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What is the life expectancy of Wikipedia?

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The Review’s resident Wikipedia-Watcher, Daniel Brandt, submitted this focused post to the forum on Christmas Eve 2007.


What is the life expectancy of Wikipedia?

  1. It has a scandal-prone structure, from the Board of Trustees right down to “anyone can edit” which includes an anon editing an article on Seigenthaler that sat there for four months.
  2. The person most closely associated with Wikipedia loves his celebrity status but prefers to spin away over Wikipedia’s problems rather than deal with them.
  3. The social networking model, from Wikipedia, to Orkut in Brazil, to Napster, Grokster, and YouTube and copyright, is headed for a more restrictive legal environment.
  4. To the extent that any sort of wiki-type “encyclopedia” survives, it will probably have to go with non-anonymous editing. Examples are Citizendium, and Google’s Knol.
  5. The funds from donations will not be sufficient to sustain the needs of the Wikimedia Foundation. If Google is serious about Knol, it may even be too late to start showing ads on Wikipedia. Google is not likely to rank Wikipedia well if it competes with Knol.
  6. The mainstream media is losing its infatuation with Wikipedia.

I give it three more years.


Written by The Review

January 10th, 2008 at 4:41 am

Posted in Big Picture, Critics

One Response to 'What is the life expectancy of Wikipedia?'

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  1. I believe the great experience and experiment of Wikipedia will become part of another whole entity; a new system of protection for articles and data will be a necessary step in the life of said project. There are, in fact, many great things about and stemming from, the concept of Wikipedia, albeit without a sufficient supply of wise people, the organization falls and defaults to a mediocre and mundane state. Age appropriate positions in the hierarchy of the said organization will be part of the new system. The project itself may last forever under a new umbrella and a new corporate structure, however, in it’s present state, it will probably be gone within 18 months. Privacy issues will be addressed by the new hierarchy.
    Biographical content of living beings and organizations will come under the laws of each jurisdiction where the offices of said organization present themselves. :)

    Lee Nysted

    14 Jan 08 at 1:14 am

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