Tuesday, March 06, 2007


The Essjay affair, postmortem part I

(Note: this isn't the essay I was planning to write yesterday. I hope that this is a better one.)

I'm more than a little surprised that my Friday post, "I guess I should write about Ryan Jordan" continues to attract so many hits -- especially because Essjay has resigned from both Wikipedia and Wikia. At the moment, that post is one of my most-read.

Honestly, I thought Fuzheado discusses the entire affair than I have, beginning with his first post, then his first update, his second update, and even today's post. I just wrote my gut feelings as a simple Wikipedian, nothing special; and I discovered afterwards that everything useful I either wrote -- or meant to write had already been written. (I'll admit I left a link to this post on a related discussion page, but only to provide full disclosure of my opinion, but the interest started long before that.)

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised. People joke that modern people have very short attention spans (claiming a figure of anywhere from 15 seconds to 24 hours), but serious issues require humans time -- I'd guess a minimum of a week -- to process serious issues. They need to investigate, to reflect and understand, then do something to show that they've finished processing the event -- for example, post an opinion either on Wikipedia or a forum outside of Wikipedia -- before they can move on. Despite the fact that the clever phrase "Internet time" -- meaning a constant, accelerated pace -- has been in use for almost 15 years, people still function at a much slower pace for a number of reasons. So despite events, this is still not over for many people, and might not be for many days.


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