Slate’s David Auerbach published an article this week called “Encyclopedia Frown”. It’s a great summary and it’s showing how this problem is just increasing.
“The encyclopedia that anyone can edit” is at risk of becoming, in computer scientist Aaron Halfaker’s words, “the encyclopedia that anyone who understands the norms, socializes him or herself, dodges the impersonal wall of semiautomated rejection and still wants to voluntarily contribute his or her time and energy can edit.” An entrenched, stubborn elite of old-timers, a high bar to entry, and a persistent 90/10 gender gap among editors all point to the possibility that Wikipedia is going adrift. Because Wikipedia is so unprecedented, I cut it a lot of slack, but precisely for that reason, it faces unanticipated dangers and no easy solution.
Slate states that there is no solution in sight, which is somewhat true. Aiki Wiki as a platform will be able to address this issue and my hopes are, once completed – Wikipedia would be able to integrate with Aiki Wiki as a solution. That’s awhile away. Slate, like I and many others, do not see a solution on Wikipedia any time soon.