey
Leonard Haufman
Don Heckman
Herb Helman
Vladimir Horowitz
Heidi Howell
Lynne Hughes
George Hunter
Maurice Ieraci
Mick Jagger
Rick Jarrard
Thomas Jefferson
Harry Jenkins
Ed Johnson
Grace Johnson
Howard Johnson
Lyndon Johnson
Brian Jones
James Joyce
Scott Kaleko
Matthew Katz
Peter Kaukonen
Lenny Kaye
John Kennedy
Ken Kesey
Roland Kirk
Richard Kleindienst
Al Kooper
Michael Korda
Gordon Lassar
Bill Laudner
Timothy Leary
Phil Lesh
Beth Lester
Raymond Lewenthal
Eric Van Lustbader
Larry Magid
Sally Mann
Dave Mason
Tom Mastin
Bob Mathews
Paula Matter
Joe McCarthy
Paul McCartney
Glenn McKay
James Michener
Steve Miller
David Miner
David Minor
Chip Monck
Marilyn Monroe
Jim Morrison
Graham Nash
Harry Nilsson
Jack Nitzsche
Jeremy Nussbaum
Annie Oakley
Walter Ong
Augustus Owsley
Earl Palmer
Charlie Parker
Jerry Peloquin
Sergeant Pepper
John Phillips
Edgar Allan Poe
Elvis Presley
Billy Preston
Lou Rawls
Robert Redford
Carolyn Reiff
Marguerite Renz
Roger Ressmeyer
Billy Roberts
Craig Rolie
Henry Rothblatt
Pierre Salinger
Arthur Schatz
Al Schmitt
Steven Schuster
Neil Sedaka
Pete Seeger
Charles Seton
Chuck Seton
Celeste Shane
Ravi Shankar
Neil Simon
Paul Simon
Gerald Slick
Jerry Slick
Patrick Snyder
Terry Southern
Sidney Spacepig
Phil Spector
Skip Spence
Stephen Stills
Richard Stolley
Ed Sullivan
Richard Talbot
Steve Talbot
Jack Tar
Elizabeth Taylor
James Taylor
Mickey Thomas
Bill Thompson
Pete Townshend
Peter Townshend
Arnold Toynbee
Spencer Tracy
Mary Travis
Andy Warhol
John Wasserman
Alan Watts
Daniel Webster
John Whitman
Paul Williams
Grace Wing
Howard Wolfe
Max Yasgur
Lester Young
Neil Young
Frank Zappa

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