Wikipedia in Singapore: Was It Just a Fad?
-- By Shefali Rekhi, The Malaysian Insider
December 6, 2009
Messages on the online Singapore Wikipedian noticeboard have slowed, and many articles relating to the country have not found additional contributors.
The community has not met offline in more than two years.
No estimates of the strength of the Wikipedian community in Singapore are available. But members say it could have been hundreds up to a thousand at its peak, perhaps from 2005 to 2006.
Nanyang Technological University assistant professor Brendan Luyt found 274 registered members for a study on their motivations earlier this year. Among them, 127 had provided e-mail addresses, to which he wrote, and 14 responded.
He found that all were young men and most had started out by correcting grammatical or factual errors on the articles posted.
Technology commentator Jeremy Wagstaff believes part of the problem could be that Wikipedia has become the animal it set out to avoid becoming.
“Wikipedia has grown into an institution, with its own myriad rules and culture. This means long-term users feel a sense of ownership, which unwittingly or wittingly raises the barriers to entry for newcomers,” he said.