Sat 2nd July 2011, 10:42pm
QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Sat 2nd July 2011, 10:36pm)
QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Sat 2nd July 2011, 4:13pm)
There's one change I would make, if I was in charge of that madhouse.
Anyone who came to me and asked to become an arbitrator, would be told one thing:
"Sure, you can be an arbitrator. It's a lifetime appointment. Just send the WMF a check for $20,000. "
That would get rid of all the trolls and crazies and parasites and Risker, immediately.
Hell, I would charge dues just for the privilege of editing with a named account. Not much, maybe $5 or $10 a year. Also buys you the right to vote in elections and referenda. Because that's how membership organizations work. Can't afford $5 a year? Ask someone else to buy a membership for you, or beg for a freebie.
Fundamentally the problem is that declaring that Wikipedia is the "encyclopedia anyone can edit" doesn't make it true. Not anyone can edit an encyclopedia; most people don't have the requisite competency. Pretending that they do, or that somehow they will gain it organically through experience, is just insane.
Yeah and anyone can be the president of America.
As I've said somewhere on WR in regard to paid editing (suggesting a special forum I think), Wikipedia is a skilled business. Computer-savvy people (geeks if you like) can easily forget this - rather like the old 'techno-speak' cliche, but 'normal' people just aren't technically savvy enough to grasp Wikipedia, esp before all the gadgets were built-in, and even with them in place.
On top of that you have all kinds of barriers (just off the top of my head): age
- Being of the 'computer generation'(s) helps hugely.education
- It's largely a middle class pursuit, and getting a good education is largely luck for many people, despite how 'hard working' you may be.nationality/freedom
- Partly assuming that .en version.x is the WP that counts. language/literacy
- Many people are dislexic for example.class
- The old divider.income/wealth
- WP doesn't pay you, so your time must be free and covered. time
- Relating to many of the others of course. Some people have no choice but to work 24/7.health/energy
- Esp physical - what if you are disabled? No paying others to help I'm afraid - as for all of these issues.temperament
- How many people walk straight out appalled? Esp professionals.ego
- WP is not a place for the timid.neutrality
- No 'confilct of interest' please, and it is seriously frowned upon to edit your own articles (BLP or business). philosophy/gullability
- If you are not part of The Project now you are increasingly marginalised, despite whatever initial idea you might have had about WP.integrity/communality
- WP is made for arse kissers. It is very hard to get anywhere on arguments alone. WP was also missing from a UK newspaper's list of 10 social networking sites recently. It should have been there, with its value as a business too, perhaps even projected onto businesses who can repurpose it, like Amazon.Ethical values
- Do you or don't you? Can you sit by and watch? It's not that easy, and many edit in two minds, or stay away unhappy about it.
I'm often astounded how few people do actually edit Wikipedia despite all this - but then I remember what a battleground it is, and ponder how many of the 'editors' who do are in fact sockpuppets. All the action is in cult areas (pokemon, games, star trek - whatever it is now. Whole areas lie empty or untended.
Wikipedia has had no experience of a realistic interpretation of 'everyone' editing, or of articles nearing completion either (FA's are often just B grade mid-teen homework of course, and full of easily-questionable stuff). I don't think the WMF is interested in either myself. How can it ask for money to expand itself and employ people if it doesn't need help? It's just a boring old capitalist story. It's like asking bankers to take the 'rap' now and help out - the reply is "Excuse me, we are bankers." The WMF is an expanding business, and primarily it needs to make money, not least to get as independent from Google as it can manage to (like most other internet businesses I would guess). The word 'charity' is the biggest con - when you employ just one person in a decent job, and need money to expand, the potential is to be anything other than 'charitable'.