Raw Thought

by Aaron Swartz

Weekend Update

I lost.

You should follow me on twitter here.

September 24, 2006


My condolences. In any case, I think you raised some hard truths that the Wikipedia community needs to hear. Oh, and I’m still waiting for one bloody developer to look at my patch to implement RSS feeds for watchlists.

In the end, Wikipedia will suffer from the same problem it has always had: stubbornness. There are other projects more deserving of your time.

I’m curious to see where you plan to take this next, namely to other projects. How can other community-driven sites foster the same sense of responsibility on the part of its users that Wikipedia has? And how can the “code” of such sites encourage casual contributors to make useful contributions and discourage vandalism and non-useful contributions?

What you’ve described in some of your articles seems to be essentially a Long Tailification of the community process: a million people gently tap a cat’s tail over here, and the loudest meow you’ve ever heard comes out over there. The issue, as I see it, is the parallelization problem, how can you break up a large complex project into one that casual users can contribute to in small chunks, when these users lack domain knowledge and have no motivation to learn any particular procedures specific to your project?

posted by Zach Lipton on September 24, 2006 #

Damn. Sorry dude, you certainly would have had my vote, had I been alowed to vote.

posted by Andy Schilling on September 24, 2006 #

I tried to vote for you, but I didn’t have enough page edits to qualify to vote (I think you needed like 400+, and my tally is measured in the dozens, not hundreds…)…

posted by naum on September 25, 2006 #

Hi, Aaron. I’m a Wikipedian, a MediaWiki developer, and founder of a successful non-Wikimedia wiki (Wikitravel). I didn’t vote for you because there was a much more qualified person who’d put in his time working in the trenches of the organization and who showed understanding of our problems and commitment to the cause.

I think if you really believe in making Wikipedia even better than it is now, you’ll need to work the crowds more. Get involved with the WMF committees, and become part of the MW development effort.

posted by Evan Prodromou on October 4, 2006 #

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