Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Wikipediocracy today....

.... is a very sad place. The last blog post they did was in June. The board is being dominated by the guy who allegedly owns the domain, Greg Kohs (thekohser), and some of the key people have walked away to join another forum.

"It's like watching Mussolini run the Salo Republic in 1943!"

Wikipediocracy's message board (WO-MB) originally was a "survivor's group" made up of the personalities that made up the Wikipedia Review forum (that board had been sunk by a crazy sysop, comedy recounting here), then it stated collecting everybody and anybody (this author included). It has been slowly collapsing since 2014 as people like Peter Damian and Eric Barbour and Mancunium decided that Greybeard (Steve McGeady) and Zoloft (William "Monty" Burns) along with thekohser were not worth the time. Since then Andreas Kolbe (HRIP7) has vanished and Alison Cassidy bailed. They have people, lots of people, just not the people whom the journalists will be clamoring to interview when Wikipedia dies hard or explodes like a supernova. All those people, plus irreplacable voices like ilvadel and the WO-banned Internet Warrior King Daniel Brandt are now out in the snow or have joined this blog's forum*.

Kohs has left such an ungodly stench in the minds of ex-WO members, we now have a thread about him....that runs 15 pages. It has taken most of a year to get to that point, and I'm not ever locking it, because we need to document when he finally crosses that last line and Greybeard or Zoloft finally cans him, somehow.


Implosion seems to be a real problem with Wikipedia-criticism boards and websites; the people running them are mostly ex-Wikipedians who lack journalistic training, so it isn't about writing news story-like blog posts, just a lot of shop-talk and ranting. WO-MB has people who could bring down, or at least badly cripple Wikipedia, and yet they hold off because they still love the place. I have no love for Wikipedia, and I can easily see the site winding up as a series of thumbdrives key-ringed together and sold in piles on tables next to bowls full of jade necklaces in souks and bazaars across the developing world. Wikipedia will not end well, and it is our duty to transmit the knowledge of its failures to future generations.


* Truth in advertising: I didn't start "Wikipedia Sucks!" the board, that was Mutineer. Barbour and I administrate. What there really needs to be is an unauthorized oral history of Wikipedia, journos asking the heavy-hitters real questions, no dealings with the WMF people - they can write their own book.


  1. Is sad even the right word? I confess I have no word to describe what their most active recent thread represents, which I shit you not, appears to be about Pokemon. http://archive.is/bBJOt I'd love to tell you the discussion exists to continue that fine critic tradition of ripping the piss out of Wikipedia for being a Pokemon fan site, but I'm not so sure that's what it is. Are they critiquing the article's quality? Or are they seriously having an actual discussion about Pokemon?

    It's a Johnny Au thread, so it's not like you ever really know wtf is going on with those. Maybe it's a new recruitment drive? It seems to have reanimated the interest of three old members, and piqued the interest of a new guy too. Poetlister asked the right question with the very first reply, but as usual, he's being ignored. Kohs is all in as well, but his only interest appears to pursue his usual hobby, aggravating his own member. Ship.

    The movement needs journalistic input, and while it often seems like interest is thin on the ground, there's more out there than you might think. Wikipediocracy had high hopes of being the conduit, but under Koh's leadership, they just royalty fucked it up. A recent piece in the Guardian about Wikipedia's gender issues was a slam dunk, but all Kohs could think to say about it was to further his pathetic grudges against Jimbo, and worse, speak about it as if it was pro-Wikipedia. Which was insane. Zoloft/Greybeard should have made a decision about his role (or theirs) a long time ago, because to sit back and let him just do what he does, then their resulting slide into obscurity amd Pokemon fandom is on them too.

    The Dark Knight

    1. I have theories about Johnny Au, but I don't want to write them here because I don't want to inadvertently mock the guy if those theories prove true.

      As for the rest of it you are dead on....the problem is that Wikipedia criticism/a growing criticism of Web 2.0 is still in the ghetto. It needs a zillion more blogs like "Wikipedia Sucks!", it needs to entice serious journalists in to tell this story (which is THE story of civilian life in the 21st century), it needs to take the better blog posts, string them together as an anthology, and sell it as a book. Kohs has dug WO-MB's grave, and now is forcing the still-living body into the hole.

  2. Kohs and "ungodly stench" about sums up Wikipediocracy.

  3. Yes WO is now just another Wikipedia Project. If it ever manages to reverse the free encyclopaedia’s progress down its own digestive tract, they will get to enjoy more of the same shit, forever and forever.

    However, beware of hubris. It remains to be seen if any critics can survive Wikipedia. We’re faced with a trans-national, trans-ideological plague of zombies that turns everyone into stumbling, drivelling shit-peddlers. The political left imagines Wikipedians as the heroic masses achieving Utopia in a virtual world of industrialized knowledge, their last refuge from the real world. And the political right imagines Wikipedians as an heroic band of self-reliant pioneers in a virtual world of vigilante-style knowledge, their last refuge from the real world too. And of course the political middle doesn’t care one way or the other. So there is no criticism of the socio-political excrement that is the life-blood of that Zombie existence.

    But maybe this is the good news: what were Brexit and Trump but a reaction against trans-national, trans-ideological drift? The revolt has begun.

    Or am I dreaming?

    1. With Trump you are dreaming; all his cabinet picks are millionares with Goldman-Sachs ties and ex-military brass, and Trump has no real ideology beyond salesmanship (of himself, of course.)

    2. The backlash against the revolt hasn't begun, not in a way that changes history.

      Top notch analysis, McPherson. Thanks.

  4. "just a lot of shop-talk and ranting"

    And displays of OCD. Don't ask Johnny about the Kirby video-game character.

  5. I guess it’s understandable that you guys have such a hate-on for Mr. Kohs, but I still think you’re missing it when you pin Wikipediocracy’s recent participation decline primarily on him. Everybody has their own individual reasons for backing away or dropping out, and I’d say Mr. Kohs has been involved in only about 20 percent of them, 30 percent at the most. Right now, for example, a lot of us are just so freaked out about the election, and the internet's horrifyingly subversive role in it, we're wondering if the only real moral choice is to cancel our internet service completely and go live in caves.

    As for Mr. Kohs himself, I’d say his problem is that he honestly wants to take the "high road,” only his conception of what the “high road” is seems to be quite different from that of most of the people who spend time in Wikiland, including just about everyone here.

    That said, Wikipedia Review wasn’t sunk by a “crazy sysop,” it was sunk by its owner, the person who ultimately controlled every aspect of it, including the hosting. She could have shut the whole thing down whenever she wanted to, but for some reason (most likely, insanity) chose not to. I’m a little surprised you didn’t try to draw a parallel there, actually!

    The ED article you linked to is mostly a packet of falsehoods and nonsense, though oddly enough the “2012 Meltdown” section is fairly accurate.

    You’re right that there should, ideally, be more blog posts. We’ve always maintained that quantity doesn’t equate to quality, but like Woody Allen once said, "if the quantity drops below once every eight months, I would definitely look into it.”

    Anyhoo, keep up the good work, fellas!

    1. "The ED article you linked to is mostly a packet of falsehoods and nonsense...."

      Tell us what is wrong with the ED article in detail, Mr. Somers.

      Your smarm doesn't help.

    2. Literally everything in it is false except that one section, which I assume was written by someone other than the usual ED crowd. "Smarm" should only refer to scenarios where someone is referring to material that might have a grain of truth to it.

    3. You might as well join the dark side, Somers. You know you want to. You're sick of defending the guy who "at most" drove away 30 percent of your active membership, including people Wikipedia criticism couldn't afford to lose.

      P.S. I've read your baloney hundreds of times. "We're so freaked out that we aren't on the internet because Trump" is lame.