"Wikipedia gets $890,000 for the Luddites," screams the headline of a post my intrepid CNET colleague Caroline McCarthy wrote earlier this week.
If you haven't heard, the Stanton Foundation gave the Wikimedia Foundation the grant to hire three new developers and "commission research to identify the most common barriers to entry for first-time writers, and then work to systematically reduce or eliminate them...hiding complex elements of the user interface from people who don't need them."
In other words, Wikipedia isn't quite as easy to use as its ubiquity might suggest. Thus, more than three quarters of a million dollars to iron out the techie kinks. (All new code will be open-source, too.)
"Wikipedia attracts writers who have a moderate-to-high level of technical understanding, but it excludes lots of smart, knowledgeable people who are less tech-centric," Wikimedia Foundation executive director Sue Gardner said in the release. "One of our key priorities is to attract those people and persuade them to help write and edit the encyclopedia. I am thrilled that the Stanton Foundation recognizes the importance of that work, and will be helping us with it."
Or, as McCarthy's article playfully suggests, Luddites.
Sure, we all use Wikipedia to some degree. It's hard not to. But really: Just how many of people have actually edited or created something on Wikipedia?
As business professionals, you know a good deal of information to pass along -- do you find yourself editing articles about cloud computing late into the night?
Personally, I've fixed a couple of spelling errors (it's the editor in me, sadly) as an anonymous user -- sans account. I've never actually contributed original content.