| Central Penn Business Journal
Wikipedia wants to be a great wonder of the world
Wikipedia has begun the petitioning process to UNESCO to be listed on one of its World Heritage Lists.
This would place it alongside such wonders as the Great Wall of China, the pyramids and the Great Barrier Reef.
The basic idea is to recognize that Wikipedia is a cultural phenomena that has "transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people," founder Jimmy Wales said.
Transformed? Really? That's powerful stuff.
The problem, of course, is that the great wonders of the world typically represent the pinnacle of a civilization's ability to achieve something or, in some cases, of nature's raw power or greatness. Is Wikipedia truly such a pinnacle of achievement?
Not even close.
As one blogger wrote, "Wouldn't it make more sense to identify the Internet itself?"
For me, Wikipedia's self-image as modern-day Egyptian pyramids does not come as a surprise. In many of my encounters I have perceived Wikipedia editors and administrators to have the air of privilege one very well might have expected from the ancient Egyptian task masters that built them.
But since nothing about Wikipedia represents a pinnacle of cultural achievement, this movement is nothing more then a festival of self-love, indicative of the Wikipedia community climate.
I think my favorite quote on this topic was something to the effect of how UNESCO better be careful with what it decides because it might find itself kicked off Wikipedia!
What do you think? Should Wikipedia be a considered a wonder of the world?
Treff LaPlante is president and CEO of Harrisburg-based WorkXpress.