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Wikipedia Is Nearing Completion

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes | about 2 years ago

Wikipedia 5

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Rebecca J. Rosen writes that it may seem impossible for an encyclopedia of everything to ever near completion, but at least for the major articles on topics like big wars, important historical figures, central scientific concepts, the English-language Wikipedia is pretty well filled out. "After an encyclopedia reaches 100,000 articles, the pool of good material shrinks. By the time one million articles are written, it must tax ingenuity to think of something new. Wikipedia," writes historian and Wikipedia editor Richard Jensen, "passed the four-million-article mark in summer 2012." With the exciting work over, editors are losing interest. In the spring of 2012, 3,300 editors contributed more than 100 edits per month each — that's a 31 percent drop from spring of 2007, when that number was 4,800. For example, take a look at the Wikipedia article for the War of 1812 which runs 14,000 words cobbled together by 3,000 editors. Today, the War of 1812 page has many more readers than it did in 2008 — 623,000 compared with 434,000 — but the number who make a change has dropped precipitously, from 256 to just 28. Of those original 256, just one remains active. The reason, Jensen believes, is that the article already has had so many edits, there is just not that much to do. Jensen says that Wikipedia should now devote more resources toward getting editors access to higher-quality scholarship (in private databases like JSTOR), admission to military-history conferences, and maybe even training in the field of historiography, so that they could bring the articles up to a more polished, professional standard. "Wikipedia is now a mature reference work with a stable organizational structure and a well-established reputation. The problem is that it is not mature in a scholarly sense (PDF).""

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Disagree (2)

kraln (1477093) | about 2 years ago | (#41775333)

I would disagree that Wikipedia is mature, and that editors are losing interest due to the 'maure' nature of the encyclopedia. Let me tell you why I stopped contributing: The wikipedia community is a complete and utter power trip. If someone decides that an article, or a whole series of articles, isn't noteworthy, or encylopedic, they're removed. It's not like the articles were hurting anything, being there... they've just been erased from the internet. It's this and other ridiculous policies and cultural norms that have completely turned me off from wikipedia.

Re:Disagree (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 2 years ago | (#41775511)

Citation needed :)

Re:Disagree (1)

twocs (1392729) | about 2 years ago | (#41775743)

That's really true. I found some articles with terrible sources, and tried to spur on some improvement to the articles within the guidelines of the encyclopedic nature. But you can't do anything to make Wikipedia better anymore. There are control freaks watching every page and every edit, reverting any changes and forcing their viewpoint on everyone.

Ownership-like behavior (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41777323)

There are control freaks watching every page and every edit, reverting any changes and forcing their viewpoint on everyone.

Control freaks who block a new consensus from forming, even after reasonable discussion of a reverted edit on an article's talk page [] , may be violating Wikipedia's policy against ownership-like behavior [] . Consider using the various dispute resolution means in the Wikipedia community.

Re:Disagree (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41780383)

It's been like that for a long time. In 2006 I had the lens in my left eye replaced with an artificial one that sat on struts and was able to focus like a young eye (I'd contracted a cataract from a prescription steroid eyedrop for an infection).

This new device had been approved by the FDA three years earlier. But there was no mention of it in the wikipedia article about cataract surgery, which mentioned two or three older, very less capable lenses but not the new, greatly improved one I had. So I edited the article adding the new lens.

It was edited back out within a day, and stayed that way until I said something about it in slashdot a couple of years later, when it magically reappeared.

Needless to say, I haven't attempted to contribute to wikipedia since. It's simply futile, and has been so for years.

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