Friday, 14 January 2011

Jimmy Wales admits Wikipedia too complicated, cat meows, and the Pope is Catholic: Reflections upon the obvious.

"Wikipedia is too complicated for many people to modify despite billing itself as 'the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit', its founder has said."

This is probably something of an understatement. Wikipedia is surely an amazing collaboration project and can only be judged as a major success.

BUT, editing the tool requires a fairly skilled computer user. And negotiating the streams of admin and conventions is maddening.

I find the admins have learned, or been selected, to be more positive and helpful, but the tool probably does need a major update. An update that continues to insure quality while opening it up to the Long Tail of knowledge out there.

A site like Quora shows the potential for user collaboration knowledge. Also Wikipedia is a bit isolated from the knowledge creation ecosystem. It's facebook page seems only interested in asking for money. It would be interested to see a new initiative that tries to extend the quality information in Wikipedia to cover every street in the world, every prominent person who ever lived, ever book ever written, ever newspaper article ever published, every item ever put up for sale.

The thing is that I trust Wikipedia. Sure I don't fully trust the crowd, but I trust the crowd more than I trust companies of any kind.

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