Have DMOZ Taken Over Wikipedia?

DMOZ and Wikipedia share much in common – other than Wikipedia isn’t completely useless. Yet.

Jason Calacanis:

Having spent seven days at the Wikimania and hacking days last year in Boston I’ve learned a lot about the insular culture of Wikipedia, how they make decisions, and how they block participation. Yes, you read that last part correctly. The Wikipedia is currently designed to lower participation so it is easier to manage

That sounds familiar. You build something that looks open, and appears to be open, but in reality, is locked up tight, and run by a small group of people making ever more insular decisions.

Not that the pressures aren’t real. The potential for abuse in free, open-participation systems is enormous, which is why there is a great deal of skepticism about free, open-participation systems. Essentially, they’re under-resourced for the task, and as the task grows, the more under-resourced they become. In response, they compromise the very thing that made them valuable – accessibility.

I don’t see how these models can continue to scale without introducing revenue generation. Google proved that you can give most of the farm away free, and be relavively open, but only because the mighty Adwords machine is bank-rolling the lot.

Without the income, Wikipedia can’t hire all the editors they really need. They can’t meet bandwidth cost indefinitely. And they’ll attract increasing levels of criticism that they aren’t what they claim to be.

We’ve seen it all before.

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