Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, February 27, 2021

Despite being greased by some of that good ol’ John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation funding, the Encyclopedia of Life, a megawebsite which aims to set up a page on every single species great and small, ironically died upon birth yesterday. The site’s servers couldn’t keep up with all the traffic, and organizers are scrambling for advice on scalability.

By the nature of the site’s intended content, they’re definitely going to need it:

Tuesday’s unveiling included limited Web pages for 30,000 species. There are also “exemplar pages” that go into more depth with photos, video, scientific references, maps and text of 25 species ranging from the common potato to the majestic peregrine falcon to a relatively newly discovered obscure marine single celled organism called Cafeteria roenbergensis. Eventually, planners hope to have all 1.8 million species on the Web and already have set up 1 million placeholder pages.

I assume there’ll be no ads, so good luck keeping the grant money flowing. I’m also leery about them looking at a Wikipedia model, especially for non-professional content contributions.

I don’t think the eggheads behind this site have a clue as to how the modern-day Web actually works — maybe their ivory-tower perspective is that it’s still largely a benign academic hangout, without all the mass-market input and persistent malware attacks.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 02/27/2008 08:17 AM
Category: Internet, Science
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