On Sat, Feb 21, 2009 at 9:24 AM, Ben Kovitz <bkovitz(a)acm.org> wrote:
On Feb 16, 2009, at 2:10 PM, Thomas Dalton wrote:
We could discuss why [CZ] failed but I think the
real answer is
simply that Wikipedia is "good enough" so there is very little
interest in a new project doing the same thing.
I think you have pegged it exactly right. In most large markets, the
rule of thumb is that the #1 player holds 40% market share, the #2
player holds 20% market share, the #3 player holds 10%, and then there
are some little guys. Most markets on the Internet, though, are
"winner take all". For example: eBay, Amazon, Wikipedia. It's very
hard for a newcomer to displace an established top player, *regardless
of quality* (unless the quality difference is revolutionary). So, we
will likely never be able to test Larry Sanger's claim that giving
experts ultimate say would produce a better encyclopedia.
Is Amazon really in a "winner takes all" market? My intuition, as well an
incredibly quick search, suggests "no way" (
"while Amazon is by far the most dominant player, they still represent less
than half of the total online book market"). If you've got stats that say
otherwise though, I'd gladly accept them over some random guy on the
eBay I can understand, but I see no reason why Wikipedia will be a winner
takes all market. All that's needed is a decent search engine for
educational content, which doesn't focus so much on popularity. I can't
imagine that not happening one of these days.