MyWikiBiz

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MyWikiBiz

Jimmy Wales
I just got off the phone with MyWikiBiz and reached what I think is a
very favorable agreement about this sort of thing.

The big problem with paid editing on wikipedia is NOT that someone is
getting paid to write, but rather that this causes a rather obvious
conflict of interest and appearance of impropriety.  This was my
problem, and they immediately saw why this was not in our interest or
theirs.

Rather, what we brainstormed about as a nice mutually beneficial ground
would be for them to charge customers for writing high quality NPOV
articles about their companies, with sources and verifiability, but for
them to work with well known and respected wikipedians who are NOT being
financially compensated to actually enter the articles into Wikipedia
upon their own independent judgment.  This will avoid, for MyWikiBiz, a
lot of sad fighting with us which is likely to be ugly and unproductive
all around.

This preserves our independence as a volunteer editing body, while at
the same time supporting the creation of high quality NPOV content.  I
am very pleased with this idea.--~~~~


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Re: MyWikiBiz

Dabljuh-2
On Wed, 09 Aug 2006 14:58:44 -0400
Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:

> (stuff)

So what is the agreement?
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Re: MyWikiBiz

Erik Moeller-3
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales
On 8/9/06, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
> This preserves our independence as a volunteer editing body, while at
> the same time supporting the creation of high quality NPOV content.  I
> am very pleased with this idea.--~~~~

Damnit, Jimmy, you can't just copy and paste stuff from talk pages to
the mailing list. That signature trick doesn't work here .. yet ;-)

Erik
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Re: MyWikiBiz

Jimmy Wales
In reply to this post by Dabljuh-2
Dabljuh wrote:
> On Wed, 09 Aug 2006 14:58:44 -0400
> Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>  
>> (stuff)
>>    
>
> So what is the agreement?
>  
He agreed not to edit Wikipedia articles when he is being paid to write
by the subject of the article, and to help the companies he works with
understand that it is probably not a great idea for them to edit their
own articles as well.  He will write articles and post them on his own
site, under the GNU FDL, and to ask trusted prominent and independent
Wikipedians to add the articles, on their own independent judgments of
the merits of the articles.


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Re: MyWikiBiz

Dabljuh-2
On Wed, 09 Aug 2006 15:38:24 -0400
Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:

> He agreed not to edit Wikipedia articles when he is being paid to write
> by the subject of the article, and to help the companies he works with
> understand that it is probably not a great idea for them to edit their
> own articles as well.  He will write articles and post them on his own
> site, under the GNU FDL, and to ask trusted prominent and independent
> Wikipedians to add the articles, on their own independent judgments of
> the merits of the articles.

So in essence, you talked him out of editing Wikipedia?
That is incredible! I understand this was basically his business model
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Re: MyWikiBiz

Anthony DiPierro
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales
On 8/9/06, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Rather, what we brainstormed about as a nice mutually beneficial ground
> would be for them to charge customers for writing high quality NPOV
> articles about their companies, with sources and verifiability, but for
> them to work with well known and respected wikipedians who are NOT being
> financially compensated to actually enter the articles into Wikipedia
> upon their own independent judgment.

How will the author attribution and grant of license work?

Anthony
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Re: MyWikiBiz

Ed Sanders
In reply to this post by Dabljuh-2
Dabljuh wrote:

> On Wed, 09 Aug 2006 15:38:24 -0400
> Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> He agreed not to edit Wikipedia articles when he is being paid to write
>> by the subject of the article, and to help the companies he works with
>> understand that it is probably not a great idea for them to edit their
>> own articles as well.  He will write articles and post them on his own
>> site, under the GNU FDL, and to ask trusted prominent and independent
>> Wikipedians to add the articles, on their own independent judgments of
>> the merits of the articles.
>
> So in essence, you talked him out of editing Wikipedia?
> That is incredible! I understand this was basically his business model
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>
His business model still works if the material he writes get used on
Wikipedia - the agreement just means now he won't upload it unless we
approve it first... as far as I understand it.
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Re: MyWikiBiz

Jim-60
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales
On 8/9/06, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dabljuh wrote:
> > On Wed, 09 Aug 2006 14:58:44 -0400
> > Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> (stuff)
> >>
> > So what is the agreement?
> >
> He agreed not to edit Wikipedia articles when he is being paid to write
> by the subject of the article, and to help the companies he works with
> understand that it is probably not a great idea for them to edit their
> own articles as well.  He will write articles and post them on his own
> site, under the GNU FDL, and to ask trusted prominent and independent
> Wikipedians to add the articles, on their own independent judgments of
> the merits of the articles.


>From what I understand on another thread, MyWikiBiz was committed to
producing neutral articles. And would only do so under the MyWikiBiz
username. I, personally, liked the idea of the edits being entered by
MyWikiBiz - that way they could be tracked openly and checked using the user
contributions feature. Having an anonymous editor input the information into
wikipedia seems more likely to result in articles that are not neutral.

I can see some benefit in that trolls would target articles created by
MyWikiBiz for deletion and other crap - but that seems outweighed by the
benefit that many users would also be able to quickly identify the articles
submitted by MyWikiBiz and would seek to protect wikipedia's reputation and
make sure our policies are followed. They could only do this if there is
transparency in submitting material.

*Is the feeling that being paid to write articles for wikipedia is against
community standards in general.* What if a wikipedian submitted a grant to a
govt agency or non-profit to edit/contribute x amount of information to
articles around a specific topic? I can see this as being a huge benefit to
wikipedia and to our goal to preserve knowledge by creating a high-quality
comprehensive encyclopedia.

For example, I could see the following as having great benefit:
http://www.foodsovereignty.org issues a grant to write on locating water
sources, low-water agriculture, high temperature yields, etc.
http://www.eere.energy.gov/ issues a grant to write on alternative energy
sources -
http://nationalzoo.si.edu/default.cfm issues a grant to write on a specific
list of endangered animals
...
of course there could be harm as well
http://www.nnsa.doe.gov/ issues a grant to make sure specific information is
deleted from articles on nuclear power and to promote non-proliferation
http://www.ispu.us/pages/reports/2855/articleDetailPB.html issues a grant to
influence the articles on islam, christianity, etc.

For all these open acknowledgement of the finanicial relationship and
transparency is a better protection for our neutralilty standards, IMHO.

Jim
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Re: MyWikiBiz

scottl-2
Jim wrote:

> On 8/9/06, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Dabljuh wrote:
>>> On Wed, 09 Aug 2006 14:58:44 -0400
>>> Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>>> (stuff)
>>>>
>>> So what is the agreement?
>>>
>> He agreed not to edit Wikipedia articles when he is being paid to write
>> by the subject of the article, and to help the companies he works with
>> understand that it is probably not a great idea for them to edit their
>> own articles as well.  He will write articles and post them on his own
>> site, under the GNU FDL, and to ask trusted prominent and independent
>> Wikipedians to add the articles, on their own independent judgments of
>> the merits of the articles.
>
>
>>From what I understand on another thread, MyWikiBiz was committed to
> producing neutral articles. And would only do so under the MyWikiBiz
> username. I, personally, liked the idea of the edits being entered by
> MyWikiBiz - that way they could be tracked openly and checked using the user
> contributions feature. Having an anonymous editor input the information into
> wikipedia seems more likely to result in articles that are not neutral.
>
> I can see some benefit in that trolls would target articles created by
> MyWikiBiz for deletion and other crap - but that seems outweighed by the
> benefit that many users would also be able to quickly identify the articles
> submitted by MyWikiBiz and would seek to protect wikipedia's reputation and
> make sure our policies are followed. They could only do this if there is
> transparency in submitting material.
>
> *Is the feeling that being paid to write articles for wikipedia is against
> community standards in general.* What if a wikipedian submitted a grant to a
> govt agency or non-profit to edit/contribute x amount of information to
> articles around a specific topic? I can see this as being a huge benefit to
> wikipedia and to our goal to preserve knowledge by creating a high-quality
> comprehensive encyclopedia.
>
> For example, I could see the following as having great benefit:
> http://www.foodsovereignty.org issues a grant to write on locating water
> sources, low-water agriculture, high temperature yields, etc.
> http://www.eere.energy.gov/ issues a grant to write on alternative energy
> sources -
> http://nationalzoo.si.edu/default.cfm issues a grant to write on a specific
> list of endangered animals
> ...
> of course there could be harm as well
> http://www.nnsa.doe.gov/ issues a grant to make sure specific information is
> deleted from articles on nuclear power and to promote non-proliferation
> http://www.ispu.us/pages/reports/2855/articleDetailPB.html issues a grant to
> influence the articles on islam, christianity, etc.
>
> For all these open acknowledgement of the finanicial relationship and
> transparency is a better protection for our neutralilty standards, IMHO.
>
> Jim

   I had a very similar thought.  The idea that eventually paid
academics might be allowed to spend some amount of their compensated
time contributing is not unrealistic.  Look at all the the programmers
that are paid by large corporations to work on open source projects.
   Thought his is quite a different thing than a company paying someone
to write an article about them (which they would probably not want to be
paying for if it was not going to benefit them and thus putting NPOV in
question).  I think the best option for a company that wants an article
on wikipedia is to simply request it.

Dalf

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Re: MyWikiBiz

Steve Bennett-8
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales
On 8/9/06, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
> The big problem with paid editing on wikipedia is NOT that someone is
> getting paid to write, but rather that this causes a rather obvious
> conflict of interest and appearance of impropriety.  This was my
> problem, and they immediately saw why this was not in our interest or
> theirs.

I'm not sure why conflict of interest is a problem here. When someone
sits down to write an article about their own religion, there's a
conflict of interest. When they write about circumcision because they
were HORRIBLY EMOTIONALLY SCARRED as a baby, there's a conflict of
interest. Hell, when they realise that their favourite Pokémon somehow
escaped a mention in Wikipedia, we don't expect them to write a
neutral, unbiased piece. We might like it, but we don't expect it.

Somehow Wikipedia survives on all of his "conflict of interest", you
might even say it thrives on it. Some of our best, most referenced
articles come from battles between pro- and anti- groups.

In the case of articles about corporations, what you'd likely find
would be this 1 "conflict of interest" editor being brought into line
with a dozen or more NPOV warriors. In the long term, would any of
MyWikiBiz's clients' articles remain unedited?

> Rather, what we brainstormed about as a nice mutually beneficial ground
> would be for them to charge customers for writing high quality NPOV
> articles about their companies, with sources and verifiability, but for
> them to work with well known and respected wikipedians who are NOT being
> financially compensated to actually enter the articles into Wikipedia
> upon their own independent judgment.  This will avoid, for MyWikiBiz, a

I'm not liking this. Company A pays Company B in order to get
Volunteer C to write an article. (Then, Company D sells the results to
Sucker E...)

> lot of sad fighting with us which is likely to be ugly and unproductive
> all around.

Could the sad fighting not be avoided by constructive discussion,
whereby we conclude that paying people to write Wikipedia articles is
in everyone's best interest, and might even improve our reputation,
giving us a more "professional" appearance?

> This preserves our independence as a volunteer editing body, while at

If "independence" means that we don't have anyone with barrows to
push, I don't think we are "independent". If being a "volunteer
editing body" is now a fundamental aspect of Wikipedia (as opposed to
a fact of life of having no money to pay people), then I'm just
confused.

Steve
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Re: MyWikiBiz

Steve Bennett-8
In reply to this post by scottl-2
On 8/10/06, ScottL <[hidden email]> wrote:
>   I had a very similar thought.  The idea that eventually paid
> academics might be allowed to spend some amount of their compensated
> time contributing is not unrealistic.  Look at all the the programmers
> that are paid by large corporations to work on open source projects.

Heh, nice thought. When you think about it, if an academic's mission
is to spread knowledge about some topic, writing a Wikipedia article
or two would probably be a lot more effective than writing a book
which very few people will ever read.

>   Thought his is quite a different thing than a company paying someone
> to write an article about them (which they would probably not want to be
> paying for if it was not going to benefit them and thus putting NPOV in
> question).  I think the best option for a company that wants an article
> on wikipedia is to simply request it.

I'd like to think there are a few companies for whom an NPOV
description would still be flattering.

Steve
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Re: MyWikiBiz

Death Phoenix
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales
On 8/9/06, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Dabljuh wrote:
> > On Wed, 09 Aug 2006 14:58:44 -0400
> > Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >
> >> (stuff)
> >>
> >
> > So what is the agreement?
> >
> He agreed not to edit Wikipedia articles when he is being paid to write
> by the subject of the article, and to help the companies he works with
> understand that it is probably not a great idea for them to edit their
> own articles as well.  He will write articles and post them on his own
> site, under the GNU FDL, and to ask trusted prominent and independent
> Wikipedians to add the articles, on their own independent judgments of
> the merits of the articles.
>

Hey Jimbo, can you confirm that you tried to unblock MyWikiBiz but had
problems with your browser, per [[User talk:MyWikiBiz]]?
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Re: MyWikiBiz

Philip Sandifer-2
In reply to this post by Steve Bennett-8


On Aug 10, 2006, at 3:31 AM, Steve Bennett wrote:
> Heh, nice thought. When you think about it, if an academic's mission
> is to spread knowledge about some topic, writing a Wikipedia article
> or two would probably be a lot more effective than writing a book
> which very few people will ever read.

The problem is that, generally speaking, an academic's mission is to  
engage in research. Original research, specifically.

-Phil
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Re: MyWikiBiz

Jimmy Wales
In reply to this post by Death Phoenix
Death Phoenix wrote:
> Hey Jimbo, can you confirm that you tried to unblock MyWikiBiz but had
> problems with your browser, per [[User talk:MyWikiBiz]]?
> _______________________________________________
>  
Yes, I and I did manage to unblock him properly just now.
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Re: MyWikiBiz

Steve Bennett-8
In reply to this post by Ed Sanders
On 8/9/06, Ed Sanders <[hidden email]> wrote:
> His business model still works if the material he writes get used on
> Wikipedia - the agreement just means now he won't upload it unless we
> approve it first... as far as I understand it.

I don't like this middle ground at all. We need to be firmly either
*for* or *against* paid editing. If we equivocate as we currently do,
then you'll have people figuring out which articles are coming through
this process and AfDing them all "because Jimmy said it was a conflict
of interest". Either welcome it or ban it - where the hell do we stand
right now?

Steve
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Re: MyWikiBiz

Gregory Maxwell
On 8/11/06, Steve Bennett <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I don't like this middle ground at all. We need to be firmly either
> *for* or *against* paid editing. If we equivocate as we currently do,
> then you'll have people figuring out which articles are coming through
> this process and AfDing them all "because Jimmy said it was a conflict
> of interest". Either welcome it or ban it - where the hell do we stand
> right now?

Whats so hard about "we welcome text which is good, no matter who or
how it was created and we reject or repair text which is bad."?

For or against paid editing? Paid editing is an orthogonal issue. I
wish all of our contributors could be better compensated for their
fantastic contributions.

If we can't cope with bias coming from known-interested sources then
we have no hope... most biased sources do not announce their
intentions.
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Re: MyWikiBiz

Steve Bennett-8
On 8/11/06, Gregory Maxwell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Whats so hard about "we welcome text which is good, no matter who or
> how it was created and we reject or repair text which is bad."?

I thought that *was* our credo - presuming "good" rules out copyright
infringement. I would like to hear more of an explanation behind this
rejection of apparent "conflict of interest". There's got to be more
to this than that. I agree with Jimbo on almost everything he does, so
I'm hoping I will end up understanding where he's coming from in
acting so swiftly and so strongly in blocking (at first) an editor
apparently contributing useful text.

> For or against paid editing? Paid editing is an orthogonal issue. I
> wish all of our contributors could be better compensated for their
> fantastic contributions.

Yeah!

> If we can't cope with bias coming from known-interested sources then
> we have no hope... most biased sources do not announce their
> intentions.

Exactly. One of the reasons I found it bizarre to block the US
Congress. Much better just to watch it. Then you give people two
options: edit openly and responsibly from their real IP address, or
find a different IP address and do whatever the hell they want.

Steve
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Re: MyWikiBiz

The Cunctator
In reply to this post by Steve Bennett-8
On 8/11/06, Steve Bennett <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 8/9/06, Ed Sanders <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > His business model still works if the material he writes get used on
> > Wikipedia - the agreement just means now he won't upload it unless we
> > approve it first... as far as I understand it.
>
> I don't like this middle ground at all. We need to be firmly either
> *for* or *against* paid editing. If we equivocate as we currently do,
> then you'll have people figuring out which articles are coming through
> this process and AfDing them all "because Jimmy said it was a conflict
> of interest". Either welcome it or ban it - where the hell do we stand
> right now?

Why do we have to have a clear position? I much prefer a society
primarily made of equivocators than ideologues.

I don't see paid editing as necessarily sullying the editing in any way.

There's no need to be anti-capitalist.
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Re: MyWikiBiz

Steve Bennett-8
On 8/12/06, The Cunctator <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Why do we have to have a clear position? I much prefer a society
> primarily made of equivocators than ideologues.

Because a society is not a project.

Steve
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