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John Limey
post Wed 26th August 2009, 4:18am
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QUOTE(Malleus @ Wed 26th August 2009, 3:11am) *

QUOTE(Limey @ Wed 26th August 2009, 3:40am) *
The saddest thing, in my opinion, about the WMF is that of all of the people the person who is in fact the closest to being a qualified scholar is Jimbo himself what with his unfinished PhD.

What a load of cock. Anybody, probably even you Limey, can fail to finish anything, including PhDs. There is admittedly some kudos in having a PhD, at least in some subjects, but in failing to get one?


I think you don't understand what I'm saying. I did not mean to imply that there was any merit in his studies, but rather that the rest of the Board has nothing even resembling high quality academic credentials. Thus my sentence begins "the saddest thing".
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John Limey
post Wed 26th August 2009, 4:30am
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QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Wed 26th August 2009, 2:58am) *

QUOTE(Limey @ Tue 25th August 2009, 7:40pm) *

Academics really tend to respect other academics. If that's who you want at your encyclopedia, you should be appointing leading scholars to your board, rather than internet businessmen. If the WMF wants to become a serious entity, they should track down an academic heavyweight or two. Of course, those people might actually push for some real change that others would find unwelcome ... who knows. The saddest thing, in my opinion, about the WMF is that of all of the people the person who is in fact the closest to being a qualified scholar is Jimbo himself what with his unfinished PhD. In my opinion, even just recruiting some ambitious Assistant Professor from a major research school would do a lot of good.

Once they got the BLP issue out of the way, perhaps.

Until then, they don't need a Ph.D. to tell them that applying a privacy invasion device to other people, that they wouldn't want applied to themselves (and in fact, have taken serious amounts of time and effor to KEEP from being applied to themselves) is evil.

It doesn't take an academic degree to figure out when somebody is being an asshole. Although if you're the king, it might take somebody like Isaiah to point things out when the person being an asshole, is yourself.


Well it doesn't take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, but it doesn't hurt either. If you aspire to be a serious, scholarly endeavor, it's a good idea to involve some scholars in the process.
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Cock-up-over-conspiracy
post Wed 26th August 2009, 9:57am
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QUOTE(Malleus @ Wed 26th August 2009, 3:11am) *
What a load of cock.

You called, sir?

May be Jimbo is also handing out board positions in the hope that what goes around comes back around ... for himself. Rather than going back to college, just circumvent all that hard grind and get an overpaid positions on some board instead.

Yes, to the "appoint some damned academics, editors and encyclopaedians" ... instead of some cheap, second hand trash salesmen.

If Ebay's ethics are going to be involved, things are definitely going to be going down as fast as a cheap whore in Amsterdam.
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GlassBeadGame
post Wed 26th August 2009, 1:11pm
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QUOTE(Cock-up-over-conspiracy @ Wed 26th August 2009, 3:57am) *

QUOTE(Malleus @ Wed 26th August 2009, 3:11am) *
What a load of cock.

You called, sir?

May be Jimbo is also handing out board positions in the hope that what goes around comes back around ... for himself. Rather than going back to college, just circumvent all that hard grind and get an overpaid positions on some board instead.

Yes, to the "appoint some damned academics, editors and encyclopaedians" ... instead of some cheap, second hand trash salesmen.

If Ebay's ethics are going to be involved, things are definitely going to be going down as fast as a cheap whore in Amsterdam.


Positions on the boards of non-profits are unpaid.
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Moulton
post Wed 26th August 2009, 1:26pm
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It wouldn't surprise me if WMF ginned up some kind of crowd-sourced reputation system akin to the one found on eBay.

Google Knol already has this feature, whereby readers can rate articles with one to five stars.
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NuclearWarfare
post Wed 26th August 2009, 1:54pm
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QUOTE(Moulton @ Wed 26th August 2009, 1:26pm) *

It wouldn't surprise me if WMF ginned up some kind of crowd-sourced reputation system akin to the one found on eBay.

Google Knol already has this feature, whereby readers can rate articles with one to five stars.


It's on the Test Wiki already, as a matter of fact. You can rank the article in four categories: Reliability, Completeness, Neutrality, and Presentation from 1-5 (Poor, Low, Fair, High, Excellent).
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Moulton
post Wed 26th August 2009, 2:09pm
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Now imagine there were a system for rating the reputability of Wikipedians.
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John Limey
post Wed 26th August 2009, 2:42pm
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QUOTE(Moulton @ Wed 26th August 2009, 2:09pm) *

Now imagine there were a system for rating the reputability of Wikipedians.


These are frequently proposed in academic studies. See for example A Content-Driven Reputation System for Wikipedia or QuWi: Quality Control in Wikipedia Intelligent outsiders will propose such methods for ever and internal idiots will reject them forever. In general the insiders will feel smugly superior for discovering small flaws with each approach while entirely overlooking the big picture.
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Moulton
post Wed 26th August 2009, 2:55pm
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If there is one yawning gap in Jimbo's "organic experiment" it's lack of vision.
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anthony
post Wed 26th August 2009, 3:22pm
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QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Wed 26th August 2009, 1:11pm) *

Positions on the boards of non-profits are unpaid.


Not always, but in most cases, and in the case of the WMF, yes.
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GlassBeadGame
post Wed 26th August 2009, 4:36pm
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QUOTE(anthony @ Wed 26th August 2009, 9:22am) *

QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Wed 26th August 2009, 1:11pm) *

Positions on the boards of non-profits are unpaid.


Not always, but in most cases, and in the case of the WMF, yes.


Which non-profits pay their boards?
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Eva Destruction
post Wed 26th August 2009, 4:43pm
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QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Wed 26th August 2009, 5:36pm) *

QUOTE(anthony @ Wed 26th August 2009, 9:22am) *

QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Wed 26th August 2009, 1:11pm) *

Positions on the boards of non-profits are unpaid.


Not always, but in most cases, and in the case of the WMF, yes.


Which non-profits pay their boards?

British, not American, but I imagine the ratios are similar: "In the last financial year 23 out of the top 100 charities by annual income made payments to their trustees, either as executive or non-executive trustees. This excludes payment for services, or payment of expenses."
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The Adversary
post Wed 26th August 2009, 4:47pm
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QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Wed 26th August 2009, 4:47am) *

QUOTE(Moulton @ Tue 25th August 2009, 7:25pm) *
Jimbo's biggest fear is that the project falls into disrepute.
No, it's not. His biggest fear is that the project falls into insignificance. He could care less how much repute it has, as long as it continues to get attention.

Huh? I thought his biggest fear was finding out that he would never, ever, seriously cash out on the project (or its spin-offs).
Did I miss something? unsure.gif
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Cock-up-over-conspiracy
post Wed 26th August 2009, 10:36pm
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QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Wed 26th August 2009, 1:11pm) *
Positions on the boards of non-profits are unpaid.

A reciprocal seat for Jimbo on the board of Omidyar or Ebay etc would not be unpaid.

Surely, the handing out of board positions is all about collateral and future financial security at that level of society and is part of Jimbo's retirement plan?

Mind you, for far less than $4,000,000 one could have bought oneself a seat in the United Kingdom's House of Lord and I guess a way into most political parties.

This post has been edited by Cock-up-over-conspiracy: Wed 26th August 2009, 10:37pm
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GlassBeadGame
post Wed 26th August 2009, 10:41pm
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QUOTE(Cock-up-over-conspiracy @ Wed 26th August 2009, 4:36pm) *

QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Wed 26th August 2009, 1:11pm) *
Positions on the boards of non-profits are unpaid.

A reciprocal seat for Jimbo on the board of Omidyar or Ebay etc would not be unpaid.

Surely, the handing out of board positions is all about collateral and future financial security at that level of society?

Mind you, for far less than $4,000,000 one could have bought oneself a seat in the United Kingdom's House of Lord and I guess a way into most political parties.


A seat on Ebay's Board of Drectors would be highly paid. Wikipedia has nothing to trade, all ethics aside (where they are usually kept anyway), that would be worth that.
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anthony
post Wed 26th August 2009, 11:47pm
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QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Wed 26th August 2009, 4:36pm) *

QUOTE(anthony @ Wed 26th August 2009, 9:22am) *

QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Wed 26th August 2009, 1:11pm) *

Positions on the boards of non-profits are unpaid.


Not always, but in most cases, and in the case of the WMF, yes.


Which non-profits pay their boards?


I hope you'll settle for a single example: ACT Inc. If you want more I suppose you could do your own Google search.
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John Limey
post Thu 27th August 2009, 12:20am
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QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Wed 26th August 2009, 10:41pm) *


A seat on Ebay's Board of Drectors would be highly paid. Wikipedia has nothing to trade, all ethics aside (where they are usually kept anyway), that would be worth that.


I must disagree about what Wikipedia has to trade. In my opinion, advertising on Wikipedia is a matter not of if, but when. When you take into consideration the WMF's voracious demand for money, I am certain that there will come a time when private donors and foundations simply can't come up with the money it demands. When that time comes, they will start selling ads. A lot of people say "but the community will leave". This is probably wrong and certainly irrelevant. The research shows that Wikipedians burn out quickly anyway and there's humongous turnover, so even a post-ad exodus wouldn't really be that different from anything else. You might lose some high-profile long-time contributors, but so what. No matter what, Wikipedia would stay on top of the google rankings, and in the end that's all that matters.

When the day comes that the WMF starts to sell ads, whoever it partners with in that business will stand to make an enormous amount of money. All of the sites above Wikipedia on the Alexa rankings make most of their money in advertising; and they make lots of it. Facebook made $300 million selling ads last year; Wikipedia would certainly generate revenues in the 10s of millions and most likely in the 100s of millions. A few million dollars for a chance at getting in on that game is more than worth it.
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GlassBeadGame
post Thu 27th August 2009, 3:06am
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QUOTE(Limey @ Wed 26th August 2009, 6:20pm) *

QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Wed 26th August 2009, 10:41pm) *


A seat on Ebay's Board of Drectors would be highly paid. Wikipedia has nothing to trade, all ethics aside (where they are usually kept anyway), that would be worth that.


I must disagree about what Wikipedia has to trade. In my opinion, advertising on Wikipedia is a matter not of if, but when. When you take into consideration the WMF's voracious demand for money, I am certain that there will come a time when private donors and foundations simply can't come up with the money it demands. When that time comes, they will start selling ads. A lot of people say "but the community will leave". This is probably wrong and certainly irrelevant. The research shows that Wikipedians burn out quickly anyway and there's humongous turnover, so even a post-ad exodus wouldn't really be that different from anything else. You might lose some high-profile long-time contributors, but so what. No matter what, Wikipedia would stay on top of the google rankings, and in the end that's all that matters.

When the day comes that the WMF starts to sell ads, whoever it partners with in that business will stand to make an enormous amount of money. All of the sites above Wikipedia on the Alexa rankings make most of their money in advertising; and they make lots of it. Facebook made $300 million selling ads last year; Wikipedia would certainly generate revenues in the 10s of millions and most likely in the 100s of millions. A few million dollars for a chance at getting in on that game is more than worth it.


WMF is relatively well positioned in terms of its financial position. Many non-profits hit a wall a few years out from inception, even if the mission of the non-profit is well received by foundations. Foundations are much more willing to fund pilots and the first three years of operation. After that the development staff of non-profits are constantly pressed to create new innovative program aspects that often take the non-profit on tangents and even if they attract grants it will not be able to sustain the core mission. WMF's development of foundation funding was retarded because of the cluelessness of the first generation or two of the "Office." In the meantime it has developed a base of individual giving that can sustain much, if not all, core functions at some baseline of activity. Of course it also has the hole card of ad revenue, which is appropriate for a non-profit to use providing they create a for-profit, tax paying arm.

The important thing is that WMF use the immediate period ahead in which it has foundation support in addition to the other revenues to rapidly build administrative and programmatic staff capacity. If they did this and made the right priority choices they could put in place a staff driven infrastucture needed to a address content quality, BLP concerns, child protective issues, enforce editorial policies and behave in a socially responsible manner. This would take scores of full time employees addressing editorial and programmatic concerns. Or they could just go on endlessly self serving public relations campaigns with ever more reliance on a irresponsible community, immunity and maybe get a couple of Jimbo Jets.
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tarantino
post Sun 30th August 2009, 2:34am
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QUOTE(A spatula said what? @ Tue 25th August 2009, 5:16pm) *

From the Wikipedia "foundation-l" mailing list:
QUOTE("Michael Snow")
We also appointed someone to one of the vacant expertise seats appointed
by the board. His name is Matt Halprin, and in brief, Matt is with the
Omidyar Network and a former eBay executive who was in charge of trust
and safety there. Matt has met with a number of us over the past several
months, and I invited him to join us in Buenos Aires and meet the entire
board. The Omidyar Network is very interested in supporting our strategy
development discussions, and I look forward to having Matt's experience
and insight as we continue with the process.

Search these for "board":

Sunlight Foundation Announces $4 Million Invesment From Omidyar Network

Goodmail Systems Secures Additional $4 Million in Funding from Omidyar Network

Seesmic raises $6 million in round two

Endeavor announced today that it has received a commitment of up to $10 million from Omidyar Network


Jimmy Wales on August 29 2009 says:
QUOTE
Board seats are not for sale.


From a transcription of an audio interview of Matt Halprin at Wikimania, he says:
QUOTE
So there's no tie between the grant and Omidyar Network taking a board seat. That's absolutely not part of the conversation.


Well, that settles that.

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Somey
post Sun 30th August 2009, 3:53am
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QUOTE(tarantino @ Sat 29th August 2009, 9:34pm) *
Well, that settles that.

Thank goodness they cleared that up... rolleyes.gif

Jimbo does have a possible point in this last paragraph:
QUOTE(Jimbo @ 23:36, 29 August 2009 (UTC))
I think that people who are concerned that this is "buying a seat" can take some comfort in the fact that not one board member supports the notion that it would be ok to "sell" a seat on the board. But additionally, I think it's important to remember that it would be absolutely impossible for anyone to get their money's worth, if they have some nefarious purpose in mind. A board seat simply wouldn't be worth $2 million - how the heck could you ever make anything back out of it?

Obviously $2 million is chicken feed to someone who's worth as much as Omidyar, but still, for that much money you'd think they could at least protect his BLP article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=304495270
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=289928161
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=282812790
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=269639351
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=241183460
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=244149975
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=244150308
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=248848644
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=249188488
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=263157532
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=266004442
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=266004575
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=266004834

...all of which is not as bad as it's been for a lot of other People With Big Bucks - none of these edits lasted more than a minute or two. When you think of all the people who have been ripped off in eBay transactions over the years, that's a fairly large pool of potential "vandals."

Then again, if I were really, really cynical, I could maybe suggest that the grant is a defensive move, to ensure that WP won't start taking ad revenue anytime soon - since some of the companies taking out ads on Future Wikipedia™ might be eBay competitors, whose success might serve to diminish Omidyar's net worth (much of which is in the form of eBay stock). I don't think I'm quite that cynical, though... (am I?) unsure.gif
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