Why Wikipedia Must Be Stopped, Cont’d
From The Times of London:
The Wikipedia entry for Sarah Palin was overhauled substantially for the better in the 24 hours before the surprise announcement of her selection as Republican vice-presidential nominee.
A mystery Wikipedia user — under the name Young Trigg — put in about 30 edits to the biographical article on the website…..
Since the announcement the Sarah Palin page has been edited many hundreds of times more and Wikipedia has now put in place a partial block so that only established editors can change the entry. Some of Young Trigg’s entries have been amended or toned down.
Death by Manolo
The Washington Post has launched FW, a fashion magazine that appears to be modeled on the NYC fashion trade rag W. [FW stands for “Fashion Washington.”]
It’s easy, and maybe necessary, to ventilate one’s populist outrage by ridiculing a publication that says it will cover such topics as “hot-yet-approachable high-end styles,” “an ambassador known for dressing well,” and “a sizzling line of cufflinks just in from Japan.”
Who knows? This could help the paper snag some of the high-gloss ads that its Sunday magazine cannot. There are now several competing Palm Beach-y publications in the Washington area that do the usual party-pictures, pretty profiles and runway shots designed to appeal to high-end jewelers and clothiers that don’t usually fool with newsprint. They’re fat with ads so glossy they could generate solar energy. I guess the Post wants its share. Fine.
I just find it astonishing that a company like the Post–which is working furiously [in both senses] to create content and business models that will let it remain a source of vital, independent news reporting on public affairs in the digital world– would spend a single erg of energy creating a new print publication.
In economics there is something known as opportunity costs–the price, essentially, of the road not taken. Among the costs of Plan A one must include the costs of not doing Plan B.
In the case of the Post, the cost of launching FW includes the cost of not devoting those same resources to building products and business in the digital environment. Every worker-hour, every meeting, every salescall, every senior executive chin-pull, every synapse fired spent in service of making FW a success is not spent on the only task that matters.
Let’s say FW ekes out a modest profit at low costs. [On a per-rich-person’s-head basis, which is how FW’s being sold, the price is similar to that charged for ads in the newspaper’s Sunday magazine, though costs of FW will likely be a fraction. Good business plan.]
But the cost is that same group of people at The Post not developing skills, content, contacts and brainspan that will power the company into the almost purely digital news landscape that likely looms ahead.
I don’t care whether it’s footwear or football, diamonds or diatribes. Any investment in ink-on-paper products–even marginally profitable ones–by a company that has to remake itself in a digital world is a wasteful diversion.
It’s opportunity wasted.
Interest revealed: I am a former employee of The Washington Post newsroom.
And finally, our latest sighting of the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse ™
Oh, wait, there goes the Horseman Again ™!