An era where decentralization is leading every field of technology, encyclopedia is also looking way to follow the trend. Recent news show that Wikipedia’s rival, Everipedia has launched decentralized encyclopedia on eos blockchain.
Everipedia particularly joined hands with eos because eos has aimed to become a decentralized operating system thus making itself an ideal platform for Everipedia. In the past when Everipedia wasn’t running on blockchain technology, the founder and CEO of Everipedia, Theodor Forselius criticized the way Wikipedia was running operations. According to him, the criteria adhered to publish articles and allow only certain number of writers to use platform wasn’t just. So, the need to end this problem led him to work on a solution i.e Everipedia encyclopedia on eos blockchain. He said:
Essentially, a doctor from the 1800s that gets five searches a month on Google could have a Wikipedia article….But bloggers, social media stars and up-and-coming rappers that are getting hundreds of thousands of searches a month were not seen as notable enough.
Everipedia is built to make sure that government doesn’t interfere in the publications and the contributions of the writers. That’s why the data is not stored on a single server and hence distributed all over network so that a single person in not able to modify the data. Moreover, consensus is needed by many users to allow changes in the data. For the implementation purposes, Everipedia is using Inter Planetary File System (IPFS) technology. Explaining the working behind the improvisation of idea;
All articles currently being created by our users on the newly launched network are already stored on the blockchain through IPFS….That means anyone can take an IPFS domain and re-host the articles, making the content on the network virtually un-censorable by government censors.
Besides this, Everipedia is managing the quality and control of the content published on the platform by introducing a new IQ token for editors, writers etc. Writers and editors will be awarded IQ tokens, depending on the services they provide. Their contributions will be ultimately objectified in terms of quality by the ratings given by users. In this way, they will be economically compensated for their work depending on its quality and will be kept motivated further to contribute more useful content. In addition to this, with token system, the concept of donations and advertising will be fought and removed completely from the encyclopedia.
In contrast to one co-founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales views on blockchain, the involvement of another co-founder of Wikipedia, Dr. Larry Sanger, with the Everipedia has made the news even bigger than it was. He is serving as Everipedia’s chief information officer (CIO) and has been helping the company by sharing his vision on it and pointing out the flaws that existed in existing encyclopedia such as Wikipedia. He explained the reason behind joining Everipedia.
The biggest problem with online information today is that it is centralized and controlled by a very few players, that it benefits to have the most salacious and hype-ridden information. We can do much better.
He further added that decentralized network was necessary so more intellectual people could contribute the content who were not able to do so before while coping with the limitations of regulations and rules. He said;
We need a much wider variety of people to feel comfortable about contributing. Instead of about 10,000 contributors—that’s my estimate of the number of active Wikipedians—a more open, decentralized network will be able to organize the labor of millions of intellectuals from around the world.
He later explained the benefit of decentralized network in bringing the data from other encyclopedias and allowing users with different options on same topic. He also endorsed the rating system in helping users do judge the quality of articles before giving it a read. He stated:
Because the network is decentralized, the network will bring together articles from multiple encyclopedias, not just Everipedia. It will be possible to have different articles on the same topic, and we will eventually have a rating system that will make it possible for people to find different articles on the same topics, rated by different categories of people, groups, and experts.
At the moment, Wikipedia is offering almost 43 million pages dealing with about 136 million users. Whereas, Everipedia has long way to meet with the popularity of Wikipedia with its 6 million pages managing 2.3 million unique users. Despite this, Sanger believes in the potential of blockchain and its revolutionizing power to implement his vision. As evident from his statement:
The vision that I have for the next stage of the evolution of encyclopedias is what this team is implementing….It opens up so many doors when information is truly decentralized and offered in a protocol such as blockchain.