Sunday, October 10, 2004

Wikipedia vs. The Register

Actual Event Date: 19 Sept 2004 (Sun)

Recently there has been a spade of attacks between wikipedia & the register . It got to the point where even David Wiley got sucked into the argument, and prompted him to write a letter ( link ) in response to it.

The claims & attacks from both sides ranges from immature (something I am very familiar with) to incoherent. From the onset, I am a fan of wikipedia, but I agree with detractors that it is not a panacea of all our problems. Two main points I like to make are:

  • Wikipedia will not make universities obsolete ( link )

Online libraries will always have an edge in ensuring validity of the content, and a superior category system in which users can find what they want. Wikipedia however serves a different purpose. It is a great ‘quick & dirty' resource tool for you to pick up information contributed from the masses (yes, that includes you too). Both have strengths and weaknesses, but both will not make each other obsolete.

  • “if you don't like it, fix it” ( link )

Andrew Orlowski compared wikipedia's war cry of “if you don't like it, fix it!” to being urged to liven up a boring stranger's very poorly-attended party by showing up. He added, “But why should anyone bother? There may be a good reason no one shows up in the first place”.

My response is, rather than just complain, do something about it. Be more mainstream, don't just sit there and whine. Personally, I like wikipedia's war cry of “if you don't like it, fix it!” better still, just don't use it. But don't try to undermine the work or others who basically just want to share and enjoy basic human rights ( link ).



“Have you talked to your best friend recently?”


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