On 30 August 2010 00:58, Ray Saintonge <saintonge(a)telus.net> wrote:
Ian Woollard wrote:
> On 27/08/2010, David Gerard <dgerard(a)gmail.com> wrote:
>> Wikipedia needs competitors.
> Realistically, the space that Wikipedia occupies
seems to be a more or
> less a natural monopoly.
What makes any monopoly "natural"?
This is a term of art in economics. As such, I understand there is a
popular online encyclopedia with a reasonable article on "natural
monopoly", which would answer your question.
In this case, I'd guess first-mover advantage and network effects.
> And Wikipedia doesn't even make money per se,
so why would anyone even
> want to be a competitor to it? There's no market. A market is where
> people pay for stuff.
That seems to reflect the fundamental error of
economists: that anything
that cannot be monetized is by definition worthless.
Economics is not quite physics, but it's not entirely composed of
balderdash; ask Mugabe about Zimbabwean fiscal policy.
In this case the market is attention and reputation. You know full
well there are a lot of people tearing their hair out that a charity
site that doesn't run advertising is #5 in the world and has a
stupendous Google page rank with no actual effort towards such.