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Milton Roe
post Thu 6th October 2011, 1:15am
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QUOTE(SB_Johnny @ Wed 5th October 2011, 4:49pm) *

QUOTE(Malik Shabazz @ Wed 5th October 2011, 5:38pm) *

QUOTE(Detective @ Wed 5th October 2011, 5:10pm) *

QUOTE(thekohser @ Wed 5th October 2011, 12:03pm) *

The kind that whupped the King who thought taxation without representation was a fair deal.

evilgrin.gif

Indeed, you only have to look at Washington DC, where many thousands of taxpayers live who enjoy full representation in the Senate ... er, I'll get back to you on that.

Tell me about it. angry.gif

Technically the "representing" is supposed to be in the house. As a Pennsylvanian, my Senate voting power is a nearly vanishing fraction
compared to those sensible people in Utah or Alaska. dry.gif

Which is the reason all money/spending/tax bills must originate in the house. One of the many things you can thank Ben Franklin for.
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Larry Sanger
post Thu 6th October 2011, 3:16am
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Tue 4th October 2011, 2:48pm) *

QUOTE(Larry Sanger @ Tue 4th October 2011, 7:27pm) *

I'm pretty sure I have a copy of this picture in the basement, and another one too, which has Ed O'Connor in it (one of my favorite people from Bomis days). Oh, believe me, if people really, really wanted to, they could amass a really interesting collection of early Wikipedia-related memorabilia.


Larry - just the person. I am researching the pre-history of Wikipedia. I know Bomis was registered in 1996, but when did it actually set up in business in San Diego? Jimmy did not move there until 1998. Did it actually start in 1998?

You say here http://www.larrysanger.org/roleinwp.html

QUOTE
It was Bomis that paid the bills for Wikipedia (including my paycheck), and Wales, Tim Shell, and Michael Davis were, to the best of my knowledge, equal partners and co-owners of Bomis, Inc.


But Jimmy always claimed he was the majority partner. And what was Tim Shell's involvement? He always seemed a mysterious character.

Regards,

Edward

I'll be interested in your book!

I know Bomis.com, the search engine, was around in 1996 or 1997. I remember Jimmy Wales referring to it somehow; he might have tried to get me involved, or maybe it was just in his sig and I checked it out. I vaguely remember talking about it around 1997. My recollection, I don't know where--probably from talking to Tim--was that it was started and going strong-ish while they were in Chicago. I don't know when they moved to San Diego--1998 is possible as far as I know. They had been in the Pacific Beach office for a while by the time I got there in late January 2000, I think it was.

I honestly can't remember how it was represented to me--who was the "majority partner." I'm pretty sure I never much cared, and I'm not sure why I should now. If you had asked me an hour ago, I would have hazarded a guess that they were all three equal partners, just as I wrote, but I don't know. It wouldn't surprise me if Michael Davis was majority partner. But if Wales says that he was majority partner, then he probably was, and I forgot that he said so when I wrote the above. Yes, yes, I know he's not a reliable source on stuff like this, but his mendacity does not usually extend to outright plain-and-simple lies like that. He usually employs misdirection, vagueness, innuendo, and other such shifty business.

Tim is for me by far the least mysterious character of the three. I count him a friend. Unlike Jimmy, who was aloof from most Bomis folks, we socialized. He's very witty, and I've never caught him in a lie. I could be wrong, but I got the impression that he was Bomis' original programmer. When I was there he was sort of the managing editor of Bomis. I think he managed the guys who weeded through Bomis' links to fix dead ones, and seemed to be keeping it going. What Jimmy Wales was doing, exactly, I am not sure.

I don't know why he kept Michael Davis' name secret. I remember being a little puzzled about that.

In the earliest months, Tim was at least as involved in Wikipedia as Jimmy Wales.

I'm pretty sure you could ask Tim for an interview. Another, possibly better person to interview would be the Bomis marketing guy, Jimmy's (ex) friend and "right hand man," Terry Foote. I also count him a friend. He's got some verrry interesting stories to tell, but I'll let him tell them when he's ready.
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GlassBeadGame
post Thu 6th October 2011, 3:31am
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QUOTE(Larry Sanger @ Wed 5th October 2011, 9:16pm) *


I know Bomis.com, the search engine, was around in 1996 or 1997.


Just what exactly was Bomis supposed to search for?
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Milton Roe
post Thu 6th October 2011, 3:48am
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QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Wed 5th October 2011, 8:31pm) *

QUOTE(Larry Sanger @ Wed 5th October 2011, 9:16pm) *


I know Bomis.com, the search engine, was around in 1996 or 1997.


Just what exactly was Bomis supposed to search for?

Nookie.
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The Joy
post Thu 6th October 2011, 3:59am
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QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Wed 5th October 2011, 11:48pm) *

QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Wed 5th October 2011, 8:31pm) *

QUOTE(Larry Sanger @ Wed 5th October 2011, 9:16pm) *


I know Bomis.com, the search engine, was around in 1996 or 1997.


Just what exactly was Bomis supposed to search for?

Nookie.


Indeed, Cedric even showed a naughty picture he got from Bomis, but it apparently is gone now.

http://wikipediareview.com/index.php?s=&sh...indpost&p=27414
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GlassBeadGame
post Thu 6th October 2011, 4:11am
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QUOTE(The Joy @ Wed 5th October 2011, 9:59pm) *

QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Wed 5th October 2011, 11:48pm) *

QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Wed 5th October 2011, 8:31pm) *

QUOTE(Larry Sanger @ Wed 5th October 2011, 9:16pm) *


I know Bomis.com, the search engine, was around in 1996 or 1997.


Just what exactly was Bomis supposed to search for?

Nookie.


Indeed, Cedric even showed a naughty picture he got from Bomis, but it apparently is gone now.

http://wikipediareview.com/index.php?s=&sh...indpost&p=27414


Well I was hoping for an answer from Larry. What kind of search parameters did it take? I mean was it like +Big +Boob +Blonde? If so "search engine" has the ring of a gentleman's agreement.
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EricBarbour
post Thu 6th October 2011, 4:33am
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Bomis was not a "search engine" per se, though it did have a search box. It was more like a webring system, or a Yahoo-style website directory.
As was remarked in the past, Bomis started out as a general-interest portal, mostly because Wales and Shell couldn't decide what to feature or cover.
But by 1997, they'd figured out the one thing the web was missing at the time: a way to find "babe pics". Of course, they blew it by not
rushing into that area quickly and developing content. Instead they were lazy--allowing others to post links to content, webring-style.
By 1998, more sleazy and ruthless people than them were putting up adult-material websites, usually requiring payment for access.
Bomis made some money from ads and affiliate links, but they apparently chose to sit around and wait for money to fall on them.
Because they didn't pursue marketing deals with the content producers aggressively, they didn't get very far. Just another also-ran of Web 1.0.

PS: Tim Shell still owns the bomis.com domain---until November 2012. I wonder if it has any kind of commercial value. Doubtful.
Also, they've managed to convince archive.org to eliminate all the old snapshots of bomis.com, going back to 1996.
Yes, they were there, only a couple of months ago. You see? The Net makes it easy to "rewrite history" and make the past disappear.

The only thing that makes Bomis stand out in my memory were the snotty wisecracks
at the top of every page, that changed automatically when refreshed.

This post has been edited by EricBarbour: Thu 6th October 2011, 4:48am
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tarantino
post Thu 6th October 2011, 5:23am
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QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Thu 6th October 2011, 4:33am) *

Also, they've managed to convince archive.org to eliminate all the old snapshots of bomis.com, going back to 1996.


There's no convincing necessary. If a domain being searched for currently has this in their robots.txt file,

User-agent: ia_archiver
Disallow: /

archive.org will hide all results for that domain.

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EricBarbour
post Thu 6th October 2011, 8:44am
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QUOTE(tarantino @ Wed 5th October 2011, 10:23pm) *

There's no convincing necessary. If a domain being searched for currently has this in their robots.txt file,
User-agent: ia_archiver
Disallow: /
archive.org will hide all results for that domain.

I know, but there IS NO robots.txt at the bomis.com domain.
There's nothing at all, not even a redirect. They must have
put it in robots.txt before they pulled the whole site down.

Does it just blindly obey the last robots file forever? Great.
Then what good are "archives" of websites?
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Peter Damian
post Thu 6th October 2011, 10:35am
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On a separate but related note I am trying to search the Wikipedia-l files http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikipedia-l for interesting material. Normally I do this by a Google site search, e.g.

<search terms> site:http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikipedia-l

This does not appear to work. Does anyone understand why so?
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Peter Damian
post Thu 6th October 2011, 4:30pm
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Thu 6th October 2011, 11:35am) *

On a separate but related note I am trying to search the Wikipedia-l files http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikipedia-l for interesting material. Normally I do this by a Google site search, e.g.

<search terms> site:http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikipedia-l

This does not appear to work. Does anyone understand why so?


Also, I wrote to one of the developers who was deeply involved in Bomis, and in the early days of Wikipedia, saying I was writing a book and interested in stories. Initially I represented it as 'early days of Wikipedia'.

The guy expressed immediate interest and approval, and volunteered for interview.

As soon as I mentioned Bomis, complete radio silence. Wikipedia is a paradox. One of its principles, and a core part of its ideology, is the passionate belief in the openness of all information. All knowledge wants to be free. The exception seems to be Wikipedia itself. Its functionaries use pseudonyms, and there are dire penalties in Wikipedia world for disclosing real names and identities. The innermost workings and history of Wikipedia is sealed off from outsiders. The whole organisationis a sort of freemasonry.

How do we explain this paradox? How do Wikipedians rationalise it to themselves?

This post has been edited by Peter Damian: Thu 6th October 2011, 4:34pm
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Larry Sanger
post Thu 6th October 2011, 6:24pm
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Thu 6th October 2011, 12:30pm) *

QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Thu 6th October 2011, 11:35am) *

On a separate but related note I am trying to search the Wikipedia-l files http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikipedia-l for interesting material. Normally I do this by a Google site search, e.g.

<search terms> site:http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikipedia-l

This does not appear to work. Does anyone understand why so?


Also, I wrote to one of the developers who was deeply involved in Bomis, and in the early days of Wikipedia, saying I was writing a book and interested in stories. Initially I represented it as 'early days of Wikipedia'.

The guy expressed immediate interest and approval, and volunteered for interview.

As soon as I mentioned Bomis, complete radio silence. Wikipedia is a paradox. One of its principles, and a core part of its ideology, is the passionate belief in the openness of all information. All knowledge wants to be free. The exception seems to be Wikipedia itself. Its functionaries use pseudonyms, and there are dire penalties in Wikipedia world for disclosing real names and identities. The innermost workings and history of Wikipedia is sealed off from outsiders. The whole organisationis a sort of freemasonry.

How do we explain this paradox? How do Wikipedians rationalise it to themselves?


Lee Daniel Crocker, who went on to do poker professionally if I am not mistaken, is the guy most responsible for getting MediaWiki started. Magnus Manske did a lot of work on the earliest version of MediaWiki, but Lee had to scrap a lot of his work. Magnus also worked a lot on Nupedia.

If you interview the Bomis programmers, or the sysadmin Jason Richey, you might ask them why the server mysteriously crashed around 2003, somewhat selectively wiping out email accounts, including my account. I'm not sure exactly of the details because I wasn't too suspicious back then.

If Wikipedia is "a sort of freemasonry," that will be news to me, and I'd be curious to learn why you think so. If so, I certainly had nothing to do with starting it, and it happened after I left. Everything I did was out in the open.
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Larry Sanger
post Thu 6th October 2011, 6:41pm
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QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Thu 6th October 2011, 12:33am) *

Bomis was not a "search engine" per se, though it did have a search box. It was more like a webring system, or a Yahoo-style website directory.
As was remarked in the past, Bomis started out as a general-interest portal, mostly because Wales and Shell couldn't decide what to feature or cover.
But by 1997, they'd figured out the one thing the web was missing at the time: a way to find "babe pics". Of course, they blew it by not
rushing into that area quickly and developing content. Instead they were lazy--allowing others to post links to content, webring-style.
By 1998, more sleazy and ruthless people than them were putting up adult-material websites, usually requiring payment for access.
Bomis made some money from ads and affiliate links, but they apparently chose to sit around and wait for money to fall on them.
Because they didn't pursue marketing deals with the content producers aggressively, they didn't get very far. Just another also-ran of Web 1.0.

PS: Tim Shell still owns the bomis.com domain---until November 2012. I wonder if it has any kind of commercial value. Doubtful.
Also, they've managed to convince archive.org to eliminate all the old snapshots of bomis.com, going back to 1996.
Yes, they were there, only a couple of months ago. You see? The Net makes it easy to "rewrite history" and make the past disappear.

The only thing that makes Bomis stand out in my memory were the snotty wisecracks
at the top of every page, that changed automatically when refreshed.

That's about the size of it. I could have said "web ring repository" but then I'd have
had to explain what I meant...

Tim was responsible for the list of "Bomis slogans." I think he had over 1,000 of them. He invited some people to contribute slogans and I added a few dozen myself, just out of fun.

In 1999 or so, Bomis imported the content of ODP en masse, making ODP categories into web rings. When I started working on Nupedia, I was told to look at ODP as an example of how open source principles could be applied to content. I remember being very impressed by the fact that many people, at the time, were bitching and complaining about the massive ODP bureaucracy. I myself became an ODP editor of a few categories, just to learn more about how it worked. This is one of the reasons we began with "ignore all rules" and why I repeatedly told people not to become insular and to avoid ranking people by seniority. Of course, my early warnings were ignored, and the spirit of "ignore all rules" was twisted all out of recognition, as if by a cargo cult. After I left, Wikipedia replicated the same sort of pretentious bureaucratic and rule-heavy nonsense of ODP.

This is probably human nature, of course. It would have taken a far greater person than I was (and a rather freer hand than Wales gave me) to convert the raw humanity of Wikipedia (lots and lots of Slashdotters) into an open, constitutionally-minded, more or less reasonable "democratic" sort of polity.
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Peter Damian
post Thu 6th October 2011, 6:46pm
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Can someone translate the above posts (ODP - what that?) into ordinary language?

One of my intentions in the book will be to bring some of these techie ideas in plain language to a general audience.

What exactly is a 'web ring' for? What does it look like? How would I use it? (Sorry to be so curmudgeonly - I'm from the generation that used rotary dial phones, indeed I am looking at a nice ebonite one on my desk as I type this).

E
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Peter Damian
post Thu 6th October 2011, 6:58pm
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QUOTE(Larry Sanger @ Thu 6th October 2011, 7:41pm) *

After I left, Wikipedia replicated the same sort of pretentious bureaucratic and rule-heavy nonsense of ODP.



See the post I started here: http://wikipediareview.com/index.php?s=&sh...ndpost&p=285869

QUOTE

This is probably human nature, of course.


Back to the Fall of Adam.

QUOTE

It would have taken a far greater person than I was (and a rather freer hand than Wales gave me) to convert the raw humanity of Wikipedia (lots and lots of Slashdotters) into an open, constitutionally-minded, more or less reasonable "democratic" sort of polity.


Slashdot is something I also need to understand.
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Kelly Martin
post Thu 6th October 2011, 7:14pm
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Thu 6th October 2011, 1:58pm) *
Slashdot is something I also need to understand.
Good luck with that.
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EricBarbour
post Thu 6th October 2011, 9:39pm
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Thu 6th October 2011, 11:46am) *

Can someone translate the above posts (ODP - what that?) into ordinary language?

Open Directory Project. Still available at dmoz.org. Just another of those "free" projects of the early web that eventually became a "drifting ship"--because the contributors bickered constantly.

Take a close look at the ODP. Despite being very different from Wikipedia, it is run in a similar free-culture-nerd manner. And has lost its contributor base, and become a superfluous project. Most of its database is hopelessly out of date and will apparently never be improved, whilst the few remaining contributors create links only about their own narrow interests. Wikipedia's likely future.

(You will also see their discussion forum. A forum which is completely inaccessible to outsiders and new users.)

QUOTE
One of my intentions in the book will be to bring some of these techie ideas in plain language to a general audience.

I think it is impossible to write such a book without some kind of glossary of the arcane tech and WP terminology. However, it should not be difficult to devise one. Just a question of how much detail to go into.
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SB_Johnny
post Thu 6th October 2011, 10:03pm
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Thu 6th October 2011, 2:46pm) *

What exactly is a 'web ring' for? What does it look like? How would I use it? (Sorry to be so curmudgeonly - I'm from the generation that used rotary dial phones, indeed I am looking at a nice ebonite one on my desk as I type this).

Wow, that's a term I haven't heard in a long while. "Web rings" were sort of a bottom-up way of getting your website "out there" in the early days of the web. The deal was that you signed up to a ring, and then had a little icon on your home page (not the browser "homepage", but your own "home page", like the "main page" on a wiki). The icon would say something like "see related websites", and then you'd follow it to another page (again, on your own website) to see a list of other small websites in your category (mine were philosophy and gardening).

This was a long time ago (late '90s) when you had to know HTML if you wanted your own website. While I can't say for sure it was pre-Gooooooogle, I certainly hadn't heard of google at the time. The only way to search back then was pretty much to go on yahoo (and archie or grep if you were feeling geeky).

Thanks for the wayback mental trip. smile.gif
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