The Foundation board thinks it's in control, but Jimmy has a better sense of survival. And even Jimmy is treading water at this point.
The chair of the Board doesn't get it:http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/found...rch/028319.html
Florence Devouard Anthere9 at yahoo.com Sun Mar 11 14:01:14 UTC 2007
maybe because it is sunday...
I was having a look at the press a few minutes ago, and I saw Essjay real name plastered everywhere, and referred to a "fake", fired from Wikipedia and fired from Wikia.
To be honest, whatever the degree of his mistake, my heart grieves for him. He did not deserve to be shamed publicly in this way. I feel very very sorry for him.
On Slashdot, Erik desperately pretends that these legal distinctions mean something:
by Eloquence (144160) on Sunday March 11, @12:19PM (#18308404) (http://www.violence.de/)
As an elected Board member of the Wikimedia Foundation, I can assure you that your opinion is incorrect. The Board of Directors of the Wikimedia Foundation has 7 members, of which Jimmy is one. He is the Chair Emeritus, which is a title we have given him to recognize his historic role, but which does not have any legal powers or responsibilities associated with it. The Chair of the Foundation is a nice French woman named Florence Devouard; I am the Executive Secretary.
As a tax-exempt 501c(3) non-profit organization, the Wikimedia Foundation also maintains a strict conflict of interest policy. So, Jimmy is not permitted to make any propositions which would advance the corporate interests of Wikia, and has indeed been completely excluded from discussions where his involvement in Wikia was relevant. (This, of course, also goes for any other corporate interests Board members may have.) In this way, Jimmy actually has less influence to promote Wikia as a Board member than he would have as a mere community member.
Jimmy retains some community influence specifically in the English Wikipedia, but that influence is not legally anchored. He speaks frequently to the English language press, though Florence has also done a lot of interviews lately. People seem to construct from this all kinds of bizarre conspiracy theories which have no basis in reality. This is a shame, because the WMF is truly committed to making the world a better place, and needs all the support it can get.
Meanwhile, back at the Center of World Media, all they have to do is report the facts and the pressure increases: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/12/technology/12wiki.html
You are in a heap of trouble when "Just the facts, ma'm" keeps the pressure on. No Tabloid Coverage Required
, thank you, the facts alone are sufficient.
Jimmy has a much better sense of how to get out in front of a bad media situation than anyone else on the board of the Foundation. The Foundation may wish that Jimmy would stick with Wikia, but the bottom line is that Wikipedia is so screwed up that they need Jimmy. The Foundation board is essentially a legal fiction at this point. They don't like Jimmy, but they need Jimmy. And even then it might be too late for Wikipedia.
Pass the popcorn.