The Register pisses me off today, dissing Wikipedia. The Register must die. Really. Sign my petition.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with Wikipedia, it is exactly what it is, a project to build an easily updated encyclopedia written by you and me. Yes this consept has flaws, but that is the point, it is meant to be flawed, in exchange for being updated fast and building a community. The key to its success is that it’s not ruled by anemic, ageing professors on powertrips or paid experts with diplomas up their ass waiving a huge «look at me» flag and wearing a «pay me to brag» t-shirt. If wikipedia had had that structure it wouldn’t have worked at all. Why should I help build «their» site, when I could be building mine, one comma correction at the time? One lovingly little Url added at the time?
Web 2.0 and any community driven prosject, be it ad-financed or run by donations has its strengt in lack of central ego, a lack of whorish branding, and in letting us take more control over our online environment.
Most people think Wikipedia and other Web 2.0 projects is a killer idea, and some firms think this means death to capitalism. But it’s not, its only death for firms who doesn’t know how to cooperate, to let its customers build together with them. The flow of products is changeing, inspired by p2p. A product used to be made in a lab in secrecy, then marketed for billions. With open source and sharing APIs and technology like Greasemonkey, firms are builing the infrastrukture, and then letting their consumers run wild with it. The winners use viral marketing buy building good relationships with their best customers/fans, the losers will spend billions trying to reach consumers buy billboards and commercials where the idea and concept was created years ago, for platforms that no one cares about any more. It’s a whole new ballgame, and some firms just can’t hack it.
The article in the register is based on a blind test, by looking up two random articles on Jane Fonda (!) and Bill Gates. And it claims that the whole of Wikipedia must be judged on a basis of its individual parts. This is of course completly false. This is how you could judge a book, a printed lexicon, but it is a completely useless measure on an online document. If Wikipedia should be judged, one must analyze the articles that are on peoples minds today, this hour. What articles are relevant right now? Are they current? Are they updated? Do they provide links for further reading? Do they sum up the information I want right now, as a casual human being looking for something to make me feel not so silly about missing the big picture. For me, Wikipedia ALLWAYS gives me the info I want, in its articles or by following links to external sites. ALLWAYS. That is the true measure of a great Encyclopedia. I couldn’t give a rats ass about Jane Fonda OR Bill Gates. But I do care about H.264. Today.
Wikipedia is growing into a beautiful baby. My baby. And I’m looking forward to seeing what she becomes.
(And if The Register and any other assmuncher tries to hurt her, I will tear them another a-hole! Roll over and die, you anemic blodsucking leeches controlled by satan :)
Wikipedia founder admits to serious quality problems | The Register: «One day Wikipedia may well be the most amazing reference work the world has ever seen, lauded for its quality. But to get from here to there it will need real experts and top quality writing – it won’t get there by hoping that its whizzy technical processes remedy such deficiencies. In other words, it will resemble today’s traditional encyclopedias far more than it does today.»
On Del.icio.us: wikipedia