Via robot wisdom:
Last Monday, an essay critical of Wikipedia prompted [founder] Jimmy Wales to raise the issue of how to improve the quality of writing in Wikipedia articles, conceding that there were significant problems in some areas.
The essay in question was posted by business journalist and author Nicholas Carr on his blog October 3. Its focus was actually on the Web 2.0 concept, and Carr gave it the title, "The amorality of Web 2.0". His reflections were prompted by media coverage leading up to this past week's Web 2.0 Conference, and the idealistic notions of people like conference organizer Tim O'Reilly. Carr argued that although the technology behind the Web is fundamentally amoral, the glowing rhetoric around it is creating a quasi-religious fervor and contributing to the "cult of the amateur".
As an example of this phenomenon, Carr turned to Wikipedia, saying, "If you read anything about Web 2.0, you'll inevitably find praise heaped upon Wikipedia as a glorious manifestation of 'the age of participation.'" His own assessment: "In reality, though, Wikipedia isn't very good at all." To support this, he quoted passages from the articles on Bill Gates and Jane Fonda that he described as "an incoherent hodgepodge of dubious factoids", adding that these were representative of much of Wikipedia's content ...
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