The five stages of media death

The five stages of media death

: Clay Shirky responds to the article complaining about Wikipedia by one of its ex-founders with a point-by-point refutation and the observation that Wikipedia’s detractors are going through the Kubler-Ross stages of death:


  • pianoman

    You get the impression that the naysayers aren’t content with the “Use it or not” statement. They want the Wikipedia to *NOT* exist.
    Spot on with the comparisons, Jeff. Old media, as represented by the NYT, would prefer that blogs Go Away. And now the monopolizers of encyclopedias are encountering the same open-source battle.
    No doubt they will be hand-picking an inaccurate article from the Wikipedia soon in order to demonstrate its uselessness. You know, sort of like how the NYT recently used Democratic Underground as an example. Of course, the Times ignored the other million blogs, zeroing in on the one blog richest in moonbattery.

  • Aakash

    I was just using Wikipedia a few hours ago, and yesterday night (soon after I just got back from Floriday). That online encyclopedia is a great resource that is freely available to anyone in the world internet access. There are some shortcomings of Wikipedia (for example, it may be a good idea to create a separate Wikipedia which excludes the ‘adult’-oriented encyclopedia entries), but overall, it is a very useful, educational, and entertaining tool. And the good thing is, more information and articles can regularly be added to it, and those that have already been written can be edited, amended, or modified (though for some, I wish that they would remain the way they are, without changing).
    I think that the Wikipedia articles on foreign policy-related topics have been especially fair and balanced, and have helped to give a more balanced perspective on these subjects and issues than that which has been portrayed in the pro-state, anti-liberty media, and which has been promoted by the government. The advent of the online community and the information superhighway since the mid-1990s has done wonders for the cause of traditional conservatism and pro-liberty causes, and has allowed so many of us to get a great deal of information and insight. I hope that this continues for a long time to come.

  • rzklkng

    There is a side argument to this, Jeff, that corresponds to some of your earlier posts to “legitimizing” blogs as news sources. There is an article on kuro5hin @ by one of Wikipedia’s founders lamenting how the anti-elitism (anybody with an opinion can collaborate, and there is no regard for expertise). Wiki’s and blogs have to some sort of trust-factor aside from being in Google’s index. Just because (someone) has a big mouth and an opinion doesn’t make them right.

  • pianoman

    The arguments deployed against Wikipedia are the same arguments used to cast doubt on open-source software. Anyone can write it, there’s nobody we can sue if something goes wrong, what if some malicious person sneaks in a virus, blah blah blah.
    In reality, these fears have been nothing but stale FUD. The Wikipedia, like open-source software, is self-correcting. Sure, there’s griefers out there who want to spoil it for everyone else, but for every one griefer there’s 100 others who are willing to correct obvious mistakes and biases. The end result is a self-correcting, constantly up-to-date multi-lingual core of human knowledge.
    The power to create information is now in the hands of the proles, and the Inner Party doesn’t like it.

  • Hal Duston

    “banging nails in media’s coffin”
    Sounds like that ought to be a tag-line for a blog somewhere.

  • Terry Heaton

    In the Postmodern world in which we now find ourselves, expertise without experience is always suspect, so Wikipedia is an ideal symbol of the new age. Postmoderns (Pomos) distrust institutions and their assumed authority in a top-down, Modernist world. This is a given. Asking, therefore, a Postmodern creation to surrender