Thursday, August 10, 2006

Creating Open Contents against payment

It is approximately a year ago when there was the first translated article on Wikipedia that was paid for. The idea then was to create a translation service that works on that basis - I also put up a basic website that was never finished (because time was not due). Then there already were voices against such a way of earning money, but since it was only an article about a city things calmed down.

Some days ago there was a report about around and people reacted quite irritated ... a person creating articles for companies on Wikipedia being even paid for it? Many would say: that is impossible ... where is NPOV going ... well: this user already added some articles and they were not deleted, because they were OK. Now knowing he does it against payment, does that make the article any worse or better? No, the contents remains the same. The difference is: this person made a work out of his hobby and it seems as if he is good.

So where's the real problem? That he earns money because he needs to live from something? Well ... anyone of us does that ... in many different ways ...

The real problem is that people are not used yet to this thought ... someone earning money by working on Open Content ... but don't we have software developers that are paid for developing Open Source software and we happily use it because id does not cost anything? Well do we really expect that people maybe work the whole day on free projects and live from nothing? Or should everyone of us really use only the free time to do this?

The thing is: nobody will ever be able to stop such an initiative. If you really want to get your article there, you get it there. Isn't it better to know who it wrote and why it was written? Isn't it better to co-operate and make sure things go the right way? I would not wonder if there are already many people being paid to add certain kinds of articles and we just don't know about it. Now that Greg's work is publicly known (no, I don't know him - I only wrote him an e-mail telling him about wikitranslations) people react scandalised ... they refuse to understand: creating Open Content agains payment will be a job of the future ...

Now some of you are worrying about NPOV on Wikipedia - why? There are all the other editors that will, like always, chek the article, edit it if necessary. Once an article is published under GFDL on Wikipedia it can be edited and changed.

Do also consider one thing: it is not said that it is positive to have an article on Wikipedia about a person or a business. All facts that are known can be added. It could well be that companies will then read about the problems they eventually had some years ago and that by now everybody forgot - by having an encyclopaedic NPOV article all notes on history, if positive or negative, can and will be mentioned.

Consider also that not all companies can be included in Wikipedia. There are guidlines to follow. A small company next door is normally not to be inserted into Wikipedia. Most companies do not correspond to the Wikipedia guidelines for the insertion of companies. Therefore, some time ago, yellowikis was created. There you will have space for any kind of business to be inserted - it is a GFDL directory that anyone can edit. And it is getting more and more known. Once it is on a good level being present on Yellowikis, which is known as a business directory anybody can edit, means just as much as being present on Wikipedia - the only difference will be: companies that wrote history due to their inventions or due to their international high level presence like Siemens, Ferrari, Nokia just to name some, will have entries in Wikipedia and Yellowikis.

This blog was written from scratch with various interruptions - it may well be that I am going to add or change some parts.
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