"There's no edit button!" | MIT Center for Civic Media

"There's no edit button!"

Center fellow Mako Hill makes a great argument today for increased focus on making Wikipedia more easily editable.

Seems counter-intuitive. Sure, Wikipedia is obviously editable. But, as Mako says in his post and in the video below, many tools being developed to support reading Wikipedia seem to forget that the essential functionality of Wikipedia is editing. That includes the new WikiReader by OpenMoko, a mobile device containing the whole of Wikipedia.

From Mako's blog:

I hope the device becomes successful but I'm worried about what success will mean for the already indefensibly large gap between the number of readers and editors on Wikipedia. After all, the ability to change and contribute is the thing that makes Wikipedia interesting, empowering, and successful; cutting this functionality out kind of misses much of the point.



I should definitely clarify that I do think this device is great. Defining what an edit button means on an offline wikireader is an open question. I've proposed one solution, and I'm sure there are others. It's exactly the kind of question that folks interested in the work of the center should be considering.