Debate:Has conservapedia failed to reach a critical mass?
Did Conservapedia fail to capitalize on it's recent publicity and has it failed to reach a critical mass?
Is this downward trend likely to continue?
Update: Conservapedia has dropped below the level at which Alexa tracks. --Cgday 07:05, 12 April 2007 (EDT)
Yes, I think so. It's possible that Conservapedia gets a second growth phase with better results, but the first one ended with many editors running straight against a wall.
The reasons are too complex to list here (though I might try to write an userspace article some time), but the short version is: The mix of policies (or lack thereof), extremely fuzzy site goals, clear favoritism of sysops, general hostility against science (or even simple concepts like "balance"), the complete unwillingness to learn from mistakes, and the fact that Conservapedia still defines itself directly through Wikipedia drove a good deal of people away or lowered their motivation to levels where actual content edits are a rarity.
I admit that the odds had been against Conservapedia in the beginning. All the attention in the beginning was of the "Hey, look at that if you need a good laugh!" kind. Still, quite a few people joined with the honest intent of helping. How many of those people are still here? How many are still contributing content? Conservapedia had international press coverage for weeks, and how many editors who joined during those days are still active?
If there was another wave of press coverage RIGHT NOW, things would not be better. Before the next visitor wave arrives, things in here have to improve. --Sid 3050 15:25, 8 April 2007 (EDT)
+ Yes. Wikipedia atracted the mass coz comic book fans, anime fans and music fans could talk abouit their idols there - and learn stuff too. Conservapedia is too tight about that.
All the curiosity seekers have come and gone, leaving a stable of serious editors who can build the Conservapedia in relative peace. When the article count approaches 100,000, perhaps in a year, then many will take another look and hopefully like what they see. Teresita 13:26, 8 April 2007 (EDT)
- do we have any figures on article growth? trends in editor numbers? --Cgday 13:27, 8 April 2007 (EDT)
- It would be interesting if see the data on Wikipedia in its first few years. I did learn that Wikipedia did not reach 450,000 entries, many of which are/were complete trivia (like the title of a rock song), until more than 4 years after it began. Also, I think Wikipedia copied tens of thousands of entries directly from 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, and many of those outdated entries remain to this day.--Aschlafly 14:57, 8 April 2007 (EDT)
- Andy, You're slightly off here. We're not talking about article count, unless you imply that the copying from Britannica led to tons of people suddenly contributing like crazy. And the landscape has radically changed. Wikipedia was effectively the first of its kind. People were not used to the concept and had general doubts that an open encyclopdia could work at all. Conservapedia builds up on years of foundation - hundreds of thousands of people know the wiki concept, and Wikipedia is the proof that it can work. Conservapedia had international press coverage and a massive traffic spike. And then... it ended. Very few people outside this site are paying attention to Conservapedia. Even the more recent press coverage mocks the site or just reports your choice quotes and doesn't dare to touch the issue of quality. Ask yourself why that is so.
- And you have one problem that Wikipedia didn't have: Serious competition. Conservapedia has to answer a tough question: "Why shouldn't I simply go to Wikipedia?" - Your ominous "liberal bias" didn't cut it. It attracted a few people who share this view to some degree, but... that's it. --Sid 3050 15:23, 8 April 2007 (EDT)
I think there is still time to reach a self-sustainable level wherein the editors and sysops could both add significant material at the same time reverting vandalism and generally keeping the place "tidy". A problem of sorts rears it's head because it seems as if there is an unwritten "policy" that seeks to control at all times, what is being placed upon these pages.
Just like a lawn, one has to expect a certain amount of weeds. One needs to start out with good soil from which grass seed can germinate and flourish. If one trods upon the seeds trying to ferret off each and every weed seed, the grass will also suffer, growing in clumps and spot and dying in other places.
Perhaps the thing to do is let the yard go? Let all that is to grow, grow; after a time it will be necessary to go in and pull weeds and allow the healthy good grass to fill in the spots left bare from this weeding. Chance the Gardener Talk