Wikipedia Cofounder's Wiki Bailout Plan

Jimmy Wales, the scandal-prone cofounder of Wikipedia, thinks Barack Obama's first priority should be creating government websites anyone can edit. Translation: A bailout for makers of wikis.

It's worked out well for Wikipedia, after all, having amateurs post Kennedy-killer hoaxes and fake celebrity death reports. And many who have tried to get falsehoods corrected on Wikipedia have run afoul of its tyrannical volunteer editors, who wield rulebooks as skillfully as any government bureaucrat.

Wales thinks that using software that lets anyone edit a webpage will lead to better governance. Except it won't really, he explains:

Don't just throw up a wiki and hope that something miraculous will happen. A successful wiki requires a clear vision, a clear and achievable goal. I think there are great possibilities for the use of wikis to help citizens help each other. I recommend to try and fail, try and fail, try and fail, but to never give up on the objective of the political process becoming more rational and less prone to hidden pressure group agendas.

And he practices what he preaches! Wikia, a for-profit Wikipedia spinoff, is littered with wiki projects Wales has started and abandoned.