On 7/5/07, David Goodman <dgoodmanny(a)gmail.com> wrote:
The people who are here at WP are, by and large, the ones who like
chaos. Many are here, particularly the younger people, specifically
because of a greater comfort with this sort of extremely loose and
spontaneous group. And some of the older people are here because of
disappointment with the fixed agendas of more organized groups.
We should work towards our strengths, and do what the present
structure is best suited to do. This does not include writing the 21st
century version of the 9th edition of the Brittanica, a scholarly
compendium of formal knowledge--I agree with Marc that we are not
suited to that.
I would disagree that people on the project like chaos, or with the
idea that the project is really chaos.
Real chaos were some of the unmoderated Usenet newsgroups back in the
day, or IRC in its wilder days.
WP as a project is... the largest most active focused online open
community project to date. It's hard to say that we're chaotic, or
attract people who like it that way... we have little to compare it
What you can compare it with, other online communities, have similar
or worse records.
What I will agree with is that we keep running into areas that the
current semi-structured semi-unstructured organically grown management
model does badly. That's nothing new; all online communities and
projects hit things like this. We have idiosyncratic reactions to
those, but so have all the other projects and communities before.
I both agree and disagree that we're poorly suited to write the 21st
century equivalent to Britannica 9. I agree that we're poorly suited
to just sit down and coherently write a world-class reference source.
But we're effectively evolving one.
The whole open wiki reference idea works. It probably shouldn't, but
we are stumbling towards goodness. It can work better. But it is
-george william herbert