On one level, it's an encyclopedia. On another, it's The Comedy of Errors. Over the weekend, in response to a story from Valleywag, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales used the world's most popular online encyclopedia as a means of dumping his girlfriend - onetime Fox News pundit Rachel Marsden. Marsden responded by …
Sorry, I just had to quote.....
"With his post, Wales also says that none of this should affect the trust you have in him or his encyclopedia. "I care deeply about the integrity of Wikipedia, and take very seriously my responsibilities as a Member of the Board and as a member of the Wikipedia community. I would never knowingly do anything to compromise that trust.""
Does anyone actually HAVE any trust in Wikipedia any more? I was under the impression that it was little better than an online cult these days, run by its "SS" admins.
Ah a faux political commentator , not really the best job description of some one would ever want to boast about ! , should the long overdue winds of change sweep through the nation like a long overdue enema to silence the printing presses paying the bills so as to speak and the boss hogs in the feeding trough !
So far given the current lot in the Faux New York office , one blonde thinks Canada had sent it's army overseas in the sixties to fight in Vietnam and others appear to routinely rewrite history on a regular basis to suit the insane red neck argument of the day (remember the initial false reporting in Florida in 2000 before the official results were from the New York Office or the so called fictional Portland Oregon Riots in 2001 and the doctored news lists pushed out by the Faux Propaganda machine is er well very extensive indeed)
Meanwhile the netizens have submitted numerous clips on the tubes taking apart the crafted propaganda that Faux claims to be the news that is fair and unbalanced and bent as hell it self !
As to who is the Faux Propaganda that purports to political comment or the man that runs the semi netizens reference machine , but please don't ask me because I don't really care either way , nor do I suspect at least more than 42 of your loyal fans do as well !
Say that's a cool idea , a poll with five questions who is winning
b/ the ex
c/ don't really care
d/ it's only more Faux propaganda !
e/ two losers
I think most of the people willing to bid on the t-shirt
will be more interested if Rachel Marsden has washed it after wearing it.
My page on Wiki
I haven't actually got a page there, but if I did, I think sleeping with Jimbo, while apparently effective, is a price I'm not willing to pay in order to get a more positive report!
Paris, because her opinion might differ :-)
To quote Aust. Radio/TV announcerJohn Blackman
"Like meatloaf through a straw... these are the days of our lives"
Having read the article makes me feel all dirty as I haven't felt since I stopped reading my mum's New Idea or Woman's Weekly magazines many decades ago (the latter is actually published monthly for over a decade now here in Aust. but I guess calling it 'Woman's Monthly' was out... then again, considering the severe cramps I get in my frontal lobes from reading the cover at the supermarket checkout.........)
Even my mum gave up reading them long ago.
Please don't do this again. Even the opportunity to to mock-a-pedia is not worth enduring knowledge of these people's tiny tiny lives!
What is it with the Register and Wikipedia?
The Register seems to really dislike Wikipedia. It seems virtually every single article including this one is deliberately negative and invents some irrelevant, baseless or distorted reason to have a go at the site. I have to wonder what the hell Wikipedia did to deserve all this.
Any community edited site is going to have issues but by and large Wikipedia has been an astounding success.
Is there a page on El Reg or (God forbid) WikiPedia
Re. the reason why The Register hates WikiPedia so much, and the reason it continues to put such an effort into it, for those who need to be caught up to speed?
Don't want to be too negative, but really this story makes Reg Towers look like the Hello! - or worse, the Zoo/ Nuts - of the IT world. Yes he's a bit weird, yes his pet project is a bit of a joke/ cynically partial/ has secret plans to take over the world, but really, this kind of gossip is surely beneath El Reg?
Pair of big kids!
I don't care
why do you?
Rachel's wiki entry
Having just read Rachel's wiki entry, I think I would have been tempted to steer well clear!
Only on the interwebs...
Would drama arise over a chick that looks like that...
Making sure white stains
Surely it's extremely unwise to enter into any kind of personal relationship with a journalist or writer; I would have expected more wisdom from someone as sharp as Jimmy Wales.
If I wanted to read Valleywag
I would go and read valleywag, not el reg. (or read BBC news which is nearly as bad these days).
What amazes me is that people are bidding, and well, on ebay for these things...Just goes to prove that you can sell anything on ebay (if you're sad enough).
Well, I think that this falls well within the sociological impact of IT which the Reg should be covering. If you want some puffed up, self important website which religiously regurgitates manufacturer's press releases, there are plenty of alternative outlets.
I value the Reg for its eclectic range of stories, highly subjective analyses of them and generally iconoclastic tone. You don't have to read every story - if you think this one is beneath you, just pass it by.
@ DrXym & AC
Wikipedia is without doubt a huge part of the IT world and one of the most clicked on websites going.
The reason the register keep writing about it DrXym, is that it's a joke. A well known, well published joke and everyone already knows the punchline. If they stopped behaving like a bunch of power-hungry adolescent twats they might attract less negative publicity.
And @ AC, no, I don't agree with your opinion that this is decending towards "hello", this is a valid story with an IT angle that if you can't see than I'd question both your intelligence and your ability to find 'IT' with two hands a flashlight! Hello??? One of the most popular sites innapropriately used for dumping of girlfriend by founder? One of the most famous idiots in IT today acting like a pratt?
It seems the only times I ever post here are in reply to stupid and ill considered comments by other people, if I can't find something original to post myself maybe it's time I got my coat....
It's the black leather one with the bile umbrella!
Funny stuff, this Web 2.0 thingie, really ... Can't dump any chick without it being spilled all over the place ...
Also, as others have noted, I really wonder why Wales, who, as per the article, had read Marsden bio on WP, went into the relationship. He surely knew how it would end up ? Or doesn't he trust WP at all ?
PH icon since it's sex-related.
That's the point
"I would have expected more wisdom from someone as sharp as Jimmy Wales."
If the twit weren't duller than a butter knife, he'd ignored whatever was being said and done the right thing.
So this guy has been going out with this girl for like, a month, and then they broke up. In the course of breaking up some bottom feeding scandal rag has stuck its oar in. It's a bit of a mess and everyone looks a bit foolish.... including The Register for delving into this intrusion into other people's private lives.
All I can see here is the usual complications of getting involved with someone through your work. It happens all the time, it can present difficulties, Wales handled it as well as anyone else would have. How he handles the breakup of a short-term relationship, however, is scarcely anyone else business and we're unlikely to get an unbiased summary from anyone.
Being someone important in Wikipedia doesn't mean you never have a messy love life sometimes. Being someone important in Wikipedia doesn't mean it's everyone's business.
I refer you to the text in the top left corner of the page you are currently reading.
As for inventing "irrelevant, baseless or distorted reason[s] to have a go at the site", if you simply go to a Wikipedia article mentioned on The Register and click the 'discussion' tab, I think you'll find reason in spades.
Here's the bit that matters
He edited articles of the woman he was sleeping with in order to present her more favourably, which is a conflict of interest. The fact that he slept with a semi-famous human female doesn't matter.
One would have thought that preventing conflicts of interest would be important on a site that claims to be the sum total of all human knowledge and the 8th most popular site on the internet but the co-founder has carte blanche to determine content.
A Bad Thing, IMHO.
In what sense did Wales "break up" with her on Wikipedia? How did he do that - where is the page or history? The Wales post linked to is just a comment regarding other gossip, I don't see why this is a "break up" message?
He 'broke up' with her on Wikipedia in the sense that he posted an open comment explainnig his ex-relationship with her. Apparently this was the first time she knew the relationship was over. The comment itself is mentioned in the Register article, and even linked to....
"if you simply go to a Wikipedia article mentioned on The Register and click the 'discussion' tab, I think you'll find reason in spades."
No kidding. It's a fun read. E.g.:
"I suspect a lot of gossip columnists, trash tabs, etc. will disagree. Interesting how the New York Post gossip page is a good enough source for this bio but Jimbo Wales' own statement is not. The credibility of Wikipedia has sunk through the floor. 188.8.131.52 (talk) 20:40, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
It isn't even relevant. A statement published on wikipedia is not a good source for someone else's biography on wikipedia. It'll be in the register soon enough. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 21:56, 2 March 2008 (UTC)"
So I suppose that means that El Reg *is* considered a "good source". Bravo!
it could have been worse
... He could have posted "I did not have sex with Rachel Marsden."
That, combined with "white stains" would have been hilarious, indeed. It seems Jimbo didn't learn Clinton's lesson...
"The reason the register keep writing about it DrXym, is that it's a joke. A well known, well published joke and everyone already knows the punchline. If they stopped behaving like a bunch of power-hungry adolescent twats they might attract less negative publicity."
You call it a joke. The vast majority would call it an astonishing example of what you can accomplish through cooperative research and development. Is it perfect? Of course not? Does it contain mistakes? Yes of course it does. Does it deserve valid criticism? Absolutely. Does it deserve one baseless and negative rant from the Reg after another? No way.
I really don't get your hate for the site or why you might consider the people who run it "power hungry". Unless you think someone is "power hungry" for moderating vandalism, incomprehensible gibberish, reverting emotive / non-NPOV comments, or correcting a million and 1 other errors. Such a site doesn't moderate itself and relies on volunteers. It is a meritocracy. If you don't like the way it works, you are free to volunteer your time and effort to do it some other way.
If anything, Wikipedia seems to have attracted such hate precisely because it is such a powerful tool. Egos get bruised as contentious changes are reverted. I just wonder why the Reg is so annoyed by the site.
Gents, how many among us have also left items of clothing behind following a regrettable encounter? This woman is frightening and it's obvious that JW was just another to make The Getaway. I'm sure she's used to it by now.
Not up to the quality I have come to expect of The Register...
...but, as with Wikipedia and a number of other sites I visit, entertaining and/or informative a fair amount of the time is good enough for me.
Out of curiosity, I just ambled over to Wikipedia to peruse their entry on The Register, which gets a much fairer shake than Wikipedia does here.
And once again, why pillory the somewhat open editorial apparatus of Wikipedia when no transparency or accountability is demanded of the "professional" news media, let alone the ability to contribute content? What antidote is there to concentration of media ownership other than wikis and blogs? And is it not to be expected that some wikis will bulk larger than others in the scheme of things?
"Such a site doesn't moderate itself and relies on volunteers. It is a meritocracy. If you don't like the way it works, you are free to volunteer your time and effort to do it some other way."
The point is that it's not a meritocracy. A meritocracy is where those who are better-informed and more intelligent rise; Wikipedia's system for rising is whether other Wikipedians agree with you, and you are unemployed/a kid, and so have lots of time to devote to altering articles.
If it were a meritocracy, then it wouldn't be an encyclopaedia that anyone can edit, because some people are idiots.
Is Rachel Marsden anybody?
Or just some body? I don't want to wiki (obviously) neither can I be arsed to google.
Logical fallacy of an appeal to an imagined majority aside, I'd like to comment on:
"It is a meritocracy"
which is untrue. It is a whoever-has-the-most-time-on-their-hands-to-edit-ocracy.
To put it another way: Professors have less time to edit the big ball o' fun than their students. There are also fewer professors than students, which compounds the problem. I'll agree that it is astonishing, even that it is a success, at least for those who make money through it. None of that adds to its value as an encyclopedia, which is what it claims to be.
And the idea that "if you can't beat them, join them" doesn't address this. To focus on the point of this article, why would anyone start editing, knowing that Mr Wikipedia can simply overide you if he so fancies?
Wikipedia is promoted as a replacement for traditional encyclopaedias and reference sources.
While a great accomplishment and a rather useful tool for dilettantes and lazy students, it does suffer from some serious issues which mean that it should not be trusted as an authoritative source (although as a source for facts which must then be checked, it's great).
This sort of gossip, while in isolation is better suited to the trashier supermarket tabloids, highlights these serious political issues which undermine the credibility of Wikipedia and therefore the Register is justified in publishing it.
(In fact, I'm mainly here because of el Reg's cynical, suspicious analysis of Web 2.0 puffery)
Are you by any chance a Wikipedia editor!?
Wikipedia. Fox news.
Is there a moral high ground somewhere in here?
We need an icon....
called "Why Wiki?" for all the whiners who don't want to see Wikipedia on El Reg. And while we're at it can we get a Jimbo with horns?
You can't parade as a blogsite to dump your woman on, then switch to being an encyclopaedia, then revert to being a possibly inncurate hive kinda-sorta reference material whenever you feel like. It's this sort of wishy washy, can't make up our damn mind nonsense that makes me wish for Wikipedia's non-existence.
I don't want to wake up someday and have to encorporate the Wikipedia search into our corporate portal because some yuk-yuk named Jimbo has come up with enough whalesong to validate Wikipedia's place in the list of useful Web 2.0 utilities.
So please continue to bash Wikipedia and drum up as much bad publicity as possible.
<come back later -too busy laughing/>
HAT HAT HAT
I'm sorry, Penalty kick awarded for use of annoyingly (and increasinly) irrelevant cult term: "non-NPOV".
Uh-oh. You better run, Jimmy.
Oh, Jimmy?! *Rachel Marsden??!!*
If you have a pet rabbit that is not boiling in a pot right now, please, get it to a safe spot. Word to the wise and all that.
There are many well-formed accurate and enjoyable pieces on Wikipedia and the fact that some of you attribute these to less intelligent individuals with too much time on their hands would be probably quite insulting to those intelligent individuals that wrote them.
Ironically, they are probably not at all concerned with your petty, IDLE, remarks, preferring instead to concentrate on providing a source of easily accessible helpful information.
Sure it's not perfect, but here's a newsflash, neither is humanity.
Tch, people in glass houses
If The Register considers Wikipedia to be so malformed and irrelevant, then why does it expend such negative energy on it? Sure it's fine to poke a bit of fun, that's what I love about ElReg, but rarely does an organisation or concept get shot down in such flames here.
Spose I'll put it down to everyone having their own bug-bear and needing to vent once in a while.
Or "who doesn't get it?"
That Wales and the top admins go and alter or have altered Wikipedia entries in a way favorable to them or those close to them, is no sensation. It has happened before, it happens now, it will happen again.
So what point does the current piece serve? We witness another testimonial of the Wikipedian's ability to perceive only a fragmented reality. They do not see that this is not about a man breaking up with a woman and doing so in a not so nice way, but how this man used his position to achieve a means through breaking the very rules he himself set up.
And there you go. We again see how Wikipedia is by its followers treated like a religion, as the only other instances of people being able to see reality in such a distorted way are where irrationality, religiousness and superstitiousness come into play.
In other words: You know how biased religion can be, therefore once more be reminded of how biased any information on Wikipedia can be.
In the words of the prophet....
..."Those in glass houses should not make love with the lights on !!"
It is astounding the number of times that self-publicists complain about the negative publicity they have generated !!
People talking about wiki bashing are missing the point
Yes, of course it ain't perfect. The question is, what does it do about it's imperfections?
And in this case, I do _NOT_ mean "low quality articles", I mean how does it handle disputes, conflicts, etc.
And the answer, for a site promoting the hell out of its egalitarianism is, not very well. It seems to me to be insanely cliquey in its upper levels, and any time certain especially favoured or reviled people are involved in conflicts, any notion of consitency and impartiality goes out the window. This goes double for Jimbo, who practices classic hit-and-run management style ( http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2006/08/08.html )
The Register tends to pick on anything popular.
They hate Windows and Microsoft. Generally they pick on Google. They used to like Apple but now that they are popular they dislike Apple and the iPhone.
Paris because she gets picked on because she is popular too.
PS if you think she is the innocent party suggest you read up about her past history in Canada , the photos in the article show a small part of her true nature !
Given the misery she dealt out in Canada , poor jimbo he is really in for it big time !
Have you been taking writing lessons from aManFromMars? Or jsut taking whatever he's taking?
"The fact that he slept with a semi-famous human female doesn't matter."
Considering the judgment exercised by Wales (the Jimbo fellow, not the country) in the past, I think we should all be grateful that his paramour was human.
@ Mad Hacker
"They hate Windows and Microsoft"
As a techie who is paid to maintain the swill published by the Great Satan of Redmond, I hate Windows and Microsoft, as well. Familiarity with a contemptible culture breeds contempt. Windows and Microsoft deserve to be hated.
Or, as the shrink tells me, "the fact that you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.