Forum:On the utility of multiple wikis to hold our work
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(Note:This based on a long-winded post in another forum)
“One of the successors of Bertezena was tempted by the luxury and superstition of China; but his design of building cities and temples was defeated by the simple wisdom of a Barbarian counsellor. "The Turks," he said, "are not equal in number to one hundredth part of the inhabitants of China. If we balance their power, and elude their armies, it is because we wander without any fixed habitations in the exercise of war and hunting. Are we strong? we advance and conquer: are we feeble? we retire and are concealed. Should the Turks confine themselves within the walls of cities, the loss of a battle would be the destruction of their empire."”
On of the main strengths of the internet is its decentralization. By being on one site, we effectively surrender "control" of the project to whoever owns it, be it Wikia, CarlB, or Anon & Co. With multiple sites, content can move between sites without any one person or group being the High Lord Arbiter of Content. Too often on the internet, there is a tendency to "build castles". I.e. this community exists at One True Location™. The problem with castle building is that if the single castle "falls," there is no location to retreat to. However, a "nomadic" approach would use mirrors, forks, et cetera to provide backup locations if the main location falls, and would move content to other venues when appropriate.
My point is that uncyclopedia isn't a website, but a collection of literary material and a community. My moving to a less centralized system, we are less controlled by whoever owns the website. There is nothing stopping Wikia or the Mysterious Owners of the fork from shutting down tomorrow. In fact, a mishandled DMCA notice might cause the other site to suddenly disappear, but I digress. With 2 wikis, there is a backup system. Although the categorization might be different, there is no reason that all the good article should be on both pages. Navigation tools are navigation tools (if that), they exist solely to help one find content. Likewise, all the other stuff besides writing articles are support tasks.
I would compare the navigation tools to packaging. Packaging is important, but exists only to support the content. Packaging without content is trash. Literally. About half the stuff that you throw away is packaging materials you no longer need. Packaging does have its reasons, but I'd rather have 1 hamburger than 100 empty hamburger cartons.
In light of this theory, I believe I may have been hypocritical by trying to keep my content here. It is licensed under a Creative Commons license so that it can be placed anywhere and everywhere. I wasn't actively complaining about article borrowing, but I was mocking the other wiki for needing to borrow articles rather than create its own content. I will stay here for the fact that I trust Wikia employees with checkuser and DMCA notice-handling more than I do anon 'crats. Some peole don't like Wikia, and I can understand and respect that.
Paradoxically, if you insist that your work be only at one location, you very nearly agree with the person trying to censor you. The censor wants it nowhere, the content borrower wants it everywhere, and you want in exactly 1 place. On the whole number line, 0 is right beside 1. You basically do most of the work for your would-be censor, as he only has to remove it from 1 place. Many people have made the mistake of assuming that they have the advantages of multiple locations while putting their content in a castle, confusing the internet itself for internet-empowered decentralization.
On a related note, paradoxically, the more one distrusts an entity, the less likely one is to be cheated or abused by said entity. The fork is begging for money and raising the specter of ads. However, because everybody likes Anon & Co, noone is complaining about. However, if Wikia did that, everyone would be up in arms. To be fair, the fork might have some information about who is running it squirreled away somewhere. However, if I have "big-people questions" about a website, I want to look at the navigation tools, not search through every forum and talk page on the wiki, but I digress. Have you ever noticed that the biggest abusers of non-profits are pastors? The televangelist with a private jet likely gets his income as a salary from a non-profit organization. --Mn-z 14:21, February 11, 2013 (UTC)
- No. It is bad. Uncyclopedia isn't a website, or a collection of literary material. It is a community. The community is split. That is bad. MrN 14:47, Feb 11
We are (were) an organization
Mnbvcxz argues that Uncyclopedia is a collection of works, for which more hosts are better. MrN9000 argues that it is a community (that it is us, both here and on the Fork).
In fact, Uncyclopedia is an organization. Windows 98 (or, as a better analogy, the icon-renderer deep inside Windows 98) is not a bunch of pages of code that it would benefit the world from having access to in as many places as possible. Nor is it about the staff that coded it. It is not about us or our pages. Uncyclopedia, stand-alone, does not have critical mass to be a web-surfing destination in its own right, and if we were All That, we would be writing for pay somewhere and cracking wise about the joys of breakfast cereal. The icon-renderer, despite its innate beauty, only acquires its utility as part of a huge organization that does not care about the beauty of icon-renderers and occasionally even tells the staff to write code that is ugly.
What we want is for our arrangement to continue "sustainably," and how we did that is to unify the artists and form a team with a deep-pocketed corporation with a legal department, programmers in Poland, enough other projects to have a hope of being a Mecca for creative minds, and a sense of "corporate social responsibility" that, although seriously frustrating the artists from time to time, is preferable to the only one recently stated on the Fork, that everyone who feels they have been robbed be told to fuck themselves.
Yes, Mr.N., joining forces made it work--but that includes joining forces with profiteers and investors. Mnbvcxz, if you try to decide the question based on a fixed concept of money being the root of all evil or the inherent hypocrisy of televangelists, you will arrive at a result that is random.15:09 11-Feb-13
- I think your business analogy is fundamentally flawed. Each individual (good) article is useful in itself, however, one could make an argument that the wiki is better as a "box set" than as an assortment of articles. The 2nd sentence in the 3rd paragraph in a random featured article would be comparable to the icon-renderer. Microsoft does not give the icon-renderer value, but rather Windows 98, aka the finished product. The organization creates the product, but is not the product. In fact, the organization exists to produce the end product, it would even be said that the organization exists for the sake of the product. In other words, Bill Gates is rich because people are willing to spend money on MS-Dos, Windows, Works, etc. Microsoft didn't amass good talent and management, then spontaneously crap out useful computer programs.
- By placing the organization above the end product, one effectively places the journey above the destination.
- Regarding my anti-business comments, they were directed against the fork as much as Wikia. At least with a "big evil money-making" (sarcastic scare quotes) corporation, you know that they will operate in their rational self interest. While our interests will not always perfectly aline, at least one is spared from mutually destructive immaturity or incompetence. My comments were more directed against those who place too much trust in the good will of those operating the fork. --Mn-z 16:37, February 11, 2013 (UTC)
My analogy works well; your only quibble is that you regard Uncyclopedia as the focus. But Uncyclopedia is just an arithmetically expanding set of articles in a cyberspace expanding exponentially, and is not a compelling home for many of the world's writers and readers. Two years ago, I tried to whip UnNews into an attractive destination competing with The Onion, to the point of pissing off many of the authors, and I never saw any evidence of success.
Uncyclopedia is not the product. Wikia is the product: a service product hoping to attract a large body of creative talent--certainly with its own profit in mind. Uncyclopedia is merely a project.
My analogy explains why the Fork will fail, as the secession of a project group at Microsoft into a company of its own would fail (especially if it did not have a complete product and yet planned to represent itself as "the real" Microsoft). I agree with your point about placing too much trust in the Forkers. Those who regard the Fork process as a personal stand against corporatism must ignore the corporate tricks (secrecy, treachery, vagueness, capriciousness, and overt fraud) used in support of Fork. And I do not believe its management will produce a permanently stable environment for humor writing.17:03 11-Feb-13
- My question would be does the project have a product, or is the project the end unto itself? I.e. are we here to write comical material, or are we just a bunch of people who hang out online together on the place the happens to be (or pretends to be?) a humor wiki? --Mn-z 17:13, February 11, 2013 (UTC)
Does a Minor League Baseball team exist to make money by selling tickets? Many of them give a lot of tickets away hoping simply to attract eyes and ears to take in all the advertisements. At the college-summer (amateur) level, a daily audience of 1,500 rather than Your Mom becomes an inducement for good players to sign with that team. The answer is that any business assembles resources that it hopes to combine profitably. In the case of Wikia, it is writers, readers, and advertisers. The fact that we are having fun being one of the pieces is fine. Let us simply not burn the house down in the process. 17:30 11-Feb-13
- Your confusing the webhost level with the project level. Wikia, our webhost, sells wiki hosting. For the project level, wiki hosting is a supply, or rather a needed service. For example, the Clone Wars wiki on Wikia exists to create documentation of that Stars Wars animated series, not for the Greater Glory of Wikia™. The relationship between the Clone Wars wiki project and Wikia is mutually beneficial, but they are different entities. --Mn-z 18:30, February 11, 2013 (UTC)
|It's bigger than both of us baby. :) MrN 16:53, Feb 11|