ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Wiki

Wiki, Losing Contributors

with one comment

Saw this and thought it worth a read:

“Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that is written entirely by volunteers and allows anyone to edit its entries, is losing contributors, its founder complained Thursday.

Speaking with The Associated Press on the sidelines of the website’s annual conference, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said the nonprofit company that runs the site is scrambling to simplify editing procedures in an attempt to retain volunteers.

“We are not replenishing our ranks,” said Wales. “It is not a crisis, but I consider it to be important.”

Administrators of the Internet’s fifth most visited website are working to simplify the way users can contribute and edit material. “A lot of it is convoluted,” Wales said. “A lot of editorial guidelines … are impenetrable to new users.”

Wikipedia has more than 3 million entries but has been marred by subjective entries and pranks. Even so, Wikipedia cites studies that compare the website’s accuracy favorably to more conventional encyclopedias, while other studies give it lower marks.

Despite Wikipedia’s wide-reaching popularity, Wales said the typical profile of a contributor is “a 26-year-old geeky male” who moves on to other ventures, gets married and leaves the website. Other contributors leave because, 10 years after the website was launched, there are fewer new entries to add, he said. “

The comments at Slashdot are probably nearer the truth.

Written by modernityblog

06/08/2011 at 00:51

Wikipedia, Rev. Sizer And Bits Left Out.

with 8 comments

I am indebted to Judeosphere for pointing out that Wiki has updated its page on Rev. Sizer, mentioning the Barbara Streisand effect along the way.

I am not unduly worried that I was not credited. I won’t cry or moan, but what struck me was more what they chose to leave out of the Wiki entry.

I appreciate that Wiki is trying to achieve some neutral point of view. They are up front about it and I can see why that might be a good idea.

However, what I think is reprehensible is that they do not comment on how Rev. Sizer left another message trying to intimidate another blogger, in particular, Vee of Living Journey in Australia.

The evidence is there for everyone to see, his own comment:

“Stephen Sizer says:
January 16, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Dear Vee,

You must take a little more care who you brand as anti-semitic otherwise you too will be receiving a caution from the police as the young former student of Leeds did recently. One more reference to me and you will be reported.

Blessings
Stephen”

[Even if it is subsequently denied, which I would doubt, then the Internet record can be pulled up to verify that Rev. Sizer did, in fact, leave that threat.]

Still, I suppose if Wiki had included that information then it would take the polish off of Rev. Sizer’s halo.

But there is a wider problem here and in the past I have been a bit critical of Wiki and Citizendium.

I think there’s a tendency for some of the biographical sections to come out like hagiographies.

Certainly, those of a religious persuasion (or not) would probably see why such an approach is not a good idea, and a bit unlikely under these circumstances, as few of us really have halos and most assuredly they do not need any on-line polishing!