The Wikipedia Exodus Is the Least of Our Worries

Web 2.0 will save us

“A Web 2.0 site is one that by definition gets its value from the actions of users. But what happens when the best users stop using?

Wikipedia, which is arguably the most valuable source of information on the Internet, is written and edited almost entirely by volunteers. But what happens when those volunteers stop volunteering?We’re about to find out. In the first quarter of this year, the Wikipedia lost an incredible 49,000 editors, literally ten times the number lost in the same quarter last year.Another potential threat to Wikipedia is that its expenses could outpace costs. Currently, the site runs on donations. But if the most die-hard fans are leaving — the writers and editors — they could take their donations with them.As volunteerism goes down, successful acts of vandalism go up, and the resource becomes increasingly unreliable, which could cause even more people to leave and even fewer people to donate. Crowdsoucing is great — until the crowd goes somewhere else.Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but the death of Wikipedia is the least of our problems. The Wikipedia exodus is the least of our worries…” — Mike Elgan (Datamation)