Monday, March 21, 2005


Is Wiki the New Indy Part II

Last December I wrote about the Wikipedia taking on Indymedia's news-reporting.

Since then, Wiki News was born.

For those unfamiliar with Wikis, the system's is inspired in part by the success and implementation of open source software development. That is, the article writing process is completely public. Anyone can compose a new Wikinews article, but unlike say Indymedia or a conventional news website, can also edit an existing one and see an inventory of all prior changes.

According to an article on Wiki News, Irish Indymedia is not impressed.
Jimmy Wales characterises Indymedia as a "far left" project and asserts that the Wiki process results in a story with no bias because "There's no magic bullet to eliminate bias, and be objective and neutral. But what's interesting about the way the wiki process works, and the openness of it, is that if you write something and you want it to survive the process, you have to write it in such a way that is broadly satisfactory to people of many points of view. That is a natural impetus to push you away from loaded terminology--or having an ax to grind in a story."
The discussion over at Ireland Indymedia makes the following observation:
I would hazard a guess that before too long the wikinews site will be full of stuff copied and pasted from other websites. It will become a playspace for nazi trolls and conspiracy nuts.
Apparently I wasn't the only one who noticed this Indymedia trait.

Nevertheless I trust the irony of competition for news generation won't be lost on the Indymedia crowd who set up camp in opposition to commercial news outlets.

The article also helped me learn that Indymedia is effectively boycotting Google as Google News refuses to index Indymedia as a 'news source'. Gee I wonder why?

Whilst large (Little Green Footballs) blogs (Michelle Malkin) and small blogs (House of Wheels) are currently debating what sort of news Google should (and should not in the rather misguided case of the National Vanguard Nazi website) index, it seems Indymedia has done an about face and decided if Google doesn't want to know, well that's just fine by them.
Indymedia is currently installing "bots" (clever pieces of code which restrict the ability of Google, to search and collate the gigabytes of opinion, data, background noise, original art work and text which the imc community have assembled these last years).
It's rather like phoning the boss three whole weeks after you were fired and shouting "yeah, well you can't fire me, I quit!"

Okay, whatever.

Assuming people turn to Google News for quality news harvesting, will anyone really care at Indymedia's absence? As for Wiki News, it's too early to call, but there are some lessons to be learnt. Indymedia already has the market share but is unwilling to heed them.

Small blogs like mine? I'm offended! You're part of the Zionazi conspiracy to diminish my work, fascist!

Erm. Yes.
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