Short Nerd Chief

User-Generated Book of Records? No Thanks.

Posted by Fred on April 11, 2008

Mashable praises a new site, What’s Your Record, which Kristin Nicole calls “a user-generated almanac of random, and not-so-random records.”  You can see why Mashable would like it, as it’s full of big buttons, tabs, drop shadows and orange gradients.  Add in some basic social networking and you’ve got a big tub of Web 2.0 gooeyness.  But is it useful?  Right now, the list of recent user records includes “fastest entire Mexico Metro traveling” (10:11), “Longest standing backward long jump” (1.2 m) and most e-mails sent and received in one day (60 and 64, respectively).  Not exactly earth-shattering stuff.  If the site grows at all, it seems likely to be crushed under the weight of its users own self-aggrandizement.  What’s to stop me from claiming I sent 2,000 emails yesterday?  Prove I didn’t.  There’s a reason Guinness requires verification.

This isn’t Wikipedia; it can’t be self-correcting.  I can’t go in and edit your claim to have eaten 64 whole habanero peppers.  It relies upon anonymous Internet users to be honest about their own exploits, which just seems incredibly unlikely.

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