Cameras and Wookiees

Monday 2 October 2006

Encouraged by the success of Wikipedia, I’ve noticed specialty groups starting their own niche encyclopedia. The first I saw was the cleverly-named Wookieepedia, related to all things Star Wars. The latest is Camerapedia, about photographic topics.

Wookieepedia is needed because the Star Wars community exceeded Wikipedia’s tolerance for articles about fictional minutiae, and it will flourish because of its community’s bottomless desire for such minutiae. It has its own wiki culture: the notices on pages requiring maintenance are all voiced by Star Wars characters. For example, the accuracy of Fifth Battle of Coruscant is called into question by Luke Skywalker screaming, “No! That’s not true! That’s impossible!”.

But I wonder about the longevity of Camerapedia. Wouldn’t all of it do well within Wikipedia itself? Can they attract an audience away from the ever-expanding Wikipedia? Should they? Is it better to have a separate dedicated photography encylopedia?

Comments

[gravatar]
Bill Mill 10:36 AM on 2 Oct 2006

This article: http://lists.canonical.org/pipermail/kragen-tol/2005-June/000784.html makes the case that there should be many, decentralized, wikipedias for different topics. Then wikipedia.org could act as Linus does for the Linux kernel - rejecting or accepting patch streams from different sources. For example, if camerapedia became a trusted resource on cameras, it could effectively act as the maintainer of the camera tree on wikipedia. Similarly, the star wars tree could continue unabated, with the main tree (wikipedia.org) only accepting the important elements from it, and Star Wars incorporating changes from the main wiki stream as it saw fit.

Finally, extreme fringe groups like Holocaust deniers could have their own place to live, hopefully mitigating their impact on the main wiki tree.

Interesting idea, I thought.

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