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The Pimping of Wikipedia


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If you are a reader wondering why it seems harder to discover good websites, or you run website or Blog that writes about authors or books you need to read this article. The Pimping of Wikipedia: Contributing to the Decline of the World Wide Web

The mid- and late 1990s was an exciting time for the Web because so much new, rarely shared, or difficult-to-access information was now accessible.  Today, there is more reason for concern, outrage even, than there is for excitement.  The reasons are plentiful. One reason is the pimping of Wikipedia. (the full article: http://aalbc.it/pimpwiki)


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In many ways it is exactly the same Anika.  But there are some fundamental differences, for example;.


Google started out as a pure search engine.  Today it still touts itself as a search engine but in reality Google is an eCommerse site.  Search is used to attract consumers where Google ebooks, airlines revelations, and placement in the search results to other businesses, under the guise of sponsored links. 


I have no problem with Google selling airline reservations, but if they are getting their business by redirecting people who go to Google to do a search on airline tickets, then hijack those visitors and send them to the Google airline system https://www.google.com/flights/ this is problematic -- for all of us.


If there is a competing website with a airline reservation system that find cheaper tickets, they are now at a competitive disadvantage to Goolge and the consumer is worse off because they do no discover the site with the cheapest tickets -- unless they are aware of what Google is doing or already know about the website.  Most people have no clue.

Now do I think the old style travel agents should all be in business and online tickets sales not exists?  No.  I think there is room and demand for both.  I might choose to use a "traditional" travel agent if I need a lot of guidance.  But if I just want to go from point A to point B, I'm glad I can do it myself online.  I just don't want to be deluded into use Google's inferior airline reservation service when I do it online.

Back to the mom and pop store analogy.  I go to both Walmart and small independent grocery stores when I need a single item fast I go to the corner store.  But if someone from Walmart was standing in front of my local mom and pop and told me the store was closed and provided free transportation to Walmart and continues to do so until the store was closed that that is dishonest and it is not "progress".   Now whenever I want a loaf of bread I have to get in the car a drive to Walmart, who has now raised the price of bread due to the lack of competition.

There are many small business that have been adversely effected by Google's practices check out this article someone sent me today; Is Google’s search manipulation hurting consumers?

Google behaves like a monopoly, because it reality it is one. 


We haven't even touched privacy yet.  This one reason I like DuckDuckGo.com they do search they was Google used to work.


Ultimately I would like to see a model where service and content providers simply charge for the service they provide.  Thay way to can be spared the advertisements, like a netflix subscription.


One of the most useful sites I use is Ancestry.com.  I play to use it.  When I visit the website I do not get inundated ads or spam. 

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I have noticed here lately that wikipedia comes up quite a bit when I'm conducting searches on a variety of topics.  I never really gave it much thought, I just figured that they were an authority site because of all their content.  Sometimes I click on wikipedia (in the search results) for the info that I need and sometimes I don't.  I find the whole thing rather spammy.  As for Google, they are out of control.  Eventually the govt is going to come down on them and shut down their whole monopoly.

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Del the market gives us what will generate the most revenue; whether it happens to be what we need or crave is incidental.


Mzuri, It is not just Google that is out of control.  All of the big players are.   Facebook, for example, has changed dramatically for the worse, and Twitter seems to following the same trajectory.  Basically someone introduces an interesting service which people use.  After the service is up a running and has obtained a critical mass of users, then, and only then, does the service impose a revenue model. 


The model is always advertising sales and selling user data.  Next businesses large and small use the service to buy advertising and get preferential treatment for whatever they post.  Facebook, in this case, becomes one big customized commercial.  Advertisers like it cause thy have complete information on who the are targeting and spammmers love it because their are so many marks waiting to be scammed with the bait of a free iPad.


Meanwhile the typical user fails to notice right away as ads are setup to look deceptively like normal communication from "friends".  Desperate to keep people on the platform Facebook has taken to copying information from Wikipedia and other websites.  Eventually visitors get tired of being sold to.


Ultimately a new platform emerges with a different gimmick and is free of the adverting, spam, privacy issues and people migrate over to the new service.  Ultimately that service need to generate revenue and the cycle continues...


All the while nothing of value is created or maintained.


Did anyone have a Myspace account five years ago?  Look at what has happened to it -- basically you have to start over. 

People who are using Facebook as their "website" are making a big mistake.  Does anyone believe Facebook will be where they are now in 5 or 10 years?


In case you missed it in the comments section of the "Pimping" article check out  DuckDuckGo article about privacy and Google: http://donttrack.us/ (again an issue to which most people are completely oblivious).

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