On 30 August 2010 01:14, William Beutler
I do think alternative wiki projects that seek to
fill "gaps" created by
Wikipedia's choice not to include some types of information stand the best
chance of success -- going head-to-head with this entrenched incumbent is
foolhardy, unless the Wikipedia community falls apart and the site falls
into total disrepair -- even then I think there is so much value here
already that it's far more likely Wikipedia would be resuscitated, than any
rival wiki encyclopedia taking the lead.
I said a few years ago that in ten years (so 2015 or so), the only
general encyclopedia would be Wikipedia or a fork of it. This was
intended with trepidation, not triumphalism.
There are various niches for other wikis.
* Subject-specific and allowing original research. This is quite a
* Subject-specific and allowing opinion. (TV Tropes is a huge winner here.)
* Just use MediaWiki as a CMS, not functionally a wiki at all. (Wikileaks.)
Having a lax notability policy is a common divergence, but others are possible.
* Multiple articles on a topic - Wikinfo, arguably Knol. Gives some
writers what they want, not a hit with the public.
* Credentials required. Dangerous - CZ tried this and was infested
with cranks and pseudoscience. Cranks may not have expertise, but they
sure know about pieces of paper.
What have I missed?
The chinese wikis (Hudong is bigger than the english wikipedia).
The possibility of a significant jump in natural language processing
making it possible for computers to generate articles on demand.
Free translation between english and chinese could also result in
hudong and the like moving into the english language.
A sustained government backed effort (think BBC of encyclopedias)
Potentially a release of journal databases backed by an improvement in
search technology could act as significant competition for our more