I waited a day too long to make this post. Through Ditherati , I read this quote and wanted to comment on its wikifutility:
"It may be a complete mess but it's going to be interesting to try. Wikitorials may be one of those things that within six months will be standard." The quote was from Michael Kinsley talking about his plan to have readers revise the opinion pieces printed in the 'Los Angeles Times'.
I was going to opine that the wikitorial would not work. It is the job of editors (like Mike and me) to filter the dreck that comes through in all its forms -- poisonous attitudes, poorly thought-through logic, and incomprehensible writing. Now CNET reports, "After just three days, flood of 'inappropriate material' prompts L.A. Times to close site where readers could rewrite editorials." Apparently, contributors were removing as much 90% of the text, as well as posting obscene photographs.
"The site will remain inactive until the paper determines how to minimize future disruptions," admitted the newspaper. Since I can no longer predict the failure of the wikitorial, I'll just say this: Those who fail the learn the lesson of the Commons are doomed to failure.