User:Paul venter

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Even if all the formatters quit the project tomorrow, Wikipedia would still be immensely valuable. For the most part, people read Wikipedia because it has the information they need, not because it has a consistent look. It certainly wouldn’t be as nice without one, but the people who (like me) care about such things would probably step up to take the place of those who had left. The formatters aid the contributors, not the other way around.

But Wikipedia’s openness isn’t a mistake; it’s the source of its success. A dedicated community solves problems that official leaders wouldn’t even know were there. Meanwhile, their volunteerism largely eliminates infighting about who gets to be what. Instead, tasks get done by the people who genuinely want to do them, who just happen to be the people who care enough to do them right. Wikipedia’s biggest problems have come when it’s strayed from this path, when it’s given some people official titles and specified tasks. Whenever that happens, real work slows down and squabbling speeds up. But it’s an easy mistake to make, so it gets made again and again.

—Aaron Swartz Who Writes Wikipedia

Paul venter[edit]


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