A crack in the Wiki model ?
Wikipedia witnessed two "scandals" this week i.e. the problematic biography of one assistant to Robert Kennedy, and Adam Curry anonymously editing out other creators of the podcasting technology while pumping up his own role (I'm guessing that the Wiki guys were on to him because he used the same IP for both anonymous and named logins... There's probably a lesson here).
It's interesting to see that in both of the above "scandals", the errornous articles were identified and fixed. The Wiki model worked here (though we don't really know where else it failed...) and the only paid price was the misconceptions of those who accessed the false articles in the meantime (I wrote about it previously). Regardless if this was a legitimate price to pay for the wealth of information, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales decided to restrict anonymous users from creating new articles (they are still allowed to edit existing ones)
From the news.com article -
"The change is one of the first that would specifically limit what anonymous users can do on Wikipedia. And some may see that as a significant step for a service that's traditionally prided itself on letting anyone participate. But Wales said the move is not a major one because, as mentioned, most new articles are already written by registered Wikipedia members, and most anonymous users' actions are edits to published entries."
Really interesting to see how this story unfolds - Has Wiki managed to cross the gap of initial participation and can continue to thrive on its registered members alone, or did political pressures just pushed our open encyclopedia to commit an online suicide ?
I guess time will tell.