General Introduction and Roots of Ekşi Sözlük

General Introduction and Roots of Ekşi Sözlük

This article was written by 矢立美月 @ pixiv

General Introduction

Turkey’s first successful social media networks have arised with “dictionary-based social networks” which are exist since 1999. These networks are known as the oldest and most important examples of Web 2.0 in Turkey.

These are known as “İnteraktif Sözlük (Interactive Dictionary)” and

“Katılımcı Sözlük (Participatory Dictionary)”. 

There is also another known name: “Collaborative Hypertext Dictionary”

This name was used for the first time on December 10, 2003, by a member of Ekşi Sözlük:

 “In English, “collaborative dictionary made with hypertext and found on the WWW (World Wide Web)”.”–784868

The term “collaborative dictionary” mentioned also is defined as 

“the dictionary that is found on the Internet, contributed by a lot of people and where an information it contain is enough to be correct for at least one person, unlike traditional dictionaries.”–784865

[I guess that the term “Collaborative Hypertext Dictionary” has been used to show that these social networks are different from the “Collaborative Hypertext Database” sites  that concentrate mostly on “information only” (for example: wiki sites).]

In fact, this definition of “collaborative dictionary” explains the structure of “dictionary-based social media networks” very well and separates these networks from ordinary dictionaries (translation dictionaries etc.). Usually in ordinary collaborative dictionaries, moderators want the informations which internet users submitted to be correct and don’t contain personal opinions (for example: Reverso’s collaborative dictionary created in 2009). But this case doesn’t happen in dictionary-based social networks: There is a diversity of views among members, they can express their opinions freely and one shared information can support or override the others.

Also, many people can confuse these social networks with “web forums” because many issues about people, places, daily life, agenda etc. can be discussed on collaborative hypertext dictionary sites. 

For example: When there is any event related to COVID-19, a member can create a “title” on this topic and can share any personal opinions with other members and present some evidence if necessary.

However, each shared entry for these discussions should be presented as a “definition” and an entry mustn’t be a “reply” to the shared those before it. This rule shows that these networks are “not forums”.

In other words: “On the dictionary-based social networks, informations and opinions are the heroes of the discussion, not people.”

 A title as a basic example: “person who has never read a book in the coronavirus process”

First entry on this title: “the person who I don’t think he/she will ever read a book again. anyone who has never got a book while everyone is at home and has such an opportunity like this (reading book),  won’t read it any more. a shallow person who does not intend to improve her/him self.”

In addition, there is no limit on how many entries can be shared in a title. Anyone can share as many entries as they wants.

[a title as example: “reading the titles one after the other”, from Uludağ Sözlük. There are more than 30.000 entries exist in this title.]

The first network in this genre is Ekşi Sözlük, founded by Sedat Kapanoğlu on February 15, 1999 as a subcategory of which was a website that takes its name from a famous Portishead song called “Sour Times” and contained humorous posts. This site’s name also reflected the name of Ekşi Sözlük”, means “Sour Dictionary”.

The structure of Ekşi Sözlük designed as “the dictionary form of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

The general structure of collaborative hypertext dictionaries also was shaped according to this form and concepts such as “entry” and “sub-etha” which are exist in the original English version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy started to be used in these dictionaries.