Wikipedia needs more Owners, not Editors.
I used to put a bunch of time into Wikipedia. Every so often I’d actually really take ownership of an article, watch over it, and keep it looking sharp.
I don’t do that anymore.
I still enjoy adding a sentence here or there, clarifying something that was unclear, or even just putting a space between a comma and the word following it..
I still really see a need for Wikipedia pages to have owners who look over the page in its entirety and ensures that it makes sense. Wait, I can hear you now, you’re saying something along the lines of “Well thats antithetical to the spirit of Wikipedia.” I’d argue its not. Wikipedia, as I see it is about sharing knowledge and everyone being able to contribute, but if I’m using it as resource, a spot where anyone can throw anything up onto the wall in scatterplot doesn’t work.
I wanted to learn a bit more about phonograph records, and recording lengths, so I went to the Wikipedia article on them.
It is a disorganized mess, organized into topics, but then chronologically broken down within those topics. Its a pain to read, and I checked my computer once or twice to make sure it wasn’t displaying the same text for the second time by accident. An exchange on the talk page notes:
The article has a lot of sections without any references. I don’t think the A-class is still correct; currently it’s more a B-class.–Oneiros 1:36 am, 19 August 2008, Tuesday UTC−7)
It is definitely ‘not A-class; after reading Wikipedia:WikiProject Professional sound production/Assessment, IMHO C-class would be more appropriate. Since a two-letter-grade drop is pretty significant, I’ve dropped it down to B-class for now. The problem with an article of this length is that its really challenging to master all the details that people have contributed and come up with a coherent and less repetitive version. It’s taken me hours just to do a little bit of clean-up and find the right place for the Sentinel Chromatron references I wanted to introduce when I first got here. 22.214.171.124 3:33 pm, 20 August 2008, Wednesday (UTC−7).
Apparently this isn’t a new problem for that article.
I’d like to see Wikipedia put an interface for an editor to fork and own or curate a page, so that any edit made to the page is approved by them. At the same time a check on this fiefdom is needed and keeping the normal anyone can edit a page is critical, but providing an integrated way for curator owners to emerge on wikipedia would help the morass of spaghetti stuck to the wall writing that it is now.