If you are wiki and you know it clap your hands
Dec 14, 2005 Submitted by nullnullnull (1473)
Wikipedia has been getting a lot of heat lately and undeservedly so in my opinion. I personally believe that Wikipedia is a great website and is an example of the great democratic and collective efforts of the Internet. The belief in a community driven project ( Wikipedia, MobyGames, IMDb to name a few ) is really the belief in the goodness of mankind. It is a belief that there are people out there that are passionate about the same things we are. That these people will donate their precious time and labor to help educate and inform strangers on the 'Net. That they believe these types of projects are important and we, other people, are better off because of their existence. It is also a belief that these "good" people completely outnumber the griefers, cranksters, liars and jerks that will intentionally try and seed erroneous, misleading or incorrect information. Community driven projects are based on the principle that peer review and self policing efforts are the best means to maintain quality.
Wikipedias critics argue there is no accountability. People can contribute whatever they wish to Wikipedia anonymously. However ultimately the Wikipedia Media Foundation is responsible and accountable. The same is true with MobyGames. Ultimately Brian, myself, Jim and Rob are responsible and accountable for the quality of everything that goes on at MobyGames. Errors happen. A database as large as Wikipedia is bound to have errors. MobyGames has errors. Yet each week hundreds or error reports flow in from MobyGames users. Every day Wikipedia articles are updated and fixed. Every game every is seen by thousands of people. Errors are corrected and corrected quickly. Even the Encyclopedia Britannica has errors from time to time. I may be able to find out who edited a specific edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. I certainly won't know who wrote any specific article. The question I must ask is: Who cares? When was the last time you looked in the Encyclopedia Britannica? My argument is that commercial encyclopedias are no more accountable than community driven projects. Worse still, I believe in this day and age they are totally irrelevant.
In a few years we will know who is right. We pour our efforts into MobyGames so you know where I stand.