[p2p-research] the wikipedia decline (slashdot article)

Paul D. Fernhout pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com
Wed Nov 25 21:16:22 CET 2009

Michel Bauwens wrote:
> Despite the dismissal by paul hartzog of my interpretation, the fall of
> wikipedia pretty much started with the victory of the exclusionists ... this
> is pretty much confirmed by the article,
> with the revolt of the german wikipedia hackers, we now have a realistic
> chance to regain a inclusionist Wikipedia with a real democratic peer
> governance,

Just one more discussion about this issue, in relation to the information 
Michel posted, with right now 340 comments for that article (note that 
slashdot is a site contributed by many of the same people who might edit 
Wikipedia, and some comments are from claimed first-hand experience with 
these issues):
"Slashdot | Contributors Leaving Wikipedia In Record Numbers"
CNET reports that the volunteers who create Wikipedia's pages, check facts 
and adapt the site are abandoning Wikipedia in unprecedented numbers
with tens of thousands of editors going “dead” — no longer actively 
contributing and updating the site — a trend many experts believe could 
threaten Wikipedia’s future. In the first three months of 2009 the 
English-language version of Wikipedia suffered a net loss of 49,000 
contributors, compared with a loss of about 4,900 during the same period in 
2008. “If you don’t have enough people to take care of the project it could 
vanish quickly," says Felipe Ortega at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in 
Madrid who created a computer system to analyze the editing history of more 
than three million active Wikipedia contributors in ten different languages. 
"We’re not in that situation yet. But eventually, if the negative trends 
follow, we could be in that situation.” Contributors are becoming 
disenchanted with the process of adding to the site which is becoming 
increasingly difficult
says Andrew Dalby, author of The World and Wikipedia: How We are Editing 
Reality and a regular editor of the site. “There is an increase of 
bureaucracy and rules. Wikipedia grew because of the lack of rules. That has 
been forgotten. The rules are regarded as irritating and useless by many 
contributors.” Arguments over various articles have also taken their toll. 
"Many people are getting burnt out when they have to debate about the 
contents of certain articles again and again," adds Ortega.

--Paul Fernhout

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