Byzance and Wikipedia : A New Age Monastery

I joined the French Wikipedia by the end of 2006. By that time, it remained a sympathetic amateur project : one could virtually write everything one want. By that time, there was not much of a control. Information has not to be verifiable and necessary. Since then, the wikipedian forged a bureaucratic administration, and very strict rules : every piece of information has to be proved by some accurent source, and every article has to focus on a valuable subject, unless would it be likely to disappeared. For instance, take the article I just created on the English Wikipedia : biliography and studies occupies a significant part of its content.

Although, despite the harsh criticism Wikipedia is meeting, it stands undoubtly as a real encyclopedia : as such was it bound to establish an elite. Despite its initial premise, Wikipedia is no longer a site opened to everyone : you'll need nowadays a great deal of courage and knowledge to finally undestand this byzantine project. Despite my longing presence on the English Wikipedia, its functioning remained to me as unclear as transubstantiation.

Wikipedians are actually living in their own world for almost half a decade. Therefore they funded a lot of institutions, and folk habits that did not talk much to the layman. Paradoxically enough, the over-referenced and over-popular Wikipedia appears also to be much more obscure and elitist than it claimed to be. It stands in fact closer to a monastory than to an opened, free-contributive encyclopedia.

In brief, we discern again in Wikipedia this kind of twist between past and future, that seems to be a distinctive mark of any online organization.

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