Monday, June 13, 2005

It's a Wiki, Wiki world

Wikitorials”?? The Los Angeles Times plans to introduce interactive editorials modeled on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia written and edited by ... everybody.

Using the powers of web-based distributed intelligence to write editorials seems self-contradictory, though. An editorial is an argument, an expression of an opinion by an institution or an individual, meant to influence the public debate. Or at least, that's what it has been up until now. If anyone can tinker with the argument – cutting some stuff, adding other stuff, introducing contradictory arguments, perhaps getting the thing to argue exactly the reverse or changing the subject entirely – what you get is …a B movie. A giant blob of HTML that will take over the LAT site if it isn’t stopped!