Great Expectations, and the Failed "Wikitorial" Experiment

Source Title:
Paper's 'wikitorial' trial halted
Story Text:

This would have been interesting to watch - apparantly the LA Times launched a wiki editorial experiment last Friday but had to take it down on Sunday because of abuse.

Did anyone actually see it? It sounds like it was well thought out but obviously was going to have problems at the start;

The plan for its editorial wiki was to explore a new form of opinion journalism, but the editors admitted it could end up as "an embarrassment"......The editors planned to have the original published piece sit alongside the finished, collectively re-edited version.

over 1000 people registered to take part and

Participants added internet links to various words in the editorial, while others proposed alternative views on the subject.

One split the editorial in half, which was welcomed by the editors. But they decided to end the trial early on Sunday after explicit photos were posted to the page.

I wonder if they try again and give it some time it might work - certainly a pity that some 12 year old decided to wreck it.


Gurtie, read Jeff Jarvis'

Gurtie, read Jeff Jarvis' post on it. He make's some excellent points re the newspaper's expectations. (Jarvis is perhaps a little TOO rah-rah-social-reporting, but he's a blogger so...)

Didn't bother to look, but

Didn't bother to look, but someone pm'd me the guardian story earlier today. And Slashdot say they got the blame heh...

I prolly should have posted it last week, but missed the fun for one reason or another, thanks gurtie!

Yeah, the "failure" story

Yeah, the "failure" story has been out in one source or another almost immediately after they pulled the plug. Jarvis is the better read, imo.

all a little harsh

I think it's a great idea if it can be policed properly - showing the original against the amended is a nice idea and it'd be really interesting to see how the readers biased the amended editorial.

For the truth is, if people wanted to do that, they could go to any number of places and do it on their own. They don't need newspapers to give them technology. And they certainly do not need newspapers to tell them what to talk about.

really bugs me to be honest - where do people think bloggers/wiki contributers/forums get most of their source material from in the first place? A newspaper is a brilliant place to allow feedback and collaboration imho - just being brave enough to make it work without pre-moderation (like the laughable BBC comments) is going to take some doing.

There's actually quite a bit

There's actually quite a bit of it going on Gurtie, some big french paper called le monde offers blogs to it's readers and although i'd be hard pressed to make a reference, im sure i've seen similar things happening elsewhere.

Guardian have a blog, Observer etc etc..


well, Le Monde is, erm, special....

Newspapers offering blogs may not be new and exciting, but they're individual efforts or staffers areas. Allowing comments is fairly common (to be honest Reuters has more interaction than most of them as it is a two way process) but to me a wiki editorial on a paper pretty much encompasses the spirit of what a wiki should do - it's (this is going to sound horribly blogger) empowering the readers to make their views known collectively.

It would also be really interesting to watch - I'd love to see the effect it had on the actual editorial tone over time too....

>LA Times

Man, I'd hate to be the admin on something like that. Keeping it "within bounds" is do-able, I think, but there would definitely be some all hands on deck moments when the trolls hit.


They should have had some more stamina and the problems would decrease over time.

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