So now in addition to the original wikitorial, ‘Dreams About War and Retribution‘, the LA Times wiki site has spawned a rebellious offspring: ‘Counterpoint to Dreams About War and Retribution.’ I’m looking forward to ‘Rebuttal to Counterpoint to Dreams About War and Retribution.’ Here’s an excerpt from the new wiki:
In order to have a functional social environment here, it is going to be necessary to respect the integrity of what people are trying to do. The original editorial is anti-war, and this is wonderful. This editorial is intended to rationally and thoughtfully present the opposing point of view. You should respect that. Please stop vandalizing the article. –Jimbo Wales 12:18, 17 Jun 2005 (PDT)
I’m not really dailykos, and there was nothing in the article to vandalize when I got there. –dailykos
The conceptual problem here is: What makes a newspaper-sponsored online discussion about Iraq different from, and more useful to the reader than, an online discussion about Iraq on the usenet or any of the other zillion websites that host that kind of thing? I think there might be an interesting answer to that question, but the LAT hasn’t found it yet, as is readily admitted in today’s paper. I hope they keep trying.
UPDATE: Editor & Publisher has a recap of Wiki Day One and quotes Kinsley using a word that is generally not uttered publicly by editorial-page overseers:
Editorial and Opinion Editor Michael Kinsley, who brought the online oddity to the newspaper, declared the first day a success, telling E&P, “I’m loving it. I was worried that no one would come.” He also noted that, despite the defacement, “the ratio of assholes to good will people” is not as high as he had feared.
(link via Romenesko)
Also, seeing as how Susan Estrich has cancelled her LAT subscription, can someone call her and tell her about the wikitorial? Here’s her chance finally to write for the editorial page!