Is Wikipedia Dead?

I’ve been writing and editing Wikipedia since March 2004. I’m not obsessive, don’t collect the pointless awards and medals that the real Wikipedia nutters like to award themselves; I contribute to subjects on which I’m knowledgeable and where there is a mistake or a gap that I can fill.

When I started, fellow writers were friendly and helpful, stepping in to correct mistakes and provide helpful hints. Pages were collaborations, the work shared equally.

Nowadays, there’s a craze for just adding tags to pages. These shortcuts says something like ‘Tidy This Page’, or ‘Add More Links’ or – the most pointless of all – ‘Speedy Deletion’.

This last one means that, because the editor has never heard of the subject of the page you’re writing, they’re going to delete the page straight away without any thought or consideration, research or consultation. I’ve had two pages ‘Speedy Deleted’ in the last week, because they’re on subjects that our Yank neighbours haven’t heard of.

No discussion, no chance to reach any democratic consensus, just gone. I’ve rewritten one of them (about legendary bookshop Dark They Were, and Golden Eyed) but I won’t bother in future.

Wikipedia can become an American encyclopaedia, with all the blinkers we’ve come to expect from that country. Time for a Great British Wikipedia, maybe?


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