collaboration, individuality & Wikia

Self expression. Isn’t that what blogs are really about. From educated discourses to personal angst, that is what it all finally boils down to, finding one’s own voice. Which every human is in need of, from the accomplished professor to the bumbling teenager. In a way then, it’s kind of similar to capitalism: individual motive & greed – in this case, for self-expression – that has pushed the cause of blogs along.

So, how then does one reconcile with the potential adoption of Wikia?

Let us digress for a moment and think, Wikipedia. You say, its the same thing. Anonymity and contribution.

That’s correct. But there’s an important bit of the jigsaw puzzle that one tends to miss out on. One key deliverable of Wikipedia.

Vanity.

You’re not contributing to just about anything. You’re contributing to the encyclopedia. The symbol of the collaborative power of the web. The David to Britannica’s Goliath. You are contributing, adding to, one of the most significant and momentous things in recent human history.

And if that were not enough, you are not really anonymous. Because if you are a something as far as your contributions on Wikipedia go, then you are a big and famous guy among the inside world of the community. Your word carries weight. Your voice carries authority.

So, what about Wikia? It’s early days yet, but one fears it might just fall into an in-between world – lacking the authority and weight of Wikipedia and the sense of personal expression of blogs. And just degenerate into a series of arbitrary ramblings – that age not as wine but as the dated pages of a history that could have been.

Note: I’d first written this in the middle of last year, when Wikia was in the news as a threat to Google’s hegemony over search. The above still seemed like a good point to make, so regurgitating it for now. 

Advertisements

About this entry