Comments: A reply to "Wikipedia criticism, and why it fails to matter"

> But how many $50,000 - $100,000 ? - speaker's
> fee gigs do the article writers get?

Wikipedia is a free source of knowledge and I find the deal works like this: you edit a little (or don't, it's totally up to you), and in return, you get a wealth of knowledge totally free. And if you only add bits and pieces here and there, why *should* you get 50,000 bucks or so? That is the kind of amount one may get for a full-time job, not for a bit of editing here and there. And I suspect many of the people who edit here and there may have a full-time job, where they earn money. Put reversely, your argument could also be: "How come those people who have a full-time job and *get paid* there at their job... also get to access the wealth of information that is Wikipedia *for free*?" And you may also say, "Whoever never edits at Wikipedia should also not get access to the articles for free! You should only get free access to articles you co-edited substantially, otherwise you need to pay!"

Posted by Philipp Lenssen at March 16, 2009 06:44 AM

I believe that people that work themselves to death on wikipedia have no one to blame but themselves. Have a little self restraint. The world isn't going to end if you do not perfect that wikipedia page.

Posted by Custom Promotional Products at March 16, 2009 09:31 AM

It works like the cult of Linux, in which Torvalds takes devotees to Linustown and feeds them OSI-certified Kool-Aid.

Posted by David Gerard at March 16, 2009 10:41 AM

Philipp Lenssen: Quite a few people do the equivalent of a full-time job, or even more. The site is run overall by a small core of participants who devote a huge amount of unpaid time, sometimes to their personal detriment. The human cost bothers me.

David Gerard: In fact, people often do get paid for working on Linux. And if not paid directly, there are strong traditions of credit in open source projects where contributors can use their work as a basis for future paying work. Wikipedia is crucially not like open source projects in that way.

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at March 16, 2009 11:16 AM

Hi Seth,

Nice to see you respond to my post (or rather, to one of the contentions in it).

Side note: As a even-more-of-a-non-entity blogger than you, I expect to see a traffic spike from your link.



Posted by Vipul Naik at March 16, 2009 03:59 PM

The fact that Wikipedia, Inc. does not respond to criticism is one of the most telling facts about it.

And no, banning and defaming critics is not what normal people mean by "responding".

Posted by Jon Awbrey at March 17, 2009 08:35 AM

Wikipedia criticism won't shut them down. It still matters if it leads to improvements in the editing process, for example when dealing with the potential to abuse Wikipedia as a defamation machine.

Posted by Karl-Friedrich Lenz at March 17, 2009 07:16 PM

Seth,I don't know who would be getting $50,000.00-
$100,000.00 speaker fees from being listed in Wikipedia. while looking for some high school friends I keyed one of their names into Google, which took me to Wikipedia and sure enough I am in it ( under The Human Expression ) I never had a clue I was listed in it and have yet to get any offers to speak even in the $0.50 - $1.00 range. but I AM AVAIABLE FOR ANY WELL PAYING SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS !
Tom Hamilton

Posted by Recording Studio - Tom Hamilton at March 19, 2009 12:04 PM