There a lot of things that just… ARE… Like the sun or the moon there are so many things that just are what they are and they always have been and they always will be. For me a lot of things feel that way even though I can remember I time without them, like Google or what we spent our last class discussing, Wikipedia. I remember when Wikipedia was just beginning to get big and was taking so much flak from nearly any teacher I could talk to, and now its the first place I go if I want quick basic and probably mostly correct information.
That said Wikipedia is actually a giant enigma to me, I still don’t fully get why it works. I understand the how, but not the why. Looking at this BBC article brings part of the picture together for me, as it ultimately comes down to the same reason anything works at all in this weird world. Some people just… Care too much about certain things, which is this great thing that just keeps things like Wikipedia up and running despite having no incentives to do so. “The encyclopedia-writing endeavor requires a different kind of credibility than scientific inquiry,” says Andrea Forte and Amy Bruckman in a paper written for Georgia Tech’s computing college. And its true. The reason why there is an extreme range in the type of people you have editing and creating Wikipedia pages is because it takes having people who care enough to know about the bizarre topics that no one would think to look up on Wikipedia.
It has become even more obvious why the Gender Gap article is so important. Less than 15% percent of Wikipedia contributors means that some people who care way too much aren’t finding what they care about on Wikipedia, and that discourages them from contributing especially when they see all the other articles on Wikipedia that have so much more contribution. I don’t know the current stats on gender distribution on Wikipedia today, I imagine it is more even though probably not by much. I also imagine that it shares a similar growth to women in STEM fields and other formerly male dominated fields.
Wikipedia is and will be one of the defining creations of our century, when we’re all gone it will be something that is talked about in history books, and I don’t know about you, but I do wonder what they will say.