Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lots of problems

Lots of problems; all recognized, many times, by others:
  1. Administrators think they are better than everyone else (you ever hear an admin apologize?). But most of them are just unemployed people with lots of time on their hands.
  2. With today's tools, even a moron can make a huge number of edits each day. Problem is, the morons do exactly that.
  3. The mass of editors are unsophisticated, unable to understand that the worldview they and their friends hold is pretty much limited to newspaper readers in Anglo-America.
  4. The policy on sources is absurd: journalists are considered good sources, but they use much lower quality sources than what would be accepted on WP. As if the average journalist is a good filter for information quality!
  5. The average editor thinks of WP as a mass of weeds that needs to be hacked, not as a garden that should be grown.
This last one seems especially important. When WP first started out, the emphasis was on creating content. Over time, lots of content appeared, and problems with some of that content became obvious (some was created by self-interested editors, some was not really notable, etc.). As new editors came in, they were not confronted with a wonderful blank space to be filled, but with an enormous mass of articles that--according to prevailing wisdom--contained problems. So, as is only natural, they approached WP with an attitude entirely disrespectful of the work that had been done by the first wave of editors. This second wave of editors might perform a valuable role, but I doubt it--a critical attitude is only legitimately adopted by superior people, and the second wave does not appear to be superior in any important way to the first.

No comments: