Ryan Kaldari wrote:
On 3/28/11 5:20 PM, MZMcBride wrote:
> There's a theory that doing something like editing a free online
> encyclopedia is a niche activity, with a finite amount of people who
> ever be willing to participate. If we accept
this theory, it makes the
focus on increased participation look rather silly.
So we should just be satisfied with our Pokemon articles and leave it at
I for one would like to one day see a Wikipedia that isn't obviously
written by people like us, i.e. white male American geeks. Maybe it
would include better articles on children's literature, cooking,
hip-hop, knitting, sharia law, wine, and African dance. Maybe it would
have more featured articles on books than video games. Maybe it's
article on sexism would be about more than just the Men's Rights
Movement. Maybe it would include statistics from places like Brazil and
Mozambique instead of just the United States and Texas.
Now that I think about it, I believe it would actually be a pretty
awesome website. Too bad we'll never let that happen.
I wonder, has any other part of the Internet followed this seemingly
mythical trend that the Wikimedia Foundation is putting forward, where
increased participation magically leads to better content?
When I look around to other parts of the Internet with high levels of
participation and very low barriers to entry, I don't hear much signal in
the noise. For examples, look at the content of YouTube comments, Facebook
Wall posts and comments, tweets, etc. Increased participation might build a
bigger "movement," but a niche activity is still a niche activity, no
how many strategic plans, consultants, and buzzwords are thrown at it.
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I absolutely agree with MZMcBride.
Wikimedia content is build by millions of edits, uploads, and other
contributions by millions of people around the world. To become a truly
established user, however, is entirely different. It takes a certain
personality to participate an remain a long-term contributor. There is no
amount of software upgrades/extensions/bugs/gadgets or
policies/discussions/projects/surveys/mailing lists that will change that.
Our content will always be built upon those with the goal in mind, always
insurmountable, of any Wikimedia project.