Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Wikipedia gets 2 columns, above the fold, on the front page of today's New York Times.

The article itself is nuanced examination of how wikipedia works (with an alarmist headline) -- about semiprotection and other ways editorial control is emerging from the mist (the other ways dwarf semiprotection by orders of magnitude, but they're organic and harder to explain, so semiprotection gets the headline).

2 notes:

1. The media loves stories about how look at that ! wikipedia's not anarchy now! But it never was particularly anarchic -- the constraints of the medium (no physical contact, for example; and no permanent erasure) made it one of the few working examples of anarcho-syndicalism -- which is to say, it was never structureless; it always had the structure of social interaction. (Social scientists are going to be studying wikipedia's germination decades from now, trying to figure out what parallels they can draw with human society (and especially early human societies, before most of the political constructs we're familiar with existed).)

2. Articles like this are going to attract lots of new editors. But I'm a little worried those editors will come in with notions that WPedia's a churning sea of edit wars and agression -- all the Times articles that mention acrimony and link to high-profile pages like Christina Aguilera might have the effect of normalizing stuff like that. Wikipedia is mostly peaceful. This is all by way of saying: I hope the newb-welcoming efforts are attended to (they seem to be). They're the wiki equivalent of an education system.

Update: I read the article in print and got a completely different impression of it than I did reading it on a screen. Revised a little.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tired of diets that fail? It doesnt necessarily mean, however, that all diets dont work. What you need is a diet that fits your eating habits and your lifestyle. For reviews of todays top diets and free diet tips please visit Weight Loss