Spontaneous Order on Wikipedia

August 25th, 2011

Within mere minutes of the Earthquake the other day, the Wikipedia Community created a page discussing the earthquake.

He typed: “The 2011 Virginia earthquake was a magnitude 5.8 earthquake with an epicenter near Mineral, Virginia.” He footnoted a link to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Duran’s one-sentence article went up at 2:03 p.m. The USGS timed the earthquake at 1:51. Within the next 20 minutes, 30 more Wikipedians chimed in, adding and subtracting sentences. By late Wednesday afternoon, hundreds of tweaks and fixes had been made to the article, which now printed out at 71 / pages.

It had been viewed more than 80,000 times.

No one told them to do anything. Purely spontaneous. You could say that the invisible hand really *shook* them into action!