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49,000 volunteer editors leave Wikipedia

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posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 06:26 AM
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According to this article 49,000 volunteer editors have left Wikipedia in "the first three months of this year, compared to 4,900 for the same period a year earlier":

www.dailymail.co.uk...



Fears are rising that the usefulness of Wikipedia could be undermined as thousands of volunteer researchers abandon the site.
The free internet encyclopedia is one of the world's most popular websites and uses volunteers to create pages and check facts.
However the English-language version of the site suffered a net loss of 49,000 volunteer 'editors' in the first three months of this year, compared with 4,900 for the same period a year earlier, according to a university study.
This is believed to be a result of increased bureaucracy to prevent errors - such as the death of Senator Edward Kennedy being announced prematurely - and the sense that Wikipedia is now part of the establishment.
Founded in 2001 by Jimmy Wales, it has become the fifth most popular website in the world with about 325million visits a month.
It allows registered users to modify entries but this can leave it open to abuse, most recently when its page for footballer Thierry Henry was flooded with obscenities after his handball helped France to beat Ireland in a World Cup play-off.
The research, by Felipe Ortega, at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, found that tens of thousands of Wikipedia editors were no longer contributing - and were not being replaced.





Mr Ortega, who created a programme analysing the editing history of more than three million Wikipedia contributors, told The Times: 'If you don't have enough people to take care of the project it could vanish quickly.
'We're not in that situation yet. But eventually, if the negative trends follow, we could be in that situation.'
He said contributors 'don't feel the spirit of the first years'.
He added: 'The articles are very tightly controlled by others now, and that makes it hard to jump in and contribute.'
Andrew Dalby, author of The World And Wikipedia: How We Are Editing Reality, questioned whether there was much left to add to the site, which already contains around three million articles.
He said it was also becoming more difficult to contribute.
'There is an increase in bureaucracy and rules,' he said. 'Wikipedia grew because of the lack of rules. That has been forgotten. The rules are regarded as irritating and useless by many contributors.'
He added: 'There's the frustration of realising that what you will do will not stay there forever. Somebody else will come along and rewrite it, re-edit it and, maybe in your view, spoil it.'


This is the full Daily Mail article - minus a couple of pictures.

[edit on 25-11-2009 by berenike]




posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 06:30 AM
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reply to post by berenike
 


So they are leaving because they think its become part of the "establishment"?

Well, it is open to anyone's opinion and has been abused. So...

I wouldn't want to be part of it either.
I can guarantee that if they were being paid, they wouldn't leave.



posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 06:33 AM
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reply to post by havok
 


I'm not sure what to make of this. Obviously, you want to know that what you are reading on Wiki is accurate and properly researched.

On the other hand, I'd rather have it as it is than not. Anything read on there can be crossed checked elsewhere.

[edit on 25-11-2009 by berenike]



posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 06:36 AM
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I think they are likely leaving due to the "Flagged Revisions" moderation type approach that wiki has adopted. This moderation kind of defeats the whole object of what Wikipedia stands for and thus users are leaving in protest.

That is my ten pence anyway.

Article



posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 06:37 AM
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Here's another article - the one's from The Times:

technology.timesonline.co.uk...

This is part of the article:



It was one of the internet’s most ambitious, radical and ultimately successful ideas.

Eight years ago Wikipedia, the free online encyclopaedia that allows anyone to write and edit articles, declared that it would provide access to “the sum of all human knowledge”. It soon became one of world’s most popular websites.

The site assumed that facts and information could be provided by all. Anyone was allowed to log on, write and change articles. Any subject — from Barack Obama’s election to characters in the Star Wars films — was considered worthy of inclusion. The pages have been updated and improved upon thousands of times and they are used more than 300 million times a month by everyone from primary school pupils to speechwriters — even if they should know better.

Surprisingly to sceptics, who have long warned that inaccuracies abound on the website and that they can come to be regarded as fact, the project seems to have proven the wisdom of crowds. A recent study suggested that its pieces were just as accurate as those in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.


Little bit more info. This lists 5 things each that Wiki got right, wrong or were 'weird' :

technology.timesonline.co.uk...

This is my favourite 'weird' one:



Speeding shells

The world snail racing championships were held annually for more than 40 years — but rain stopped play in 2007



[edit on 25-11-2009 by berenike]



posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 06:58 AM
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goes to prove the old addage, if it's not broken, don't fix it. i'ld be very sad to see wikipedia go, it's an incredible website.



posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 07:01 AM
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reply to post by pieman
 


I doubt that it will ever go (not in the near future anyway).

The only way that it will "go" is if it cannot fund itself with the donations and will get bought out and then monetised. In this respect the wikipedia that we know and love will gone but only replaced by the same thing just with adverts.



posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 07:17 AM
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The site is great for checking indisputable facts like dates, places of birth, etc. But when it comes to telling you the real story behind what has gone on, it is no different that any of the other mainstream trash outlet. Since its content is mostly corporate boot licking hogwash, they should start throwing some adds up and start paying people for promoting propaganda, just like all the other corporate MSMs.



posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 07:24 AM
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reply to post by berenike
 


I left it last year (for the last time).
I didn't find it worth my effort anymore.

I am not an "anti-establishment" freak or a conspiracy lover - far from it; but I do value an open mind above all and consider it essential to present all the data available in an unbiased light and accurately.

Relying solely and exclusively on what mainstream sciences have to say (as conveyed through mainstream media outlets, to boot) - even though they are themselves potentially biased, and they by definition lag behind - is NOT the line of thought that I would care to be associated with.

Also, I don't find the current editorial policy (= manner of writing and organising the material) efficiently didactic, which is a huge flaw, considering that should be the main purpose of any encyclopedia.




[edit on 25-11-2009 by Vanitas]



posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 07:25 AM
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reply to post by SphinxMontreal
 


Is it?

How sure are you of this?

I was trying to get my company up on there and they did not allow me to do so because it was a breach of some "self advertising" policy they have on the site.

Any articles written on corporations have to be written by an outsider (OK I am sure they get around this some how but I still kind of disagree from personal experience).



posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 07:28 AM
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Originally posted by SphinxMontreal
The site is great for checking indisputable facts like dates, places of birth, etc.


God, I do hope you are not relying on it...



posted on Nov, 26 2009 @ 06:21 PM
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Here is an update to this story:

www.dailymail.co.uk...



Wikipedia's co-founder has called into question research which suggests thousands of volunteer editors across the world had left the site thereby undermining its usefulness.
Jimmy Wales contested the claim that 49,000 volunteer editors had left in the first three months of 2009.
'Our internal numbers don’t confirm all the claims made. We do agree that the number of editors has stabilised, as one would expect, since we're already the fifth most popular website on the internet...[however] our own data shows that the number of active editors across all projects is stable – i.e. the new editors are replaced at about the same pace as existing editors are leaving,' he told the Telegraph.
The research was carried out by Felipe Ortega from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid. He claimed that ten times the number editors had left the site as in the same period of 2008.

But Mr Wales said numbers had stabilised because the site was so large. 'You can’t keep growing forever, there are only so many people on the internet.'
The free internet encyclopedia is one of the world's most popular websites and uses volunteers to create pages and check facts.
Founded in 2001 by Mr Wales, it has become the fifth most popular website in the world with about 325million visits a month.
It allows registered users to modify entries but this can leave it open to abuse, most recently when its page for footballer Thierry Henry was flooded with obscenities after his handball helped France to beat Ireland in a World Cup play-off.
Spokesman for Wikimedia UK Michael Peel said it was too early to say whether Mr Ortega's numbers were accurate, and that it would depend on the definition of a Wikipedia 'editor'.





He said: 'Wikipedia is very open so anyone can come along and edit, so you do get a constant flux.
'Wikipedia is definitely not dying. It's freely licensed which means that content that has been added will be there forever.'
There was speculation that tighter rules governing how content is added had put people off, but Mr Peel said the system also meant vandalism was more easily removed.
Pilot projects are under way in the US to make it easier to add and edit content, and to upload images.
In the UK a scheme will start in February to gather information from museums on artefacts to add to existing entries.
Mr Peel said getting experts to support the site provided part of the solution to getting a balance between freedom and minimising inaccuracies.
'We're trying to engage a bit more at the moment with people who are very knowledgeable, people who are experts, so working with museums was the obvious next step,' he said.
Mr Ortega built a computer program to analyse editing history on Wikipedia.
He told The Times: 'If you don't have enough people to take care of the project it could vanish quickly. We're not in that situation yet. But eventually, if the negative trends follow, we could be in that situation.'


[edit on 26-11-2009 by berenike]



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