Archive for November, 2009
I read in yesterday’s WSJ that Wikipedia has lost over 40,ooo editors in the last year. Well, in theory they have about 3,000,000. So really this is a drop in the bucket. But it was enough to cause hand-wringing among the wiki-ites.
My attitude toward wikis is well known. I don’t like it as a model because it can be manipulated easily by anyone. However, I have to grant that often the quality of the information can be pretty good. Yet one never knows what one is getting.
The loss of so many editors was attributed to falling interest, and also the fact that Wikipedia is becoming more and more structured. Many topics are completely closed and others require editorial review before a change can be made. I can actually understand these restrictions, drive by spammers, goofballs, and political advocates probably corrupt the database every day. It must take tremendous resources to police the wiki world.
I certainly don’t see the demise of Wikipedia any time soon. It is simply interesting to see it struggle along, losing adherents as the economy falls, and unemployment rises. I think the biggest reason that Wikipedia might be struggling is that more people are putting a monetary value on their time and are beginning to see that giving it away free to Wikipedia might not be the good deal they once believed.