Learning to Trust the Crowd: Some Lessons from Wikipedia

IEEE Computer Society: Proceedings of the International MCETECH Conference on e-Technologies, Montreal, 2008

5 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2013

Date Written: January 1, 2008

Abstract

Inspired by the open source software (OSS) movement, Wikipedia has gone further than any OSS project in decentralizing its quality control task. This is seen by many as a fatal flaw. In this short paper, I will try to show that it is rather a shrewd and fertile design choice. First, I will describe the precise way in which Wikipedia is more decentralized than OSS projects. Secondly, I will explain why Wikipedia's quality control can be and must be decentralized. Thirdly, I will show why it is wise for Wikipedia to welcome anonvmous amateurs. Finally, I will argue that concerns about Wikipedia's quality and sustainable success have to be tempered by the fact that, as disruptive innovations tend to do, Wikipedia is in the process of redefining the pertinent dimensions of' quality and value for general encyclopedias.

Keywords: Wikipedia, digital encyclopedias, disruptive innovation, crowd-sourcing

Suggested Citation

Olleros, F. Xavier, Learning to Trust the Crowd: Some Lessons from Wikipedia (January 1, 2008). IEEE Computer Society: Proceedings of the International MCETECH Conference on e-Technologies, Montreal, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2294179

F. Xavier Olleros (Contact Author)

ESG-UQAM ( email )

Case postale 8888
Succursale Centre-ville
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3P8
Canada

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