September 24, 2008

My _Guardian_ column on Wikipedia, advertising, Jimmy Wales's proselytizing

Wikipedia isn't about human potential, whatever Jimmy Wales says

It's informative to observe how long Wales has been selling advertising around other people's work

This is my attempt to debunk some of the mythologizing of the development of Wikipedia, pointing out its initial consideration of being advertising-supported site (i.e. commercial), and examining the very extensive history of Jimmy Wales wanting to commercialize other people's work for private profit.

It's not any sort of secret. Business articles discuss it. But this is my attempt to provide sort of antidote to the web hype around the cult of Wikipedia.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in press , wikipedia | on September 24, 2008 10:56 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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I did a short parody of corporate executives posing as social visionaries...

The original is here...

Posted by: DM at September 25, 2008 08:32 AM

Brilliant article. I've long believed the editorial structure of Wikipedia is fundamentally flawed - on disputed articles, it is a Mad Max world of ideological, ethnic, religious, nationalist and vested interest groups fighting to the point of threatening violence. And serenely presiding over it all is the chummy character of James Wales. If altruism was the real motive, then the project's flaws would be ironed out by now.

Posted by: Dan at September 28, 2008 04:35 AM