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Feb 21, 2007, 12:42 AM
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Wikipedia lament


While I'm on the subject of blogging, I thought that I should share something that's been bothering me for some time now.

Wikipedia has about 43,000 registered editors in good standing. Fewer than 1000 are administrators. Obviously, I'd quit at least once before. Just go back to my first entry here.

I am - or at least was - one of those thousand.

I spent four years writing and editing subjects ranging from full-scale railroading to classic cars and not a mere few on radio control.

Waste of time? Perhaps.

Wikipedia is a grand experiment and a noble vision gone horribly awry. There are more vandals than good users at any given time and I frequently found myself faced with the Sisyphean task of cleaning up after these yahoos.

I've found evidence on the internet of coordinated efforts on the parts of disgruntled individuals to discredit administrators...and I fell victim. These jerks sign up, do some reasonably good editing and then sneak in bizarre edits designed to catch the attention of an admin. When the admin cleans up the mess, the attacks begin. Worse, the "community" seems to be letting it happen.

Jimbo Wales, the site's founder, is a decent person. I only wish that he would step in to help clean up this cyber-playpen of his, now overrun by high schoolers creating nonsense pages and spammers from all over the globe, not to mention these destructive users of the type I just mentioned.

The upshot? I still edit at a neat little independent wiki dedicated to electric flight. It's called www.eflightwiki.com and virtually everything that I wrote on Wikipedia may be found there. I edit under this same user name.

Lots of good info there; I hope you'll stop by.

As far as Wikipedia is concerned, cold turkey never tasted so good.
Last edited by DismayingObservation; Feb 21, 2007 at 12:48 AM.
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Feb 21, 2007, 01:36 AM
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Yes, Wikipedia is a grand vision, and that vision, that goal, is still grand. To me that is separate and distinct from the actions of "vandals" that find their mealy way to create disorder, and to destroy, since they themselves can not create. There are cowards and vandals everywhere, in every facit of life. I agree, it is hard to continually combat them, but what else can we do? To do nothing allows them to stop the creation, and the visions from becoming reality. Thank you for for being on the front line... you're a good soldier!
Feb 21, 2007, 02:49 AM
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Thank you for those kind words. I thought I'd found a place to combine a love of writing with a passion for R/C among other things and for a long time, I had. I'm just hurt over the fact that this sort of idiocy is allowed to happen.

It's as I told another user in a previous e-mail: Wikipedia eats its young. In its effort to be fair and neutral, it leaves itself vulnerable to attack by the "meatpuppets" of these anti-Wikipedia sites. One in particular, whose name I won't post simply because he doesn't deserve the exposure, has openly admitted to recruiting people for the sole purpose of discrediting admins.

If there's anything that I can be proud of, it's this: Many of my original articles have grown quite a bit. At least one on a classic car is frequently cited on other websites and even on eBay auctions. That's kind of nice to see.


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