Ross Mayfield addresses the ongoing discussion that spawned from the deletion and now the reposting of an article--now formally being considered for deletion--of a Wikipedia entry on Enterprise 2.0. You can read some of discussion here, here and here.
In this debate, Deletionists have run up against what I'll call the Networkists -- a group of highly networked domain experts activated through blogs. Most are only casual contributors, so far, and some have had negative experiences (and some for good reason) making reverted contributions. If I had to offer a philosophy of Networkism, it is that the participation of domain experts in creating articles and debating their deletion increases the quality of the process, and most domain experts will not become core members of the community. Now this is all fiction, but over time it will be easier for both Wikipedia to attract domain experts and for them to activate and self-organize, so there may be something to learn from here.
Reaching a concensus, measuring credibility, defining standards for trust among all the interested parties will continue to be a challenge for Wikipedia. Ross poses the following question in his post:
With the Enterprise 2.0 Article, verification is provided by an article in the MIT-Sloan Management Review, an HBS case study, a BusinessWeek article and reference to a Don Tapscott book. But for some, this is not enough. So I leave it as an open question. Should Dan Farber or Dion Hinchcliffe blogging under the ZDNet masthead qualify as a reliable source, or is what makes them reliable what links to them say?
As Ross points out, increasingly involving the Networkists/domain experts in vetting articles is a critical factor. As an example, a dozen Enterprise Irregulars, a group of enterprise computing domain experts that first engaged as a blogger contingent attending SAP's Sapphire conference at the behest of SAP employee and blogger Jeff Nolan, have been dealing with the Enterprise 2.0 flap in a group email discussion and in their blogs, and were instrumental in getting the article back in circulation. This proactive engagement, along with the collective wisdom from the linkosphere, is precisely the kind of interaction that will make Wikipedia more credible and trustworthy.