back to article Wikipedia springs free labor leak

Wikipedia is leaking free labor - and fast. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, a new Wikistudy says that in the first three months of the year, the "encyclopedia anyone can edit" lost 49,000 more volunteer contributors than it gained. That's ten times the net loss from the same period last year, according to a study …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well now, Wikipedia the Real Freetard

    See, if you stop and think about it, why bother building someone else's encyclopedia, it just means your work is harder to find, and of course people can edit them, and all manner of nasty little happenings in that place.

    All ISPs tend to offer some free webhosting, post your stuff there, and it might do you some good.

    Wikipedia will be out for the count very soon, it just doesn't make any sense, unless you own the site.

  2. Apocalypse Later


    Mindless vandalism hasn't decreased on the few subjects I monitor. Why only today I had to restore a full stop that got dropped during a back-and-forth between several editors over a presumably questionable reference.

    Perhaps the number of neophytes that don't realize how easily their contributions can be reverted is dropping, now that most of the world has tried inserting "John Doe is a dickhead" and seen it removed withing seconds. Good. But there are more born every minute.

  3. Winkypop Silver badge

    Fred Flintstone

    Fred was apparently arrested on a drugs possession charge back in 1964.

    I know this because:

    1. I made it up, and

    2. I added it to the great wiki-whacky

    It lasted months...poor Wilma, did she ever know?

  4. Gav

    quantity does not equal quality

    The writer works on the assumption that quantity of editors is better than quality, which is of course something that a raw head count can't measure.

    Wikipedia has many editors who really shouldn't be editors. Not because they mean harm, but because they simply can't write, are confused about what an encyclopaedia should contain, or have no appreciation of how it should read.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Wikipedia the Freetard

    If the media companies stop giving away for free and go back to charging a subscription or fee for their content Wikipedia might be one of the few large information providers of any worth to the Google index unless mountain view starts doing content deals.

  6. Version 1.0 Silver badge


    Dear Apocalypse Later,

    As you can see from the context, that full stop clearly should be a semi-colon - I'm changing it back immediately!

  7. kissingthecarpet
    Big Brother

    Re:Wikipedia the Freetard

    And if I win the lottery I can give up work - just as likely.

    I presume you're referring to Murdoch's dribblings. The less his bile is seen the better for everyone.

    (Icon represents Rupert's role model)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Terms of service

    I wonder if it's connected to the new terms of service, which say that if anyone reproduces Wikipedia content they now don't need to name the editors who wrote it, but just include a link to Wikipedia. This is just one demonstration of how Wikipedia thinks it's more important than the contributors. Also, if they're really taking effort to ban vandals, that's got to reduce the number of active editors, as often they seemed to be the majority.

  9. disgruntled yank

    means of seduction

    Pity Mr. Wales can't live up to the high ethical standards of the Murdochs of this world.

    But now that the notion is out in the open that celebrity adds to one's chances with the opposite sex, what will happen to the world?

  10. Sandra Greer

    I love Wikipedia

    I use it all the time, to write explanations for health questions on Yahoo Answers. I always point to the Wikipedia articles I use. They are generally fabulous!

    If I knew anything in depth, I would contribute. Perhaps when I am retired I will be able to contribute rewrites to pieces that are clumsily written.

    Kudos to the solid editors, and good riddance to the ones who aren't up to the standard.

  11. Robert Brockway

    Re: Well now, Wikipedia the Real Freetard #

    Dear AC1, you really don't get open source do you? :)

    Here's a hint: It isn't all about altruism. There are plenty of self serving reasons why it makes sense to share content (and code). I won't go in to them as they are widely reported.



  12. frymaster

    The best comment on it ever

    was this:

    and the news post:

    "What you've proposed is a kind of quantum encyclopedia, where genuine data both exists and doesn't exist depending on the precise moment I rely upon your discordant fucking mob for my information."

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Re: I love Wikipedia

    I honestly don't know where to begin. Perhaps I should just allow myself to be subsumed to the hive mind for the good of my sanity.

    Hang on, maybe Yahoo Answers can tell me....

  14. RW

    @ Sandra Greer

    I agree. Wikipedia gets a lot of bad press, but most of the articles are just fine, thankyouverymuch. Where else can you find an in depth discussion of Dutch royal palaces?

    There are two types of flaws that wannabe-wikipedians can help correct, even if they are know very little about the subjects concerned, viz.

    [1] A certain fraction of the articles on the English language Wikipedia were clearly written by someone for whom English is a second language, and are sprinkled with unidiomatic expressions.

    [2] And, many articles are repetitive to a degree: they say the same thing more than once, perhaps because of un-thorough editing.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Firefox experience

    Love Wiki. It rules. Quality will go up.

    El Reg: Your site shows up a lot of Javascript errors. You may wanna check it out. I'm using FF 3.6. Must have to do with all this new Reply/Report/Upvote/Downvote malarchy.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why I quit:

    Because Wikipedia has become increasingly bureaucratic (or maybe I've just become aware of it), is moving away from the "anyone can edit" policy, and has completely given up on maintaining a neutral point of view on some topics. I still refer to it often enough, there's no getting around the fact that it's still be best free encyclopedia out there, but I don't even bother fixing mistakes anymore.

    When you trash two of your main founding principles, it's not surprising you alienate some members.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Wiki - Nazi -Pedia

    Wikipedia ought to rename it's self Nazipedia, since it's populated by pricks with god complexes who like to be right proper arsesholes; and not terribly competent ones at that.

    Sure so much has been written by so many people that it's hard to do more - to a point; but an awful lot of the reasons why lots of good people have said, "Hmmm Fuck Wikipedia" is because of the self righteous arseholes declaring their little bits of "webspace" as their own personal fiefdoms; where what they say is more important than what is said.

    All these little bastard "Draco Malfoy's" style Wikipedia editors... and their petty bastardry and rule mongering..............

    No wonder people are walking.......

    Tho much of Wikipedia has excellent content, it's hard to not use that site without reflecting on what it has become.

    Donate to the latest cash Wikipedia grab? How about waiting in silent expectation for the damned site to shut down.

    No hard feelings you understand, 'cough-arseholes-cough".

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