The editor of the Washington Post Magazine, a decidedly old media entity (although one that usually entertaining), has discovered Wikipedia.

Miraculously, I found a brief existing entry [in Wikipedia] for a subject on which I was an expert: the Tropic Hunt, a mass-participation puzzle that inspired the Post Hunt, and which I helped to create and preside over. The entry was one paragraph, out of date and factually flawed. I rewrote it to 472 words on the history and nature of the event, then pushed the “save” button, still not really believing I could simply input my changes into the actual article. But when I went to the Wikipedia main page and searched for Tropic Hunt, there it was. And, before long, the Wikipedia fairies had visited my entry, cleaning up little bits of style here and there.

It’s all part of his introduction to the article in the same issue telling the story of a uniquely Wikipedian battle over the entry for Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In the process, the writer also clearly explains not only how Wikipedia works but also why it’s successful.