Are the Thought Police loose on Wikipedia? Or is this just community based quality control at work?
The title of this post refers to the Wikipedia article that was begun last week and mentioned by Andrew McAfee in his blog. It was a brief article that repeated a few of McAfee's ideas and began listing some relevant links. I added a few items of my own and looked forward to an evolving article.
I've used Wikipedia before and thought this might be a good way to see views expressed about a still-evolving concept. There has never been consensus about the meaning of "Web 2.0" but I am one who believes that focusing on enterprise applications is actually helping to crystallize the discussion.
Recently, though, someone deleted the Enterprise 2.0 article. Gone. In its place was a statement "Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name.." Huh?
I navigated to the "talk" page and left a question about what was going on (a history of discussion related to the article was still available last time I checked.)
An anonymous poster wrote back to say that the article was deleted since it was "...not notable."
Sigh. Here we go again, I thought. If you check out the Web 2.0 entry in Wikipedia you'll see an article reflecting that there has never been agreement about that concept either. But that article reflects a variety of views about Web 2.0 and even promotes the use of the term "participatory web" as an alternate way to describe the same things.
I was looking forward to a similar exchange in the Wikipedia Enterprise 2.0 article. I believe there are many challenges (and opportunities) within organizations related to the adoption -- and adaptation -- of Web 2.0 tools and processes, and I try to address such concepts and issues frequently on this blog.
But apparently there are those in the Wikipedia community who believe that, rather than allow debate and consensus, a better approach is to delete such entries outright.
Is this a form of quality control by a self selected group of thought police? Is it standard operating procedure for those who frequently contribute and manage or monitor Wikipedia? Or is it just good old censorship in action?
I don't know the answer as I have little experience as a contributor to Wikipedia. Perhaps this sort of thing happens all the time.
What do you think?
There has been a wide array of comments throughout the blogosphere related to the definition of "enterprise 2.0." Here is one comment I left at Venture Chronicles that describes how I am approaching the question:
I am taking a somewhat different approach to the "enterprise 2.0" definitional issue by playing off McAfee's discussion related to how difficult it is to estimate "benefits" of IT.
My approach: first you need to understand costs. One relevant question, of course, is, "cost of what in relation to what?"
The following is where I wrestle with some of these issues; what I've tried to do is to adapt some of what I've learned as a management consultant working with IT departments where there is a need to track application, infrastructure, development, and support costs:
I suspect that given current trends towards different economic models that some of the "traditional" cost concepts I discuss need to be modified; I'd therefore very much appreciate comments and suggestions.