26 posts • joined 8 Jan 2008
Jimbo Wales and his usual quarter-truths
"When I started Wikipedia, I didn’t have a concern for a business model..." Oh, Jimbo -- you didn't start Wikipedia, Dr. Larry Sanger did. He's the one who asked you to install the wiki freeware; he's the one who named it "Wikipedia"; and he's the one who issued the first public call for participation on the project. As for not having a concern for a business model, is that why Jimbo publicly announced in March 2002 the following about Wikipedia?
"Just as the National Geographic Society is supported in large part by advertisments in the National Geographic Magazine, I expect this to be a potentially necessary thing at some point in the future, if we wish to have an impact beyond our own little corner of the Internet. (And, I think we all do.)"
You can tell when Jimmy Wales is fibbing, when his lips are moving.
Jimmy Wales = socialite
Orlowski has finally nailed down an accurate title for Jimmy Wales. He's not an entrepreneur. He's not a technologist. He's not even really a "former currency trader". He is a SOCIALITE. He is fond of social activity and attention, and not much else. It is the perfect label.
Jimbo's giving the same speech he gave years ago
For those of us who follow Jimmy Wales' various public speaking tours (it's kind of a game, to spot how many different lies he can tell in one speech), it's very clear that this recent RSA conference talk is the very same thematic discussion that he was delivering as far back as 2010. He's like a broken record at this point. Why host him live? Just throw up an old TED or Wikimania talk of his on the video screen, and save some money.
Will the sheep still donate to the Wikimedia Foundation?
It's refreshing to see the media giving this scandal the ample coverage that it deserves. Year after year, unsuspecting donors chip in $10, $25, $50, and more to support the Wikimedia Foundation, on the premise that without money, Wikipedia might have to shut down. We'll in actuality, the WMF is spending on program services only 46 cents of every dollar it receives. The rest is wasted on overhead, "staff" members who look for things to do on top of the thousands of volunteers who are really keeping Wikipedia alive.
Anyway, one thing I always am amused by -- because it is so predictable -- is this culture of denial and cover-up when the insider corruption at Wikipedia goes public. In fact, I wrote a news piece that carefully exposes the "denial" and the "cover-up" phases, with convenient links to every under-handed action of the True Believers. If you'd like to read: http://www.examiner.com/article/cover-up-begins-wikipedia-s-gibraltar-scandal
Great work, media -- keep up the pressure on Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation. There's plenty more just waiting for even a modestly-talented investigative reporter.
Errors in this coverage
Myslewski seems to have made a few mistakes with this article. First, Jimmy Wales didn't "found" Wikipedia. He's not the "founder". Wales founded a mistake of an encyclopedia project called Nupedia. Dr. Larry Sanger pushed to Wales the idea of an openly-edited wiki to help save Nupedia. Sanger named this new project Wikipedia. Sanger issued the first public call for participation on Wikipedia. And Sanger worked for the first year of Wikipedia's existence, hammering out policies and guidelines that are still in place today.
Second, a donation to the Wikimedia Foundation, though it may feel good, is mostly going toward waste. According to the Form 990 filed by the WMF to the IRS, only 46 cents of every donated dollar actually get targeted to the program services that fulfill the non-profit's mission. Other legitimate educational non-profits strive for ratios of 75%, 80%, 85%, or higher. This donation is not really to be applauded until the WMF can demonstrate that they're going to get serious about not wasting everyone's money any more.
What an abstract!
Ah, I see in her abstract:
"..a detailed case study where student were (sic) required to produce research for Wikipedia..."
I can't wait for the whole enchilada. Sounds like a rigorous study, indeed.
Sorry that I have reservations about the process of "outsourcing" to Wikipedia the traditional educator oversight of student's quality of research and writing. But, you miss the point of my "outburst". You mention "her initial findings". Where are these findings? They were not posted on the Congress 2011's website, she has not responded to an e-mail request for the findings, and the Congress 2011's administrative assistant said that she would try to help expedite delivery of the findings, but that hasn't seemed to pan out, either. To me, this sounds like a press release that overstates the actual "evaluation" that took place. Hmm... freshly-minted PhD discovers new way that will reduce her time interacting with students' research papers, resulting in fewer professional hours spent grading assignments, more time issuing press releases and attending conferences. There's no chance that this study's just a wee bit biased, "copsewood"?
Where's the study?
Two days ago, I asked Dr. Gray to share the methodology and results of her study. I would like to see whether or not she employed any sort of blind test/control methodology, or whether she biased the project by anticipating an outcome then looking for confirmation through her observations and her observations alone. There was no evidence on the conference website that she presented anything to the conference. She has not replied to me. An administrative assistant at the conference also said that she would look into getting me the study report, and I'm still waiting. Invariably, these breathless Wikipedia-related studies seem to be conducted by "true believers", with little attention to whether their mode and methodology will align with reality.
Way to go The Grump
I liked how you spelled "religeon" and "obcessed" and "baning". Thanks for proving my point. Law-abiding taxpayers, for the most part, aren't commenting or thumb-voting here, because they have jobs to go to and families to raise, and they wouldn't want to BOTHER debating people who are afraid of "religeon".
Sorry you're unable to "get" this
The problem is that there is no level of child protection on either end.
On the upload end, photos of children in compromised situations and poses are uploaded frequently, and even if they are "deleted", they are still available to volunteer administrators -- some of whom are... wait for it... children!
On the user/viewer end, Wikipedia's trustees often tout the usefulness of Wikipedia in schools. I have heard Jimmy Wales say that he's happy to hear if 10- or 12-year-olds are "just doing research" that might include a stop at Wikipedia. Well, I for one don't want the 10- to 12-year-old kids in my school district that my property taxes pay for "researching" this at their school library:
Thumb me down all you want, you Free Culture types with no kids and no jobs and no substantial tax contributions to your governments.
Wikimedia is tax-exempt porn server
Here's what most of the comments seem to be missing. If you look at the top 25 most-viewed images on Wikimedia Commons, they are not "made-up drawings", and many of them are themed as such:
5 Category:Shaved genitalia (female) 231062 views
6 Category:Vulva 204043
11 Penis 129794
12 Category:Female genitalia 115613
13 Category:Ejaculation 107525
14 Category:Sex positions 107061
16 Category:Vagina 98422
17 Category:Erotic 95543
18 Category:Oral sex 92525
19 Category:Masturbation 92416
21 Category:Penis 90955
22 Category:Female masturbation 85930
23 Category:Sex 84217
25 Category:Male masturbation 77042
The evidence clearly indicates that what Commons is, is a porn gallery server. Why is it that my government allows Google, Omidyar Network, Hewlett Foundation, Stanton Foundation, and Sloan Foundation to ENJOY A TAX BREAK when they donate money to this particular porn gallery? The fact that the Wikimedia Foundation is allowed to operate as a 501-c-3 "charity" makes me puke a little in my mouth.
My experience with online venom
Back in 2006, the co-founder of a popular website publicly announced that my approach to the site (one he had helped shape) was “deeply unethical and inappropriate”, and he deleted an article that I had authored. Even though it wasn’t written for payment, and the subject company wasn’t even aware of the article, the co-founder mistakenly assumed it was paid content and thusly labeled it “corporate spam”. Then he indefinitely blocked my user account on the popular website, so that it could not edit any more. Some hours later, the co-founder returned to the popular website to further blast my article, calling it a “travesty of NPOV [neutral point of view]” and “corporate fluff”.
It took him about two years to finally work up the courage to publicly apologize to me for how poorly he handled the situation, but he continued on being a prick to many others besides me.
The website? Wikipedia. The prickly co-founder? Jimmy Wales.
Judd Bagley is a genius
I'm sure glad Judd Bagley is on my side, serving on the board of directors of the non-profit Internet Review Corporation (publisher of Akahele.org), and not working against me. Dang, what that guy can do with simple hacks!
Once again -- the Wikimedia Foundation enjoys the benefits of a volunteer theif
Like worker bees, the Wikipediot volunteers take copyrighted material, chew it up in their little bee mouths, carry it back to the Hive, then spit it out in freely-licensed form onto Wikipedia. And then they expect us to applaud them and pay more money into their little Foundation that already is guilty of spending only 31.6% of incoming revenue on actual program services.
Soon, they will agonize about how all the quality copyrighted content seems to be disappearing (newspapers going out of business, talented musicians being drowned by Hannah Montana CDs, etc.).
I hope somebody goes to 39 Stillman Street in San Francisco and gives Sue Gardner the berating diatribe she deserves.
While the Wikipedia drones have swarmed in to "protect their own" and have deleted David Boothroyd's encyclopedia article, they seem to forget that it was released to the public under the terms of the GFDL open license. Therefore, the article is bound to show up somewhere else on the Internet.
Indeed, it already has:
Told ya so...
Strange. I said from Day One that Wikia Search would not work, because its leader isn't reliable and transparent.
In fact, my letter to the editor of Fast Company appeared in the second issue after the "Google Killer" claptrap cover story.
I got called a "troll", for being right. Once again.
Maybe people will start listening to me now?
A little Akahele goes a long way
A very enthusiastic "hooray" for a piece like this, showcasing the efforts of James Harkin.
A tiny "boo" for the several typographic mistakes found throughout the piece.
And a modest plug of my own for the new non-profit-backed blog, Akahele.org, that will be taking on issues similar to those raised by Harkin, on a week-to-week basis. We hope you'll continue these conversations with us at Akahele (a Hawaiian word meaning the opposite of 'wiki').
Conflict of Interest was crafted for me
Come on, Cade -- how could you mention that the Conflict of Interest policy was drafted in October 2006, without even mentioning that it was the SAME MONTH that Jimbo banned MyWikiBiz from editing Wikipedia.
I was the CAUSE of the Conflict of Interest policy!
Your readers want to know things like that.
Arf arf arf!
The canine community honors your work, Cade!
Things will change
When I win the open WMF Board seat, I promise that things will change in San Francisco. Yes, I'm actually running.
Representative governing body factor
Go ahead, search Google on the phrase "Representative governing body factor" and IRS Publication 557 won't be far behind. Then, you can learn that for an organization to claim "public support", it should be mindful of the following:
PUBLIC SUPPORT includes:
Direct or indirect contributions from the general public, including contributions from an individual, trust or corporation, but only to the extent that the total contributions from such individual, trust or corporation, during the 4-year period immediately before the current tax year (or substituted computation period) are not more than 2% of the organization's TOTAL SUPPORT for the same period.
I'm not sure how $1.3 million is going to be 2% of the Wikimedia Foundation's four-year total support, unless 2008 sees a $59 million grass-roots fund-drive MIRACLE. Not likely!
Not to worry, though. I'm sure Jimbo and his accountant Michael E. Davis (yeah, the guy who was found by an Illinois court to owe over $800,000 to a jilted investment partner) have figured out a way to make this all appear to be "gentle, loving" support from a disinterested philanthropist. Move along, now. Get back to writing Jimbo's encyclopedia, everyone. Don't you worry about the financial authenticity of the Foundation.
Flat out lie
I have an e-mail from Jimmy Wales that says, "You did flatly lie." I've asked him three or four times to demonstrate what he's even talking about, and although he's had enough time to respond to me three times that he's "looking into it" and that he'll "hope to respond soon" (not to mention enough time to exert himself for 24 hours in a Washington DC Doubletree), I've still not received any explanation of this statement of his. I must therefore conclude that his statement is a lie. Ironic, isn't it?
Another good article, Mr. Metz.. but you're preaching to the choir now.
MyWikiBiz is reborn
I'm the founder of the MyWikiBiz mentioned tangentially in the article. We've relaunched the whole MyWikiBiz biz -- now it's a wiki directory devoted to everything Wikipedia would call "non-notable". And the subjects of the real-world article topics get the final say in what their article says about themselves.
Visit MyWikiBiz.com, if you're interested.
Why didn't Cade Metz interview me for this article? :-(
It took them over a year to produce THIS?
I recall the first press releases for Wikia Search rolling out back in December 2006. This is what 13 months of low-paid labor got us?
Anybody remember Jimbo's other wildly successful project -- Openserving.com? How is that one coming along now?
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