[Wikipedia-l] L'effet piranha (was Fr.wikipedia 50.000 articles)

Michael Snow wikipedia at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 31 05:24:42 UTC 2004

Anthere wrote:

>A year later, ''the apple is a fruit'' had become a
>real article. The pirannah affect was born.
I must admit, something called the "piranha effect" prompted a rather 
different image in my mind. Instead of an effect produced by editors 
swarming to a new article and improving it, my first thought was of the 
current discussions on en: about the problems with Votes for deletion. 
The concern there is that perhaps the swarm devours and destroys, and 
not just destroying articles (some of the articles warrant destruction), 
but also sometimes damaging people's self-esteem and the community 

I suppose most swarms that I can think of in nature tend to be pretty 
destructive (locusts, sharks, wasps, crickets, etc.). Perhaps we should 
consider that we've accomplished a lot just in being able to generate 
positive results from swarming behavior at all. We may not be perfect at 
harnessing the swarm yet - sometimes the "smart mob" reverts to being a 
plain old mob - but it's pretty impressive nonetheless.

--Michael Snow

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