For those wishing to catch up, I made a news timeline of the rise and fall of the site
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Previously by Devlin: Stop Giving Wikipedia Money"
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>But you missed out the third and worst of the options: editorial decisions which pander to the advertisers.
As a publisher who has run successful advertising sales teams in print and online you simply create policies that say the reader experience is primary and that any attempt by advertisers to influence editorial will be blocked. Readers can tell very quickly if editorial is influenced by advertisers and most publishers don't like to be pushed around. If advertisers really want unrestricted editorial presence they can buy an advertorial.
Thousands of newspapers, magazine and websites deal with these issues every day without having to run porn or low quality ads. I don't see any complaints that it causes those publications self censorship. I suspect most of Wikipedia's worry about ads is driven by a fear that ads will try to counter bias in articles.
Well I wrote it, and the self-censorship point is nonsense. There are lots of effective strategies that advertising-based media have used for many years to avoid self-censorship. To think that the situation is unmanageable is just incredibly naive. Such policies include accepting any kind of advertiser irrespective of their views (and let the reader decide the veracity of ads) or only accepting certain advertisers on certain pages, for example, no oil companies on global warming pages (although this type of policy actually a kind of censorship). The effect of any advertiser exerting undue influence is minimized by having many advertisers.
The wiki gives power to some users who are vocal about having that power removed. Unfortunately, those who are used to the "the wiki way" can see few other ways to organize content. To them, everything must be done on a wiki, whether that is the most appropriate tool or not. Flow is yet another example of choosing the wiki's flexibility over solutions that could easily be more practical. This inflexibility is also true for many of the non-encyclopedic pages of Wikipedia, such as news and biography pages where different editorial workflows and presentation will give better results. If you are interested I wrote a blog post about the many problems that are specifically caused by the wiki software.
Why u donate bro? Don't you know they don't need the money?
This issue highlights a structural flaw in Wikipedia's software, where the "encyclopedia" is being used for a purpose it was not designed for: Wikipedia is not a newspaper. These articles about dead children are news archives and not encyclopedic. An encyclopedia by definition requires fact checking. News archives do not require checking (or at the least the checking can be done external to the archive).
I am the founder of Newslines. We are the closest thing to a Wikipedia for news, although we are really a mix of daily news, Wikipedia and YouTube. Our writers create news-based timelines on any person, product or news event.
There are many problems with the way Wikipedia deals with news (see my article Wikipedia's 13 Deadly Sins. On the reader side, news pages are text-based, very unstructured, and don't have embedded videos and cannot be sorted or filtered. On the writers' side there are many problems with the 10-year-old wiki software that create unnecessary conflict and trouble for anyone trying to add data. By using a simpler approval process we have very few edit wars, happier writers, and a better reader experience. Also, our model makes it much more difficult for groups of readers to push their point of view.
Since we launched in May, our writers have added over 25,000 news events, on thousands of topics. Unlike other work-for-free-while-we-make-billions sites, we paid our writers $1 per post for those posts. In the next few weeks we are moving to a revenue share, where writers and editors can get paid for their efforts. Some of our writers have already made thousands of dollars and we hope they will make much more with the new system.
Sorry I've meant table of contents. On your site, I can't get a simple list of the new's items headlines.
That feature is on the list. Should be ready in a few weeks.
Yet on your google glass page you include a commercial and don't even try to declare it as this.
It's a news item, but I can understand the confusion. It's similar to adding an ad for a new MacBook release on the apple page. It's news and an ad.
Thanks for your comments. Definitely a few things to think about.
Maybe you are right that the web is not the place for illiterates, but I know from my kids who primarily use tablets and mobile they are not interested in textual media. They are the web users of the future. As I say in the article, why try and read 3000 words about Taylor Swift when watching a few videos will give you far more information?
"sin" 4 is tackled by wikidata, but unfortunately they are still in a very early phase.
I wonder what the incentive is for writers to do this work. I can understand people writing a page to get some glory, but there's not much glory in adding tabular data.
Content is created through controversies. First you say that in wikipedia there are so many conflicts, and then you say that Wikipedia is like a socialist dictature.
I said it has all the inefficiencies of socialist structures, resulting in a low-quality product. That you can download Wikipedia to your HDD is not the measure of a project's advancement. Also, it doesn't matter if the information is "free" if it is inferior. Most media in the word is actually for-profit.
You don't even make an index [newslines.org], and separate your content into "pages". wasn't paper the thing you regarded as "outdated"?
I don't know what you mean about an index. You can see our popular pages on our front page, and search for anyone else using the search bar. By adhering slavishly to a book-like metaphor, the information on Wikipedia articles is overly textual, and cannot be sorted or filtered. The user has no control over the page. The point is that the web gives us many more ways to display data that thinking about it as though it were a book.
And fanpages are already tackled by wikia. You are more a competitor for those, not for wikipedia.
Newslines is not like Wikia at all. We crowdsource news timelines on people, products and news events. Some examples: Amber Vinson (Ebola Victim), Google Glass, Virgin Galactic. None of these can be considered fanpages.
By giving editors money for writing content, you create a system in which lots of people write tons of bullshit, and your page gets more and more meaningless content that can never be updated.
Every post on our site goes through an approval process, so vandalism and other content issues are far less than those on Wikipedia. We also building systems to pay people to maintain the site, unlike Wikipedia pages, which after and initial burst of activity are left to wilt [insert thousands of examples here].
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For those interested, I made a timeline of Ron Klain's life.