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Designing Wikipedia and the origin of page histories; brief news

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By Guoguo12 and Tilman Bayer

Jimmy Wales on "community design" and introducing page histories

A recent book titled "Designing Media", by Bill Moggridge, contains interviews "with thirty-seven people who have made significant creative contributions to the design and development of media", among them one with Jimmy Wales. As summarized in a Guardian article last week, "Wales actually describes what he does as 'community design'. ... Wikipedia is not just an anarchic piece of crowd-sourcing: it's a carefully designed eco-system. ... It's often described as 'democratic', but Wales himself thinks of it more as a monarchy, with the writers overseen by moderators who are in turn overseen by the king – King Jimbo, as he's known." Wales also talked about how he introduced permanent page histories to Wikipedia's wiki: "In the early days, when I first set up Wikipedia, I really thought we were going to have to lock everything down very quickly", but then, after noticing that most edits were benign,

The interview was conducted in October 2008, before the recent rediscovery of early Wikipedia revisions. A PDF version of the book, as well as video files of the interviews, are available for free download.


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