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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wikipedia Needs Changes

Worldwide encyclopedia Wikipedia seems to have woken up to the obvious fact that its crack editorial team of fake PhDs is a bit old, male and outdated. Everyone knows that for a while now the online encyclopedia was edited by a bunch of people who felt free to erase people and things they don’t like from history.

The drawback of this approach is that those people who really know what they are talking about simply don’t touch Wikipedia with a barge pole. The founder of the service, Jimmy Wales, admitted during the Wikimania 2012 conference at George Washington University’s campus that it was the right time for things to change.

The website is older than a decade now, and decided to try to draw new editors, particularly women, showing its age. Jimmy Wales told during the interview that it was time for the service to update itself, while its community has to be a bit more welcoming.

Indeed, the same very moment someone makes his or her first edit, they are immediately corrected or deleted by an “editor” who knows close to nothing about the subject. The president of the Wikimedia Foundation, Sue Gardner, warned the audience that the outfit kept losing editors. The reason for this turn of events may be that Wikipedia is considered “homely, awkward and hand-crafted”. That’s what has made it difficult to attract new people who are eager to add to the website’s collection of at least 4 million entries.

At the moment, most of the editors are young men. As for women, they make only 10-15% of Wikipedia’s team. Perhaps, this happens because young men on encyclopedia don’t like women, especially if they are the “Everywhere Girls” who must be deleted wherever found.

The website has introduced easier editing software and cooperated with groups like the Ada Initiative, working to support women in the open-source technology community.

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