On 5/31/05, Phil Sandifer <sandifer(a)sbcglobal.net> wrote:
That's it. That's all that's going to
work. If we do not learn to
come down on Cranstons with fury and speed, over time, this community
will implode. One need only look at nearly every other Internet
community to figure that one out.
Why not look at the Internet communities that DO work? I'm a member of
two such communities that have been running for years, and include the
sort of members who are well-educated, well-spoken, intelligent and
fun to be with.
Both of them have very few rules and are largely run by the members.
And above all, they are polite. Both of them are large communities
that have dealt with growth in a plain common sense fashion, by
recognising that new users don't have the same knowledge as "the old
guard" and finding ways to deal with this.
Somewhere along the way, Wikipedia seems to have lost something
valuable. I look at this list and just about everything I see is one
group of editors bickering with another group.
For what it's worth, I'm an admin on one of these communities, a
community with hundreds of thousands of members, and though I have
power to add, delete, or modify just about anything on the site, my
duties don't involve settling disputes or acting as an umpire, because
there is very little of that to be done - my job mainly involves
sorting out forgotten passwords or tracking down and correcting
incorrectly entered information. It's a large but polite community,
and I cannot help but contrasting it with the often poisonous
atmosphere here on Wikipedia.
I'm also a moderator on a list very much like this, but again, I don't
have to deal with members throwing bricks at each other - I mainly
work at keeping out the spam merchants.
On the face of it, Wikipedia should be a place where co-operation and
sharing drive an atmosphere of comradeship, where admins exist to help
members rather than act as corporate police, and where the atmosphere
is that of Utopia rather than 1984.
Peter in Canberra