Take_this_blog_and_slove_it - Take This Blog and Shove It...

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Take This Blog and Shove It! When utopian ideals crash into human nature — sloth triumphs. In the history of the web, last spring may figure as a tipping point. That’s when Wikipedia, “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit”—a site that grew from 100,000 articles in 2003 to more than 15 million today—began to falter as a social movement. Thousands of volunteer editors, the loyal Wikipedians who actually write, fact-check, and update all those articles, logged off—many for good. For the first time, more contributors appeared to be dropping out than joining up. Activity on the site has remained stagnant, according to a spokesperson for the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit behind the site, and it’s become “a really serious issue.” So serious, in fact, that this fall Wikipedia will turn to something it has never needed before: recruiters. There’s no shortage of theories on why Wikipedia has stalled. One holds that the site is virtually complete. Another suggests that aggressive editors and a tangle of anti-vandalism rules have scared off casual users. But such explanations overlook a far deeper and enduring truth about human nature: most people simply don’t want to work for free. They like the idea of the Web as a place where no one goes unheard and the contributions of millions of amateurs can change the world. But when they come home from a hard day at work and turn on their computer, it turns out many of them would rather watch funny videos of kittens or shop for cheap airfares than contribute to the greater good. Even the Internet is no match for sloth. That’s why Wikipedia’s new recruiting push will not rely merely on highfalutin promises about pooled greatness and “the sum of all human knowledge.” Instead, the organization is hoping to get students to write and edit entries as part of their coursework. The Wikimedia Foundation teamed up with eight professors at schools including George Washington and Princeton to integrate the once frowned-upon research tool into public-policy curricula. As part of the program, Wikipedia’s
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This note was uploaded on 09/24/2011 for the course ENGG engg1010 taught by Professor Wong during the Spring '11 term at HKU.

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Take_this_blog_and_slove_it - Take This Blog and Shove It...

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