Fri 6th January 2012, 6:58pm
QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 6th January 2012, 12:48pm)
where consortia of PR industry leaders are going to try to "reach out" to Wikipedia and gain consensus on how PR firms can dutifully and ethically interact with Wikipedia.
Wikipedia's community doesn't want to "interact" with PR firms. In fact, it systemically views PR firms as very nearly the ultimate enemy of truth, and wants absolutely nothing to do with them. This reflects Wikipedia's deep anticorporate, antibusiness, antiproperty attitudes. Not at all Wikipedians are communists, to be sure, but enough of them are, and especially in Wikipedia's early days, so that those ideologies run deep in the governing philosophy. And most of its current participants are not intellectually mature enough to contemplate the rules that they're given to follow, ascertain the underlying principles, and evaluate for themselves whether or not they really make sense. They just follow them, unquestioning, because that's what you do if you want to belong.
On top of that, Jimmy's personal interest in maximizing the size of the community (apparently above all other concerns) necessitates that there must not be any paid editors; otherwise, unpaid editors may come to feel like second-class citizens, resulting in a loss of participation. Basically, if any editor can be paid, why not all of them?
So I share your belief that the PR community is going to come out of this experience burned. An interesting possible side effect is going to be corporations recommending that the best strategies for dealing with Wikipedia are litigation and lobbying (if you can't handle it with PR, handle it with lawyers and politicians), and that's going to mean an attack on Section 230 as well as even more efforts to sue Wikipedians directly. I find it amusing that Wikipedia's intransigence on these issues are likely to hurt them badly, possibly even fatally, in the long run.