Here’s What Tech Companies Can Learn From Wikipedia

Articles

Here’s What Tech Companies Can Learn From Wikipedia


– We grew up with lots and
lots of books in the house, but the encyclopedia was really something that we used constantly, just reading whatever
we were interested in. And that diversity of
knowledge that was available in the encyclopedia was
really meaningful to me. So for sure it set me down a certain path, and here I am today. When I was a child we spent,
my mother and my grandmother had set up a small private school. And their philosophy was, in some ways, kind of an old fashioned philosophy. We had a lot of facts we had to learn. So we had to memorize all the states and capitals in the U.S., and we had to know all these different dates and things from history. So it was a very fact-based,
very science-based curriculum. And you know, that was
a really important part of the way my family looked at the world. We do live in an era where
people are very concerned about this question of fact. The importance of facts is really high on people’s minds these days, partly because we feel like
we’re not getting facts all the time from our politicians, from media, from business, and so forth. This is where I think that
the power of collaboration, the power of Wikipedia really is about bringing lots of people together to look at those different perspectives and to try to find what’s common in the narrative and what’s different in the narrative. I mean, really to describe
those issues and their problems in a way that furthers our understanding. So of course, it’s getting at
the truth is very difficult, and we all have our own
biases, shortcomings, whether they’re biases ’cause we’re not doing a good job of thinking or biases because we’ve
done a good job of thinking, but we don’t have all the facts and are all the evidence
that we would need to reach the same conclusion. But if we could work
together in a thoughtful way we get much closer to having something that really you can
feel pretty comfortable identifies the facts with reality. Well we see, in the U.S. for example, if you’re a steady watcher of Fox News or a steady watcher of
CNN you’re gonna end up with a very different view of the world based on the filters that
you’re looking through. And unfortunately this has been
quite divisive and so forth. It’s really hard to predict
what’s going to happen next. Certainly I do think we
see more and more people are reacting against the culture, they think that’s not right, that we need to have some
sort of shared understanding before we could move forward. On the other hand, the economic forces that have led us here,
the technological changes are not going away overnight. And just because people realize that the current media environment isn’t really as satisfying as it should be doesn’t meant here’s any magic solutions to making it better. I think one of the important
things that other media tech community companies can
learn from Wikipedia is that there are a lot of
really fantastic people out there who are trustworthy and thoughtful, and you can actually
think about how to empower good quality people in your communities and not just empower the noisiest people or the angriest people, because those people
may get you more clicks because they write inflammatory things and they hit reload a lot, but in terms of really building a relationship with an
audience that’s meaningful, you really need to think
about those thoughtful people, the kind people, how do
you get them to engage? I think that’s really crucially important. (light tech music)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *