The Wikitorial Experiment
Picture credit: http://aphgcaen.free.fr
The LA Times has called a halt to its commendable Wikitorial experiment. The groundbreaking attempt at an interactive, user-edited op-ed piece was defaced repeatedly with obscene photos, according to the New York Times.
Imagine an editorial that anyone can read and modify -- along the lines of the outstanding Wikipedia online encyclopedia -- and you pretty much have the general idea.
Of course, with that sort of openness comes a certain level of risk, as the Times discovered:
|...During most of Friday and Saturday, readers thoughtfully altered the editorial. By Friday afternoon, hundreds had weighed in. Some did add profanity but just as quickly a Web master from the paper took it down.|
"Nothing bad happened really until after midnight on Saturday," said Michael Newman, deputy editorial page editor...
This is an idea that deserves some refinement and a few more chances. Here are some tactical suggestions for the folks who could back another pass at Wikitorials:
I commend the Times for their experiment. While I usually disagree (vehemently) with much of their op-ed content, this is an idea with stunning potential. Here's hoping they continue to work out the kinks and allow a new idea to germinate.
N.Y. Times: Postings of Obscene Photos End Free-Form Editorial Experiment