Death to the wiki

I think I might kill off The Poetry Wiki, since no-one is using it and it just provides an opportunity for spammers.

7 replies on “Death to the wiki”

Sorry to hear that, Harry. It’s almost like having a guest book on one’s web page which, after a while, just seems to be an open invitation for all the dickheads of the world to try and sell you some Viagra or penis enlargers, doesn’t it?

It would probably be easier for them if they just starting their own spam blogs…

If the wiki was a lively and vital space, I would be looking out for ways to stop the spammers. And just doing it manually. At the moment, it’s dead enough that if I just make it disappear, I don’t think anyone will notice.

I think I stil believe that sooner or later someone will make something like The Poetry Wiki work. Probably not me, though.

I’m sorry to see it go. I was using its texts as examples for some software I’m developing.

I was thinking about it, and comparing it with Wikipedia. I’ve noticed that Wikipedia’s contributers have a mix of motives that seem to be complementary. Many are just out to flog a message, or grind an axe. They continually push new material into articles. At the same time, Wikipedians working in the background have different motives. They constantly filter out material, and refine and hammer it into shape. They lay claim to a kind of editorial ownership of the result. But all contributers have something to gain from this process, and a reason to persist.

I’ve also noticed that Wikipedians agree on certain rules, broad guidelines of encyclopedic construction. The incomplete encyclopedia article remains open to improvement by simple addition of new material, provided only that it’s factual, pertinent, etc., according to the rules.

None of this applies to verse. Motivations do differ from poet to poet, but the differences do not seem to be complementary. And rules of verse construction are inadequate to resolve the kinds of conflict that arise. Nor are poems easy to complete by accretion. Often a small poem becomes over-extended by contributions and loses its integrity. Someone may fix it by cutting it down to size again. The result often differs from the original. But whether it’s an improvement or not, the rules cannot say. Meantime, much of the original poet’s contribution is lost; unrecoverable except by a ding-dong battle.

Still, as far as poetry Wikis go, this *was* a good site. Maybe the best. I’m sorry to see it go.

I’m sorry it never really took off, but it was the second iteration I’d set up, and neither ever really attracted any active members after the first few weeks, so it seemed like time to draw a line under it.

I do think potentially collaborative poetry writing might be interesting, but it maybe that a wiki isn’t the best model anyway.

Harry, you say the problem is spam posts. What about restricting it to people who are signed in? Or maybe even disallowing posts altogether? Even if the Wiki is completely frozen, at least people’s contributions would still be visible. ( And textbender could continue to use the revision histories as a source of example texts :)

Well, it’s too late, because I deleted everything.

But anyway, it’s not just the spammers; I wanted to have a clear-out, and I have no particular interest in hosting an inactive wiki. If it was thriving, I would have made a real effort to keep it working even if I’d lost interest myself. But, you know, it was dead.

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