Wikimania Takes Over Online Shopping?
from the feel-free-to-edit-this dept
Overzealous marketers have been using the phrase “it’s the Wikipedia of ______” to describe products for a while now, and wikis have had “all the cool kids are doing it” status for a while, so it’s not surprising to see people try to shoehorn wikis in all over the place. The latest victims are shopping sites, but it’s hard to see how wikis are preferable in the space over the tried-and-tested product review, mainly because the inherent ability of wikis to be edited by anyone leaves the system open to abuse, particularly by less-than-scrupulous vendors or retailers. With reviews, typically they can’t be erased by any user, so any inaccurate or false reviews can be outweighed by other ones. But the ability to simply delete content with which one doesn’t agree is pretty powerful, and somehow the sites’ rebuttal that any user can then restore the content doesn’t seem to do much to help. The original article quotes Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, who’s probably as much a fan of wikis as anybody, but understands they don’t fit every situation: “You’re seeing a lot of people throwing up a wiki and saying ‘Oooh, now we’ll magically get all this stuff.’ But it’s not about the software.”