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by dave, 01/24/10

At the top of the right rail on the log pages, you'll find the 'Did You Know' box, which spits out a random fact every time a page loads. That box is fed by a database chock full of knowledge that's fed our Factwino for half a decade. The database is always growing because our hardworking staffers often fill it with bon mots of data when they come across them, but Factwino never matured past a local novelty for the small but elite davelog circle. I wanted to pimp this wealth of knowledge to the world in a more useful fashion, so I created the Fact-O-Matic.

In order to be more useful to the intarweb in general, the facts needed to be... well... true. I got to thinking about how to validate or debunk the facts contained within. Being the lazy old fart that I am, I figured the best plan was to let everyone else do the work: crowdsourcing. The first step was weeding out the crap. That's where you come in.

At the bottom of each fact is a link to flag it as crap. If it's been flagged as crap before, a notice will say so up at the top of the Fact-O-Matic. Flagged crap will be deleted periodically, to keep the Fact-O-Matic as pure as possible. Please wield this awesome power wisely, and only flag a fact if you're positive it's wrong.

Conversely, some facts are already verified, and will provide a link to the citation if available instead of the link to report crap. Periodically, facts will have citations added, so eventually, all facts will have citations. Oh, what a day that will be. When google asserts itself to be the sole repository for the world's knowledge - and someday, it will - it'll have to go through us first. Viva la revolution!

You can also publish whatever fact you're viewing to your facebook account with the fabulous new 'Facebookerationizer' in the lower left corner. Click it and help the world be as smart as you are!

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