The Decline of Wikipedia

Because no one else is doing it--not even the media.
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CrowsNest
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The Decline of Wikipedia

Post by CrowsNest » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:02 am

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/5204 ... wikipedia/

This piece was written five years ago. It spoke of a Wikipedia whose runaway success from internet oddity to ubiquitous resource (in as little as the previous ten years) was being hampered by the very things that had made it a success.

Its leaderless and largely volunteer workforce made incomprehensibly self-defeating decisions, which had led to a seemingly untenable situation of an ever increasing amount of content and an ever decreasing amount of editors.

Turning to automation and beurocracy had helped forestall disaster, but the article warned of a future where, if they couldn't fix what needed fixing, the Wikipedians would miserably fail in their goal of becoming a high quality encyclopedia by any standard, including their own.

However, due to having already gained a monopoly, the world would simply have to settle for being served up Wikipedia's content as if it was from an encyclopedia, because even then it was clear the tech companies certainly had no intention of looking the gift horse in the mouth.

Overall, it's hard to argue his worst case scenario hasn't come to pass. Sad that we no longer seem to get media pieces as detailed as this about their failed project. But tragically, as has been said by others, that's down to Wikipedia as well. They have literally made everything suck.

As the piece also hopefully makes clear, those who attribute most or even all of the blame on the WMF, are well and truly mistaken. You can't even really blame Jimmy, it's clear he baled from all managerial responsibility as soon as he realised it was going to fall short (and crucially, why). Unlike Larry though, he had a profit motive not to let on and keep riding that gravy train.

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