Crowdsourcing Lessons of the Recession

The Museum of American Finance today unveiled a Wikipedia-inspired site called Recessipedia that intends to build a personal/factual history of the current recession based on input from, well, anybody.

As Peter McKay explains in the Wall Street Journal:

Like Wikipedia, Recessipedia will have community-generated encyclopedia entries on key players in the crisis, such as Lehman Brothers and the Federal Deposit Insurance Co. However, it will also invite personal testimonials about the recession from traders, investors, executives, government officials, and the public, with participants allowed to make submissions under pseudonyms.

Pseudonyms. Those should augur well for rational discourse, especially when GoNRAFreedomLovingSocialistHater exchanges views with DeathToCapitalistsAndCorporations.

Fortunately, according to the WSJ, while arguing will be allowed, libel will not. (Here’s a little jump-ball for all you Internet entrepreneurs, courtesy of yours truly: libelpedia is available — .com, .net and .org. Just remember me when it’s time for friends-and-family shares.)

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The Recessipedia site is well-designed and highlights a featured article and a featured personal story side by side. As I look at the site the featured article is about “predatory lending practices” while the personal story is from a finance executive (hold off on the boos; this is going in a different direction) whose daughter was sucked into being a subprime borrower, or NINJA (No Income, No Job or Assets).

Since the site is brand new, there are only a couple of testimonials (the other is by BondGuy) and seven articles. It’ll be interesting to see how Recessipedia develops. Personally, I’m anxiously awaiting Recoverypedia.

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