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MidFlip vs. Wikipedia

(A love letter)

Wikipedia, we love you.

Please think of us (MidFlip) as your younger brother. We are a bit more social, easy-going, and type-b. We don’t want to tread on your toes! You keep doing you. We think your goal is amazing. “The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit!” Awesome.

We are here to do something a little different. While you are based on the encyclopedia, we model ourselves on the Greek Forum. A sometimes-rowdy place, for eloquent speeches and democratic debates.

What does this mean? Well, a number of things.

At Wikipedia, your topics may be something like: “Cats”, “Artificial Intelligence”, and “Avatar: The Last Airbender”. At MidFlip, the titles of our topics sound a bit more exciting, informal, and specific. For example, “How to Train Your Cat”, “Artificial Intelligence: Predicting the next 5 years”, and “Zuko’s character arc in Avatar: The Last Airbender”. Besides the titles, our texts also feel… different… well I’ll just say it… we want entertaining text! We believe that, just as a good teacher entertains us to keep our attention, a good article should captivate us in order to better teach. At MidFlip, we allow for videos and images and anything else that will help with comprehension. Now, I know big brother, what you are going to say. That this will allow for more bias. That a neutral voice is required. That we are playing with fire. Well, you are probably right! But we (MidFlip) are not an Encyclopedia. We are a democratic forum. We make it clear that we are not promising the truth. Instead, we allow all sides to make their case, and we push those sides to continually be more sophisticated and eloquent in their arguments.

How does it work? You may ask. Well, like you, Wikipedia, our topics can be edited by anyone! But we have a different way of doing this. As you know, we are kind of rebellious. We don’t like hierarchies of people determining what is true. So, we hold democratic votes on whether edits should be accepted. These votes work as follows. For each topic, we have a champ text that represents the topic. Each week, people can submit rival texts. Rival text’s can be the exact same as the champ text, except for some small improvement. For example, a new image or video or sentence. If by the end of the week, the rival text has more votes than the champ text, then it becomes the new champ, and the improvement is kept! In this simple way, our topics are continually updated.

That sounds chaotic, you may say… I think we have had this argument before. I’ll remind you that autocrats call free-speech and democracy chaotic. Perhaps embracing some level of chaos is healthy, as long as we generally iterate in a good direction. Besides, we have thought of and implemented many systems that mitigate trolls and echo-chambers:

see

here

And yes, we style ourselves as a social media site. Big brother, we know you are not a fan of this. But times change. How can we represent societies views on topics, if society does not interact with us? Our social media design encourages use and interaction. We do not want to be a site that people only visit when they have a homework question. We want people of all walks of life to use our platform happily and easily on a regular basis. Besides have you seen other social media platforms? Perhaps this space needs a good player with a new idea.

We love you, Wikipedia. Keep making the world a better place. We have big boots to fill if we are ever to truly compare to you. We wish you good luck in your journey to construct an orderly narrative of the world. When you have time, pay us a visit. We will be here in our democratic forum: MidFlip. Embracing chaotic creativity and debate, in the pursuit of intelligent social discussions.

MidFlip is driven to constantly improve. Give us a direction! Give feedback or ask questions here: [email protected]