Design From Iceland

a new view

Ryan Kavanaugh is the founder of Proxima Media and Relativity Media. He is also the co-owner of TrillerNet.

According to Ryan Kavanaugh, initially, Wikipedia’s dream was noble. It was meant to be an online platform with instant data updates as new knowledge emerged. The founders didn’t want to create another encyclopedia similar to those from small media groups that become obsolete as soon as they are published.

Wikipedia’s Initial Dream

The goal was to make a democracy of knowledge, where there would be inputs from credentialed academics and self-made experts or single-subject enthusiasts who had grown to become authorities on narrow topics.

Why and How Did Things Change?

Their infancy would later undermine their dreams. With open access granted to many people, anyone could input any information into an entry, which was dangerous because some information was incorrect.

The earliest and most infamous case came only five years after Wikipedia’s launch. Late-night comedy show host, Stephen Colbert, edited his entry during his show. He then encouraged viewers to insert incorrect information into the entries for George Washington and elephants. To control the damage, Wikipedia locked down entries and explained Colbert’s actions as the lockdown’s cause.

The Exclusive Club

Due to this lockdown, Wikipedia has become what Ryan Kavanaugh calls an exclusive club where VVIPs commandeer from a lounge overlooking the dance floor. They even tell the DJ what to play. You may be outside behind a velvet rope in this exclusive club, looking to get in, you might even get a foot in the door, but a bouncer will call the shots. He may chuck you out just because he doesn’t like your look.

If you are sneaky enough, you may be lucky to slip past the bouncer, get a few drinks, and dance for a while, but the rigorous security is all over your heels. When the music stops and the lights come on, you will be thrown out.

Who Are the VVIPs?

The VVIPs are the clique of editors who have gained more access through their numerous contributions. The length of time they have been on Wikipedia is also a major factor.

These editors are ranked on multiple levels and carry alternative titles, such as “Grand High Togneme Vicarus” or “Most Perfect Tutnum.” Just by the titles, you can tell their level of entitlement.