Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

Chris Anderson at The Long Tail has an interesting entry on why the L.A. Times’s bloggish experiment with participatory journalism went so wrong. For those not following the story, Michael Kinsley (the founding editor of Slate, now the L.A. Times’s opinions editor) tried to create a kind of “wikitorial” on the L.A. Times’s web site. Internet trolls abused the concept by posting porn. But even before the wikitorials were trolled, they had forked.

“Forking” is an Internet term of trade, borrowed from software development, used to describe a schism where dissenting groups simply go their own way. Wiki forks, like software forks, can be extraordinarily bitter. Something of the sort immediately occurred on the L.A. Times’s web site. Anderson suggests that Mike Kinsley had not solved the architecture of participation for a wikitorial. Well, maybe. Perhaps. But perhaps Wikitorials are simply a dumb idea.

Editorial opinion is opinion - the more lucid, original, and trenchant, the better. Collaborative journalism cannot but dilute that effect. Which is not to say that readerly participation does not have its place on the op-ed page - it does. But in the form of letters, fora, commentary.

Technorati tags: ,

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me