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Software brilliance : in blog form
Software brilliance : in blog form
From a recent slashdot thread:
The best reports are bold, public, rich in data and full of energy.
A good read about myths online, readership, popularity, and the results. Nick Carr’s bit on the Great Unread, presenting what I see as the slightly-off worldview, is nevertheless excellent writing. The recurring blog discussions on the topic, with their tinge of hysteira and self-absorption, are representative of a special flavor of our decade. I wouldn’t dream of anyone seriously claiming that today we don’t have access to digital printing presses onlnie — until I had seen it for the first time. (I suppose those doing so have only the rosiest ideas about what happens when you put together the text for a document and fire up your press and then have to go out and try distributing the results.)
Ross Mayfield pointed out to me just after Wikimania that the Enterprise 2.0 article had been deleted. He pointed me to an old deletion debate, which drew only a handful of negative comments and a deletion for being a neologism. I didn’t pay enough attention at the time, or I would have caught the mistake right away… I checked the last content of the page, performed a history and page undeletion into his user-space, and returned to vacation.
Wikipedia isn’t a good place to define neologisms. Plainly against the rules — Wikipedia is not a dictionary, and not the first place a controversial analysis or interpretation should be published. And “Enterprise 2.0″ feels, to anyone who lives outside of the west coast and doesn’t deal with enterprise software all day, like a term whose lifespan can be measured in technology cycles if not in months. If I go write a paper entitled “Moving Towards Education 2.0“, everyone will know what I mean [and I may get a citable publication out of it], even though most of them won’t have seen the phrase before. But it’s “… 2.0″ that will be remembered as a generic term in 20 years; noone will still be saying “Education 2.0″ except as part of VC-themed parlor games.
Which is a long way of saying that I didn’t feel bad about leaving the E-2.0 saga without more than a cursory investigation. On the other hand, Wikipedia is a place to document the history of terms and ideas, and in the back of my mind, this felt like a good example to prove the rule of the progress of the “… 2.0″ meme. Tonight, I discovered a wealth of bloggers who had jumped onto the article’s deletion as a) an affront to Web 2.0dom, b) an attack on some theoretically-coherent enterprise community by some theoretically-coherent Wikipedia community, c) indicative of a larger Wikipedia disease which Someone Should Stop, and/or d) worth cursing and fuming about.
Interesting. Note to self : “anyone can edit” and “hundreds of thousands of people are Wikipedians ” are ideas that haven’t percolated very far, yet; though many people have heard them.
As a result, I went back to look at the deletion debate. And realized the latest deletion had been a mistake. So, I undeleted the article and listed it for a new deletion discussion. You can see that discussion here.
I’m going to post a set of instructions for all of you bloggers, on How To Criticize Wikipedia — so that you can do it productively if you want to. Wikipedia is one of those rare communities where eloquence, discussion, and an idea about how things can be better can lead to an immediate improvement in process and content.
Sidenotes for the process fiends among you :
Next up : constructive criticism
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