[Foundation-l] Tendrl to Knowino

Fred Bauder fredbaud at fairpoint.net
Mon Dec 20 22:46:20 UTC 2010

> On 20 December 2010 19:47, Noein <pronoein at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Is there a general consensus about achieving a monopoly as a good goal.
>>  Is this part of some public strategy? Is this the position of WMF? Of
>> chapters?
>> I thought I heard some weeks ago on that mail list that diversity is
>> good. That competitors are healthy. Could we have a clarification of
>> positions about this?
> I can't speak for anyone but myself - but I think, and I've seen many
> others who express an opinion think, that competition would be good
> and monopoly as *the* encyclopedia is not intrinsically a good thing.
> The big win would be to make proper free content licenses - preferably
> public domain, CC-by, CC-by-sa, as they're the most common - the
> *normal* way to distribute educational and academic materials. Because
> that would fulfill the Foundation mission statement -
> "Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
> the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment."
> - without us having to do every bit of it. And really, that mission
> statement cannot be attained unless we make free content *normal and
> expected*, and everyone else joins in.
> Furthermore, being *the* encyclopedia is mostly a headache for us.
> Wikipedia wasn't started with the aim of running a hugely popular
> website, whose popularity has gone beyond merely "famous", beyond
> merely "mainstream", to being part of the assumed background. We're an
> institution now - part of the scenery. This has made every day for the
> last eight years a very special "wtf" moment technically. It means we
> can't run an encyclopedia out of Jimbo's spare change any more and
> need to run fundraisers, to remind the world that this institution is
> actually a rather small-to-medium-sized charity.
> (I think reaching this state was predictable. I said a few years ago
> that in ten years, the only encyclopedia would be Wikipedia or
> something directly derived from Wikipedia. I think this is the case,
> and I don't think it's necessarily a good thing.)
> So I'd say, no - monopoly isn't a goal for us, it's something that's
> happened. We need to encourage everyone else to take on the goal of
> our mission with their own educational, scientific, academic etc
> materials. We can't change the world all on our own.
> The next question is what to do about this. Deliberately crippling
> Wikipedia would be silly, of course. But encouraging the propagation
> of proper free content licences - which is somewhat more restrictive
> than what our most excellent friends at Creative Commons do, though
> they're an ideal organisation to work with on it - directly helps our
> mission, for example.
> As I said, I can't speak for anyone else, but if anyone here disagrees
> I'm open to correction on any of the above.
> - d.

The network effects are massive. Simply wanting doing something better
doesn't work. What does work is Wikia wikis such as Lostpedia that will
draw a small crowd.


User:Fred Bauder

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