December 08, 2005
I love the idea of Wikis--there's something appealling subversive yet democratic about them. However, I am skeptical of the long-term viability of open-access Wikis because I believe they are inevitably overtaken by the spammers (among other defects).
I got a quasi-spam promoting Wiki-Law, which says its "goal is to build the largest open-content legal resource in the world." This struck me as an exceptionally bad idea. Wikipedia content is generally untrustworthy--a fact that Wikipedia's founder Jimbo Wales generally admits--but untrustworthy/not credible information about legal topics has zero upside and tons of downside. There may be some situations, like legal information, where no information is far better than wrong information.
Posted by Eric at December 8, 2005 01:44 PM | Legal Industry
The upside of wikis is group authorship; the downside is accountability. That's the reasoning behind the Wex project at Cornell (http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/). They are enlisting (slowly and carefully) volunteers--by invitation--to share in authoring. It's still pretty sparse, but hey, it could catch on at any time.
Posted by: Jim Milles at December 8, 2005 04:03 PM