Is there something I’m missing

Is there something I’m missing? I can’t figure out whether this “opinion” column in eweek.com is a ploy to attract in-coming links or a parody piece with no humor.

Quote:

“There is a stupid notion going around that the news media would be better off if anyone and everyone got to make a contribution to it. Blogs and podcasts are examples of this and reader-generated electronic “newspapers” are beginning to spring up. People who should know better see this as democratizing the flow of news and information.”

To use the analogy of “open source software” as the basis on which to fear-monger the perils of “open source content” ignores the sausage-making process of open-source software. The culture and hierarchy of control surrounding the development of a Wikipedia entry can fail or succeed — but so can the culture and control hierarchy of a software project. Therefore, it’s a bold mischaracterization of what Wikipedia (and blogs, for that matter) is to compare a few false sentences posted on a Wikipedia entry by a self-confessed prankster to the end product of an open-source software development process.

Note to those actually trying to understand the issues surrounding Wikipedia: Use editorials like the one in “eweek” as a gateway to facts, not a source of them.

Note to those actually wanting to go deeply into this topic: If you really want to ponder this topic on an intellectual and theoretical level (and you probably don’t), spend some time with the writings that link off of the Coase’s Penguin entry in Wikipedia.

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  • Shawn Lea

    I find it interesting in this brave, new world of citizen journalism, the journalists are all very defensive about the readers not needing a newspaper. But they don’t seem to recognize (or want to address) the fact that the journalists don’t need the newspaper (publishing conglomerate) either anymore. Right now, the publishers are all worried about the readers, but I think they should be just as worried about the writers!