We’ve written in ETR many times about the dangers of relying on websites when doing research. As a sports reporter from the UK tabloid The Daily Mirror recently found out, Wikipedia is one you really have to watch out for.
The reporter wrote that fans of the Cypriot football (that’s soccer for you Yanks) team AC Omonia were known as “the Zany Ones.” And he referred to their habit of wearing “hats made from shoes.” But turns out this “background research” was drawn directly from the team’s Wikipedia entry… which had been updated by an Internet prankster.
At least the reporter didn’t totally embarrass himself. Here are a few of the Wikipedia “facts” he left out of his article: The fans’ theme song is about a little potato, and they “keep their season tickets in the oven for safekeeping.”
The Web is a great tool for research. But don’t take any one website as gospel. Make sure you get confirmation from other sources.[Ed. Note: The Internet makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. But it’s also easier than ever to make mistakes. The best way to make sure you’re working with information that’s both useful and truthful? Base it on personal experience. At ETR’s 2008 Info Marketing Bootcamp, our expert panel will be revealing the most profitable, most effective methods they’ve used to create a combined $1 billion in revenues. All of their recommendations are based on what’s worked for them.]