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The Great Wiki Disaster of 2005

Yeah, whatever.

The absolute best line I've seen in relation to the L.A. Times' wiki "failure" has to come from Jeff Jarvis:

This is like hearing Kathie Lee Gifford try to rap and then, upon hearing the results, declaring hip hop dead.

Pure gold. And the rest of the entry is worth reading as well. Jeff also excerpts the L.A. Times post-mortem on the experience, which includes

"As long as we can hit a high standard and have no risk of vandalism, then it is worth having a try at it again," said Rob Barrett, general manager of Los Angeles Times Interactive....

Or, in other words, over Rob's dead body. Neither of those conditions is especially realistic. Vandalism--or more precisely, spam--is the risk of doing business out here, I'm afraid. And there is absolutely no guarantee that a high standard can be "hit"; crap is another of the risks you run. I haven't written at all about the LAT's grand wiki experiment--other things have demanded my attention--but I would say that it's getting harder to admire the boldness of that experiment when the people who were apparently in charge of it demonstrate so little understanding of what it is that they were doing.

That's all.


There was a good in WIRED about the same time as the CCCCs (I can't remember if it was the February or March issue) about wikkipedia.org. According to the article, they have dealt with the spam/vandal issues by having a) super-duper vigilant (sp?) folks who guard different sites from spam/vandals, and, lately, b) require an account/permissions to make changes.

So maybe the LA Times ought to, I dunno, do a little RESEARCH on the whole wikki thing before just turning it on....

This was a really good way of putting it, Collin. It was such a disappointing product they produced. There was no life or real exchange going on there, so you couldn't really like it simply for its pioneering concept.

Matt Barton has a good post about the wikitorials' demise too. You probably saw it already, Collin, but others who read here might not have.