[WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

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[WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

David Gerard-2
I'm just getting ready for C4 to pick me up, take me to their office
and interview me for tonight's news re: the Microsoft-Wikipedia issue.
If someone could record it and throw us an MPEG afterwards, that would
be most helpful!

Now to get tarted up for the camera ...


- d.

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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

David Gerard-2
On 26/01/07, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I'm just getting ready for C4 to pick me up, take me to their office
> and interview me for tonight's news re: the Microsoft-Wikipedia issue.
> If someone could record it and throw us an MPEG afterwards, that would
> be most helpful!


News is 7-7:30pm. C4 apparently do video streaming off their site as well.


> Now to get tarted up for the camera ...


Suit looks like it was hit by a truck, so leather jacket and Rollins
shirt it is!


- d.

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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

Marc Riddell
on 1/26/07 9:33 AM, David Gerard at [hidden email] wrote:

> Suit looks like it was hit by a truck, so leather jacket and Rollins
> shirt it is!


Sounds good!! Best of luck to you (whoops, I guess in show biz that should
be "break a leg").

Marc Riddell


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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
> News is 7-7:30pm. C4 apparently do video streaming off their site as well.

Damn, I'm going out tonight... I'll miss it. Hopefully I can get a
copy of someone...

Break a leg!

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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

Gary Kirk
Is the new 4 On Demand (4od) service for the news too? Might be able
to catch it tomorrow on that.

Good luck indeed!

On 1/26/07, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > News is 7-7:30pm. C4 apparently do video streaming off their site as well.
>
> Damn, I'm going out tonight... I'll miss it. Hopefully I can get a
> copy of someone...
>
> Break a leg!
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>


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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On 26/01/07, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 26/01/07, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > I'm just getting ready for C4 to pick me up, take me to their office
> > and interview me for tonight's news re: the Microsoft-Wikipedia issue.
> > If someone could record it and throw us an MPEG afterwards, that would
> > be most helpful!

> News is 7-7:30pm. C4 apparently do video streaming off their site as well.


Sit down, camera rolls.

"Okay. What was Microsoft's crime?"
"Well, I wouldn't call it a *crime* ..."

Talked about how it was a conflict of interest and that's bad, how "I
said this can only damage their good name and then it damaged their
good name". What OOXML is (the Office 2007 file format) and why it's
greatly contentious (competition from OpenDocument and OpenOfficeorg).
How Doug Mahugh is on the talk page now and that's good and Rick
Jelliffe will hopefully contribute his expertise and that's good. So
that's the current problem pretty much dealt with.

They have no idea how much will be used tonight, "between five seconds
and five minutes." It depends whether e.g. John Reid says something
particularly stupid in the next hour ;-)

The issue now, the real problem, is how Wikipedia deals with this sort
of thing in the future. We have procedures for actual legal problems,
but not yet for this sort of editorial problem. Something where
companies with issues with content can say so, and where the regular
volunteers will take an interest and look into improving articles
based on that.

We don't have that yet. I said we'd probably work out something over
the weekend.

So, regular editors. How do we set up a page or forum where companies
and people written about can express editorial concerns (rather than
e.g. legal ones), such that they know people will at least look over
them with thought and improve the articles from there?

This was a MAJOR news story and it came completely out of the blue.
But it is an ongoing problem for Wikipedia - we don't want companies
fearful of dealing with us in case they get the sort of bad press this
issue got Microsoft and Doug Mahugh. How can we get better at this,
quickly?


- d.

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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

Jeff Raymond

David Gerard wrote:

> So, regular editors. How do we set up a page or forum where companies
> and people written about can express editorial concerns (rather than
> e.g. legal ones), such that they know people will at least look over
> them with thought and improve the articles from there?

Apologies if this posts twice...

Dare I play the devil's advocate here and say that we should allow this
sort of thing?

Hear me out: all we need to do is say that we do not condone, promote,
discourage, or prohibit paid editing by firms, but make it explicitly
clear that such edits are, at best, treated as any other, and, at worse,
watched closer than other edits by the general community.  All edits must
still conform to [[WP:V]], [[WP:NPOV]], must be licensed via the GFDL, and
may be rejected completely if [[WP:C|consensus]] is as such, regardless.

It's an interesting situation.  On one hand, we have a pile of posts on
the en mailer talking about the necessity for accuracy and citation.  On
the other hand, we're quite militant about not letting third parties
commission other third parties to provide information that may not be as
easy for Joe Sixpack to grab and add to an article.

And yes, I know, MyWikiBiz, etc - I'm not convinced it was handled
properly, but this isn't the thread for that discussion - but I'm not sure
we shouldn't be tolerant of this sort of thing.  After all, Microsoft
merely got caught - it's likely happening anyway without our knowledge.

-Jeff
--
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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

David Gerard-2
On 26/01/07, Jeff Raymond <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dare I play the devil's advocate here and say that we should allow this
> sort of thing?


I see your point, but I'm imagining what the sort of minds who filled
our pages with linkspam till we had to switch on nofollow, and who are
now whining that we must switch it off again *because* we owe them a
living, would do with such a permission, however sensibly worded.

It's hard to get a clue across to people who think their income
depends on not getting the clue in question.


- d.

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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

Jeff Raymond

David Gerard wrote:

> On 26/01/07, Jeff Raymond <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> Dare I play the devil's advocate here and say that we should allow this
>> sort of thing?
>
> I see your point, but I'm imagining what the sort of minds who filled
> our pages with linkspam till we had to switch on nofollow, and who are
> now whining that we must switch it off again *because* we owe them a
> living, would do with such a permission, however sensibly worded.

And that's fair as well.  I do think that we're being naive with the way
we handle this sort of "conflict of interest."  The situation you describe
helps no one, the situation with Microsoft, at least in theory, helps
everyone.  I still think it's better to approach it from the vantagepoint
that we can get a very strong benefit than to assume that anything that
could be construed as a COI is inherently bad, which is the attitude that
I get.

I had an off-wiki conversation with someone about a similar issue earlier,
so it's interesting that it comes up again here.  At the end of the day,
shouldn't we worry more about the quality of the contributions in terms of
benefit to the encyclopedia (even the poorly written ones) as opposed to
who's contributing it?  If paying someone $100 to add information to a
stubby, but necessary, article improves the quality of the encyclopedia,
why are we standing in the way?

-Jeff

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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

George William Herbert
On 1/26/07, Jeff Raymond <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> David Gerard wrote:
> > On 26/01/07, Jeff Raymond <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> Dare I play the devil's advocate here and say that we should allow this
> >> sort of thing?
> >
> > I see your point, but I'm imagining what the sort of minds who filled
> > our pages with linkspam till we had to switch on nofollow, and who are
> > now whining that we must switch it off again *because* we owe them a
> > living, would do with such a permission, however sensibly worded.
>
> And that's fair as well.  I do think that we're being naive with the way
> we handle this sort of "conflict of interest."  The situation you describe
> helps no one, the situation with Microsoft, at least in theory, helps
> everyone.  I still think it's better to approach it from the vantagepoint
> that we can get a very strong benefit than to assume that anything that
> could be construed as a COI is inherently bad, which is the attitude that
> I get.
>
> I had an off-wiki conversation with someone about a similar issue earlier,
> so it's interesting that it comes up again here.  At the end of the day,
> shouldn't we worry more about the quality of the contributions in terms of
> benefit to the encyclopedia (even the poorly written ones) as opposed to
> who's contributing it?  If paying someone $100 to add information to a
> stubby, but necessary, article improves the quality of the encyclopedia,
> why are we standing in the way?


I am still of two minds on the paying-for-edits issue, but I don't
believe it's going to change soon.

I was thinking of something different over the weekend.  A Wikipedia
Article Subjects Noticeboard, where people or organizations could post
things which they object to (short of what the Office would *have* to
deal with) and editors can watch and respond to normally.

I was thinking that the process could be something like "First, please
post a comment on the article talk page with a detailed explanation of
what you object to and why, and identifying who you are and what your
official standing is.  Then, add an entry to the top of the list below
with template {{Subjectnotice|articlename}}, add some comments, and
sign it...  Please do so from a logged in account so that people can
respond on your talk page as well as the article talk page."

I haven't created the template (I have no idea how they work).

Does anyone think this is a bad idea?  Positive comments?



--
-george william herbert
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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

David Gerard-2
On 26/01/07, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I was thinking of something different over the weekend.  A Wikipedia
> Article Subjects Noticeboard, where people or organizations could post
> things which they object to (short of what the Office would *have* to
> deal with) and editors can watch and respond to normally.


That's the sort of idea I was thinking of.

Would enough regular editors actually respond? That's the only thing
I'm wondering about.


> I was thinking that the process could be something like "First, please
> post a comment on the article talk page with a detailed explanation of
> what you object to and why, and identifying who you are and what your
> official standing is.  Then, add an entry to the top of the list below
> with template {{Subjectnotice|articlename}}, add some comments, and
> sign it...  Please do so from a logged in account so that people can
> respond on your talk page as well as the article talk page."
> I haven't created the template (I have no idea how they work).
> Does anyone think this is a bad idea?  Positive comments?


It sounds n00b-hostile. What's the lightest-weight process from both
sides that would do the job?


- d.

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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

Omegatron-3
In reply to this post by George William Herbert
On 1/26/07, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Then, add an entry to the top of the list below
> with template {{Subjectnotice|articlename}}, add some comments, and
> sign it...


Are there any alternatives to templates for stuff like this?  Don't we have
a special feature that allows HTML INPUT elements that can be used for stuff
like this now?  I've seen it around though I don't know how it works.  But
it's gotta be frustrating for people completely new to wiki who have to cut
and paste templates into textareaas.  Then again, it's certainly better than
the pre-template days.
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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

George William Herbert
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On 1/26/07, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 26/01/07, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > I was thinking of something different over the weekend.  A Wikipedia
> > Article Subjects Noticeboard, where people or organizations could post
> > things which they object to (short of what the Office would *have* to
> > deal with) and editors can watch and respond to normally.
>
>
> That's the sort of idea I was thinking of.
>
> Would enough regular editors actually respond? That's the only thing
> I'm wondering about.

I think it would be less frustrating than a lot of other admin stuff
people do.  I'd watch the page.  I can't speak for others, though.

> > I was thinking that the process could be something like "First, please
> > post a comment on the article talk page with a detailed explanation of
> > what you object to and why, and identifying who you are and what your
> > official standing is.  Then, add an entry to the top of the list below
> > with template {{Subjectnotice|articlename}}, add some comments, and
> > sign it...  Please do so from a logged in account so that people can
> > respond on your talk page as well as the article talk page."
> > I haven't created the template (I have no idea how they work).
> > Does anyone think this is a bad idea?  Positive comments?
>
>
> It sounds n00b-hostile. What's the lightest-weight process from both
> sides that would do the job?

Good point.  Making a process optimized for the WP experts is not the point...

What do people think the easiest consistent process is which we could
do which would allow article subjects with little WP experience to
find out what to do, and do it, to make such a notification?  Let's
brainstorm...

We can disconnect the subject notifying us from WP process tracking it
once notified.  So they can be different mechanisms.

Ask them to put a comment in the talk page with a {{SubjectObjection}}
tag, which adds the talk page to a category?  Can we explain that
easily enough?

Create a mailing list for it and publicize the address?


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]

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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

Jeff Raymond
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2

David Gerard wrote:

> On 26/01/07, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> I was thinking of something different over the weekend.  A Wikipedia
>> Article Subjects Noticeboard, where people or organizations could post
>> things which they object to (short of what the Office would *have* to
>> deal with) and editors can watch and respond to normally.
>
>
> That's the sort of idea I was thinking of.
>
> Would enough regular editors actually respond? That's the only thing
> I'm wondering about.

I don't dislike it, but I do fear established editors with
anti-pay-for-edits axes to grind trying to deny things left and right.
Then there's the whole inclusionist/deletionist thing, and I see some
messes.

-Jeff

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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

George William Herbert
On 1/26/07, Jeff Raymond <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> David Gerard wrote:
> > On 26/01/07, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> I was thinking of something different over the weekend.  A Wikipedia
> >> Article Subjects Noticeboard, where people or organizations could post
> >> things which they object to (short of what the Office would *have* to
> >> deal with) and editors can watch and respond to normally.
> >
> >
> > That's the sort of idea I was thinking of.
> >
> > Would enough regular editors actually respond? That's the only thing
> > I'm wondering about.
>
> I don't dislike it, but I do fear established editors with
> anti-pay-for-edits axes to grind trying to deny things left and right.
> Then there's the whole inclusionist/deletionist thing, and I see some
> messes.

We can fight those battles if they come up, but I think that what this
does is give a process to make the issues completely transparently
visible, where everyone can see what's going on and comment if they
care.

Better that, and find out what's going on, than having it happen in the shadows.


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]

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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

SJ-5
In reply to this post by Jeff Raymond
On 1/26/07, Jeff Raymond <[hidden email]> wrote:
>

> I had an off-wiki conversation with someone about a similar issue earlier,
> so it's interesting that it comes up again here.  At the end of the day,
> shouldn't we worry more about the quality of the contributions in terms of
> benefit to the encyclopedia (even the poorly written ones) as opposed to
> who's contributing it?

Yes.  Quality of contribution should not be determined by who is
contributing.  This is not a new stance; this has been a rule of thumb
since the first trolls were allowed to stay and continue editing.

> If paying someone $100 to add information to a
> stubby, but necessary, article improves the quality of the encyclopedia,
> why are we standing in the way?

I don't know.  Something about it feeling wrong, driving people from
writing about what is important to writing about what is supported by
patrons.  I do think that edits themselves should be allowed or not
based on their quality -- something that would rule out many would-be
paid contributions.

SJ

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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

geni
In reply to this post by George William Herbert
On 1/26/07, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I think it would be less frustrating than a lot of other admin stuff
> people do.  I'd watch the page.  I can't speak for others, though.
>

If it were companies like microsoft who are likey to have well thought
out complaints it probably wouldn't be too bad.

Unfortunely it would be not be. It would mostly be small companies
either going Waaa you deleted our article or complaining that we don't
say how brilliant product X is. Did you ever see this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:NewsMax_Media#Proposed_article_text

How much time do you want to spend dealing with people who think that is NPOV?

--
geni

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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

Sage Ross
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On 1/26/07, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> This was a MAJOR news story and it came completely out of the blue.
> But it is an ongoing problem for Wikipedia - we don't want companies
> fearful of dealing with us in case they get the sort of bad press this
> issue got Microsoft and Doug Mahugh. How can we get better at this,
> quickly?
>
>
> - d.

Check out this article:

http://www.tmcnet.com/news/2007/01/26/2285485.htm

Apparently Mathias Schindler has been in contact with MS, giving a
different line.

For what it's worth, I don't see that Microsoft did anything obviously
wrong.  At this point, we definitely need a clear and responsive
system for coordinating paid editing.  We've recognized for a while
now that paid editing will happen.  It will definitely be in our best
interest to set up a system to facilitate it and give a sense of
fairness to entities like MS who want to do things above-the-board.

-Sage

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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

Jeremy Cushman-2
> For what it's worth, I don't see that Microsoft did anything obviously
> wrong.  At this point, we definitely need a clear and responsive
> system for coordinating paid editing.  We've recognized for a while
> now that paid editing will happen.  It will definitely be in our best
> interest to set up a system to facilitate it and give a sense of
> fairness to entities like MS who want to do things above-the-board.
>
> -Sage

I don't know about that...
I would steer clear of all paid editing in any way, shape, or form.
It just creates problems when the article is edited or deleted and a
company is outraged because they paid good money for that very article.
--Mets501


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Re: [WikiEN-l] David is on Channel 4 tonight re MS issue

Sage Ross
On 1/26/07, Mets501 <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > For what it's worth, I don't see that Microsoft did anything obviously
> > wrong.  At this point, we definitely need a clear and responsive
> > system for coordinating paid editing.  We've recognized for a while
> > now that paid editing will happen.  It will definitely be in our best
> > interest to set up a system to facilitate it and give a sense of
> > fairness to entities like MS who want to do things above-the-board.
> >
> > -Sage
>
> I don't know about that...
> I would steer clear of all paid editing in any way, shape, or form.
> It just creates problems when the article is edited or deleted and a
> company is outraged because they paid good money for that very article.
> --Mets501

The argument has been made many times, but I'll make it again.  The
people at Microsoft knew what they were getting into by trying to hire
an independent writer to improve articles: edits are only likely to
stick around if they bring Wikipedia articles closer to the ideal of
verifiable, neutral, well written information.  It's only in a
group/individual/company's best interest to pay for editing if getting
closer to neutral point of view is beneficial for them; obviously it
is beneficial to us.

If introducing bias is what they want to do through paid editing, they
aren't likely to use official channels even if they are available.
But if we did have a system for coordinating and monitoring such
activity, it would put that much more social obligation on
(financially powerful) groups who feel wronged by Wikipedia content to
respect our editorial policies.  If there is no recourse but secret
paid editing, then they are already going against us; there is little
to discourage the further step of attempting to whitewash their
articles

-Sage

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