|By Jim Williams||
|July 16, 2009 03:00 PM EDT||
Wikipedia sucks. Why do I say this? Obviously I’ve just had yet another bad experience with the self-professed Gods who “manage” the encyclopaedia. But before I bore you with the Data as a Service controversy (ooh, that sounds exciting, doesn’t it!?), let’s take a look at just why Wikipedia sucks quite so badly.
Who wants to be a Wikipedia moderator? Why would you want to do it? How would you find the time? Why would you be bothered? Here are the reasons:
1) You want to contribute something of value to the human race: knowledge. A noble thought. But why not just contribute in the normal way? Because you are a prolific contributor and want to feel a little important.
2) You have a burning hatred of “spammers” and pranksters who leave their trail of junk contributions and links wherever they go. You fight the good fight and think of yourself as a crusader against spam. And you have the badges on your profile page to prove it.
3) You have acres of spare time and don’t know what to do with it. You may be old or unemployed and debating on forums does not carry the import or weight of helping to manage the most used encyclopeadia in the world.
4) You have a personal agenda to follow and you need the power to carry it through. Knowledge is power and you have the keys.
Now, let’s take a pinch of all these attributes and mix them together. What do we end up with? I’ll tell you what. A trumped-up & twisted little troll so filled with their own self-importance they are about to explode.
The two breeds of Wikipedia Moderators
In general, though, there are two types of wikipedia moderator.
Wikipedia Moderator #1: the instigator with a vested interest
This is maybe the most dangerous breed. They have established a small reputation and perhaps following on Wikipedia through their collection of at best pedestrian and at worst moronic contributions. For whatever reason they have staked out a claim on a small patch of Wikipedia and see it as “theirs”. They were there first. Their material should stay. They’ve seen off countless spammers and weak revisions and are invincible.
These moderators will pounce on any revisions you make and systematically delete them. They may even try and delete whole articles you’ve written.
Wikipedia Moderator #2: the spam-hater with the itchy mouse finger
Although the instigators are prettty depressing, I think it’s actually these people that are the worst. These moderators cycle through the whole of Wikipedia looking for things to delete. Because they spend their time cycling through all the articles nominated for deletion, they don’t really have any specialism (other than being a “crusader”, with “left-wing” views so potent they actually make Hitler look like a hobbyist)
These jumped-up jobsworths who were misinformed about their lineage can’t comprehend what they’re reading 99% of the time and are happy to just keep clicking away. Delete-delete-delete. They’re doing everyone a service, after all. Where would Wikipedia be without them? It would be a seething link farm filled with “original research” and garbage. Every time something is deleted, the moderator has brought some good back to the world. The criterion for deletion is simple: if it’s been nominated, rip it out.
Why the two breeds are bad for anyone with anything to say
These two types of moderator work together. Step one: the instigator with the vested interest notices you and starts causing problems. Once the instigator has nominated something for deletion, or you’ve got into an argument with him about something that’s already been deleted, like some evil genie in a bottle, the spam-hater with the itchy trigger finger pops up. If something’s been nominated for deletion, “click” goes the spam-hater, and it’s gone. They don’t think twice. They are crusaders, after all.
You can’t Complain about Wikipedia Moderators
Wikipedia is “not a democracy” and there’s no higher order to complain to when things go wrong – just a seething collective of no-hopers who have formed alliances and like nothing more than slapping these laughable phallic symbols all over the place:
That’s right. You want to play by the rules and you’ve done your research. Your revisions are accurate and you have the links to prove it; your article was neutral and you want to argue your case; you’ve done your research and you actually followed Wikipedia policy. The trouble is, all of these policies are open to considerable interpretation. and there are so many rules and guidelines that there will always be something to throw at you. Remember, it’s not about debate. The decision has been made.
If you’re not interested in SOA and cloud computing skip to the end now and feel free to vent by leaving a comment.
Wikipedia is essentially the biggest committee in the world
Wikipedia is a big committee. And committees are crap. Everyone knows that. There are 1,614 admins on the English Wikipedia at the time of writing which is both a massive amount of people to be generating red tape and also a bizarrely miniscule number of people when you consider the millions of pages Wikipedia contains. So we’re really talking about the cream: the most mean-spririted, petty people on the planet.
The reason I’ve written this is because I am increasingly frustrated by Wikipedia moderators’ attitude to new material. I have created informative Service-Oriented Architecture diagrams and had them removed by someone who has staked out their turf on the area. This is one of the diagrams they have created in its place:
Fire the cannons! Make that man a university professor! Give him a medal – it’s truly an unbelievable achievement how such sophisticated concepts can be boiled down into such a pappy slush of watered-down sophomoric garbage!
I also worked on a company profile on Wikipedia which has been taken down, despite its being neutral and citing references. It is clear that no matter what you do, if it has the smell of the corporate about it, Wikipedians will hunt you down and delete everything you’ve ever done.
The worst thing, though, is the deletion of my article explaining data as a service. According to the overzealous morons who got the article deleted (while I was asleep, and in the space of 24 hours) “Data as a service does not exist”.
Er… WHAT?! Who are these people?! Are they living on an alternate plane of reality? Or maybe I am. Er… no, a quick Google search confirms that this is a term that does indeed exist.
Let’s hunt down and destroy Wikipedia Moderators
I would like to hear of anyone and everyone’s bad experiences of Wikipedia. Perhaps we should all band together and form our own collective of Anti-Wikipedians. Any Wikipedia moderators with an axe to grind can go elsewhere. I have a rigid set of rules and guidelines in place and what that boils down to is I don’t like Wikipedians and I will delete your comment and glue my own banners all over your smug, self-regarding faces.
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