An impressionistic transcript of Jimmy Wales' talk at Etech on Wikipedia and the Future of Social Computing.
What is wikipedia and how successful is it.
500k articles in English as of today, German 200, Japanese 100k, and much more 1.5 milion articiles across 200 languages 19 languages with > 100k articles.
350k articles with categories, hierarchical peer reviewed taxonomy. Just barely more popular than the NY times, 500M page views monthly.
The original deam of the Internet and what went wrong
People sharing information freely. Early experimentation was Homepages. Worked well, but problems: quality control (reputation of homepage author), author fatigue (thousanbds of hits can be found for 'haven't updated' at geocities.com today).
Founded Wikicities, which extends the social model to new areas. Growing faster than Wikipedia Social computing successor to free homepages. Right to fork, uses free license to build community trust. For profit, portion of profit donated to Wikipedia.
How Social Computing addresses what went wrong
Author fatigue -- since the site is managed by a community people can come and go and the site is till maintained/improved.
Quality control -- everything is peer reviewed, leading to higher quality generally. Shows diff feature in Wikipedia as an example.
Social model of a wiki is hard to explain. In wikipedia, democracy, consensus, aristocracy and monarchy. his role is the constitutional monarch, but german paper quoted him as being the queen of England. We don't a-priori settle how decisions will be made, software does not enforce rules. Votes for deletion in english wikipedia page. Voting not enforced by software. Just an editable page with Deletes and Keeps.
Wikipedia is a social innovation. This social innovation will spread to other areas beyond just the encyclopedia. Software which enables collaboration is the future of the net.