Friday, March 07, 2008

Top 5 things I would do if I were in charge of Wikipedia

Hypothesizing about a probable Wikipedia Educational Foundation, during a break from his busy schedule (yeah, right), my good friend Jayanta Bhattacharya listed out five things that he would do if God (Or, some rich person with tonnes of hard cash lying around - Jonty mentions that Anil Ambani might be a good fit) intervened, buying out Wikiepdia, and conveniently putting my fantasy-prone albeit highly- learned friend in charge.

A small Todo list that emerged from our talks:
1. Allow every single person to make their personal pages in Wikipedia along with their achievements (or non- achievements) in life.
2. They will be charged a 5-dollar entry fee. That money would go towards the funding of schools in poor countries.
3. Bring out hard copies of Wikipedia to distribute amongst poor populations.
4. Allow sponsorships by the way of banners etc for a premium from companies. (no Google Adsense) and then use the money for purely benevolent purposes, primarily on education - education is empowerment.
5. If there is a lot of money in the coffers, Jonty would like to start the Wikipedia Educational Foundation, opening schools and knowledge centers around the world, running educational satellite channels etc. The education would be free and the schools will not be affiliated to any boards but a central WEF board.

This way, general education around the world would be of the same standard, but different countries would have different history, civic and law syllabus.

Bonus: And make Wikipedia the primary search engine on the Internet.

What would you do if you were in charge of Wikipedia?

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At 12:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clearly, charging for compiling information, that already exists on the internet, is a failed revenue model. So making people pay up-front for just accessing (or contributing?) to wikipedia, is pretty much a no no. Ads might work, but wikipedia has to be careful not to put off it's mostly open-source movement, free information type idealists; they might just represent a significant percentage of page contributors.

Also, are you referring to an improvement that you would like to the current user pages? Because current one pretty much does list whatever you want it to. There do exist off line copies of wikipedia, these can be downloaded and burnt to a CD. Last I heard, the wikipedia foundation is making an effort to publish hard copies for distribution.

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