[Wikipedia-l] pitching an idea

Steve Lefevre lefevre.10 at osu.edu
Sun Apr 17 08:52:38 UTC 2005

Finne Boonen wrote:

>if I understood it correctly, doesn't it makes it difficult to edit,
>not everybody has a pgp key, if you want to base the key on the
>computer they're working with, what about people that use several
>computers from wich they edit?
It would be more difficult to edit, and that is a drawback. Instead of 
having an anonymous anybody editing, you do have to sign the stuff you 
write with a key. Hopefully that will act as a filter to anyone trying 
to create havoc.

The idea is to have 1 person , 1 key; otherwise, this authorship 
reputation system doesn't work.

>how is it possible to benefit from several people editing a text? add
>the (weighted) scores of all the parts? Or not possible?

Well, the exact scoring formula would probably have to be decided over 
trial an error. Or, you can build different filters that present the 
wikipedia tree differently, based on different scoring rules. For 
example, if you only wanted to see the articles that had x numbers of 
signatures, or that had x signatures of authors with more than x 
signatures on their texts.

>I do like the idea however :)

Thank you! I was expecting a few flames at first.

>On 4/17/05, Steve Lefevre <lefevre.10 at osu.edu> wrote:
>>Hey folks -
>>I'm pitching an idea for a postmodern wikipedia. What I mean by that is
>>that there are multiple concurrent versions of an article. Instead of a
>>zero-sum game where only one text can inhabit a title at any time, a
>>user can choose from different branches. The user basis this decision on
>>who the authors are, and how many people agree with the text.
>>A PGP sign-off system will keep track of who wrote what, and who agrees
>>with it. Authors who have had a lot of people sign off on their word
>>will get bonus scores on their texts, and articles that well-reputed
>>authors sign off on will get also get bonus scores.
>> A 'troll pit' of low-rated articles by low-rated authors will be
>>automatically filtered from casual browsers.
>>The immediate wikipedia problems that this solves are:
>> - Edit wars. This is common with articles covering controversial
>>topics, such as abortion. Proponents of different truths will build and
>>maintain their side of the story, including counter arguments, instead
>>of trying to destroy the other side. There is no negative sign-off, so
>>the only thing the article measures is how many people agree with it,
>>not how many disagree.
>> - Graffiti. Small, hard-to-detect changes to articles will not be
>>signed off on by many people, so they will not survive a reputation
>>filter. Those branches will go into the troll pit.
>>- Trolling. See graffiti. Giving a definition of trolling that makes it
>>distinguishable from grafitti is left as an exercise for the reader.
>>- Lack of attribution.With a PGP sign-off system, articles can be
>>attributed to authors, even if they are anonymous.
>>-  Public perception. The steady maintenance of well-respected articles
>>by reputable authors will make wikipedia a trusted source of information.
>>Wikipedia-l mailing list
>>Wikipedia-l at Wikimedia.org

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