Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Is Wikipedia failing?

I'm sorry that I came across Worldtraveller's essay, Wikipedia is failing, for several reasons. A minor one is that it looks as if this is a discussion I could have contributed much to; the more important one is that, as usual, there is a plethora of voices and opinions expressed here, and at this point I find it difficult to sort out the insightful from the irrelevant.

Worldtraveller's essay raises three points -- which is not to say that he necessarily agrees with the following:

The third point, I think, is the one that bothers many people: after six years of mostly selfless work by a lot of smart people, I think it is reasonable to wonder why Wikipedia isn't better than it is. Not to say that it is a unmitigated disaster:
Worldtraveller himself is quite clear he doesn't share this opinion. Further, after a little more than two years, Nupedia produced only a handful of articles of all grades of quality. Despite these caveats, I think it is fair to say that with a few exceptions, Wikipedians aren't satisfied with what they have created, and are looking for answers.

So far, I've extracted only a few of the many opinions on this article from the Talk page (which already has 2 archives):

This time, my excuse for not offering a solution is even simpler: I can take time to read what people write about this topic, or I can take time to create a solution. I'd rather take that time and work on articles; I regret that these meta-debates are so addicting.


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