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A spatula said what?
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
Somey
That's unfortunate - Pierre Omidyar was the guy who founded eBay, and he seemed like such a nice guy... Most of his philanthropic efforts up until now have been fairly responsible, socially-speaking. The appointment of one of his people to another entity's board usually means he's about to make a big grant, if he hasn't already.

To think that he's been hoodwinked like this is very disturbing. It could even mean that someone associated with the WMF has figured out a way to spin their story so that it looks like they're doing something beneficial, to the extent that people with serious money are actually falling for it.
Moulton
Maybe he envisions a secondary market in used encyclopedia articles.
A spatula said what?
QUOTE(Moulton @ Tue 25th August 2009, 1:35pm) *
Maybe he envisions a secondary market in used encyclopedia articles.

More likely a proving ground for new patent-pending online reputation systems.
GlassBeadGame
QUOTE(A spatula said what? @ Tue 25th August 2009, 11:48am) *

QUOTE(Moulton @ Tue 25th August 2009, 1:35pm) *
Maybe he envisions a secondary market in used encyclopedia articles.

More likely a proving ground for new patent-pending online reputation systems.


Well at least he is not a Wikipedian. This is probably on balance a good thing that follows from Gardner's gradual transformation of WMF into a grown-up operation. I would rather it not be a representative of a grant maker from the techie sector. They might be too tolerant of some unsavory aspects of the internet and might bring libertarian ethos with them. I would prefer that it was a representative of Sloan who have given $3,000,000 or The Flora Hewlett Foundation who just gave $500,000. They would be more likely to provide prudent guidance based on long established non-profit practices and an ear to the concerns of the wider communty.
tarantino
QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Tue 25th August 2009, 6:06pm) *

Well at least he is not a Wikipedian. This is probably on balance a good thing that follows from Gardner's gradual transformation of WMF into a grown-up operation. I would rather I it not be a representative of a grant maker from the techie sector. They might be too tolerant of some unsavory aspects of the internet and might bring libertarian ethos with them. I would prefer that it was a representative of Sloan who have given $3,000,000 or The Flora Hewlett Foundation who just gave $500,000. They would be more like to provide prudent guidance based on long established non-profit practices and an ear to the concerns of the wider communty.


Omidyar also just gave WMF $2 million.

You may recall that they along with Bessemer Venture Partners and a few angel investors provided $4 million in funding to Wikia in 2006.
A spatula said what?
QUOTE(A spatula said what? @ Tue 25th August 2009, 1:48pm) *
More likely a proving ground for new patent-pending online reputation systems.
QUOTE(WMF)
His extensive experience with online communities, trust, and reputation, will make him an excellent addition to our Board.

TOLD YOU SO!!

Coming soon: Admins to be renamed POWER EDITORS, barnstars to be replaced with GOLD STARS and RETALIATORY FEEDBACK to replace edit wars.
Of course the advertisements on the site will easily fund the patent licensing fees to Omidyar and his friends at ebay. Plus no more irritating and profit sapping mirror and forks as Omidyar effectively owns creative commons.
anthony
QUOTE(Somey @ Tue 25th August 2009, 5:32pm) *

The appointment of one of his people to another entity's board usually means he's about to make a big grant, if he hasn't already.


Good call. What other organizations did that happen with?
Apathetic
QUOTE(Somey @ Tue 25th August 2009, 1:32pm) *

That's unfortunate - Pierre Omidyar was the guy who founded eBay, and he seemed like such a nice guy... Most of his philanthropic efforts up until now have been fairly responsible, socially-speaking. The appointment of one of his people to another entity's board usually means he's about to make a big grant, if he hasn't already.


prophetic!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...9082502561.html
RMHED
QUOTE(Apathetic @ Tue 25th August 2009, 11:57pm) *

QUOTE(Somey @ Tue 25th August 2009, 1:32pm) *

That's unfortunate - Pierre Omidyar was the guy who founded eBay, and he seemed like such a nice guy... Most of his philanthropic efforts up until now have been fairly responsible, socially-speaking. The appointment of one of his people to another entity's board usually means he's about to make a big grant, if he hasn't already.


prophetic!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...9082502561.html

Pierre has just bought himself some Wikipedia influence for a bit of loose change (at least for him). Wikipedia is for sale and Jimmy and the gang are doing a good job of pitching it to the serious players, though for them it's just a kind of hedging, a small outlay that might just pay off bigtime.
anthony
QUOTE(anthony @ Tue 25th August 2009, 10:53pm) *

QUOTE(Somey @ Tue 25th August 2009, 5:32pm) *

The appointment of one of his people to another entity's board usually means he's about to make a big grant, if he hasn't already.


Good call. What other organizations did that happen with?


Here's one. Poor negotiation skills on the part of the WMF. They should have held out for at least $4 million.
GlassBeadGame
QUOTE(A spatula said what? @ Tue 25th August 2009, 4:21pm) *

QUOTE(A spatula said what? @ Tue 25th August 2009, 1:48pm) *
More likely a proving ground for new patent-pending online reputation systems.
QUOTE(WMF)
His extensive experience with online communities, trust, and reputation, will make him an excellent addition to our Board.

TOLD YOU SO!!

Coming soon: Admins to be renamed POWER EDITORS, barnstars to be replaced with GOLD STARS and RETALIATORY FEEDBACK to replace edit wars.
Of course the advertisements on the site will easily fund the patent licensing fees to Omidyar and his friends at ebay. Plus no more irritating and profit sapping mirror and forks as Omidyar effectively owns creative commons.


Are you really so naive to not know that what actual has been going on within the Wikipedia "community" for a long tie is much worse than what you describe? Wikipedia is a MMORPG. All MMORPGs are driven by reputational economies based on exchanges of favors and influence. See Castronova. All this nonsense about editors writing articles for an encyclopedia is just the game board and is only true in a virtual sense. If you ever met SlimVirgin or JzG you already know this. Encyclopedic concepts like sourcing and neutrality only exist as tokens in the form of "WP:NOR" and "{{fact}}" to be wielded by avatars who could not hope to engage in sustained intellectual activity outside this virtual world. At least one board member might now understand this.
Moulton
QUOTE(WMF)
His extensive experience with online communities, trust, and reputation, will make him an excellent addition to our Board.

Jimbo's biggest fear is that the project falls into disrepute.

Bringing on board a person who understands how to build a community of reputable players is a good idea, but I fear it comes way too late in the game. The more disreputable players have mostly driven off the reputable academics who might have onced helped Wikipedia reach its original objective.
Malleus
QUOTE(Moulton @ Wed 26th August 2009, 1:25am) *

QUOTE(WMF)
His extensive experience with online communities, trust, and reputation, will make him an excellent addition to our Board.

Jimbo's biggest fear is that the project falls into disrepute.

Bringing on board a person who understands how to build a community of reputable players is a good idea, but I fear it comes way too late in the game. The more disreputable players have mostly driven off the reputable academics who might have onced helped Wikipedia reach its original objective.

I'm quite certain that many "reputable academics" have chosen not to get involved in wikipedia, whether they've been "driven off" or not. The academic imperative to publish is not met by wikipedia articles, and not all "reputable players" will be academics anyway.

It would not be difficult to make a case that academics are perhaps those least likely to be able to write a neutral article on a subject dear to their hearts, as opposed to espousing the view they hope will make their name and give them tenure. Let's not fall to our knees in awe of "reputable academics"; the world of academia is no more "reputable" than any other human endeavour.
John Limey
QUOTE(Moulton @ Wed 26th August 2009, 12:25am) *

QUOTE(WMF)
His extensive experience with online communities, trust, and reputation, will make him an excellent addition to our Board.

Jimbo's biggest fear is that the project falls into disrepute.

Bringing on board a person who understands how to build a community of reputable players is a good idea, but I fear it comes way too late in the game. The more disreputable players have mostly driven off the reputable academics who might have onced helped Wikipedia reach its original objective.


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.
EricBarbour
QUOTE(Somey @ Tue 25th August 2009, 10:32am) *

That's unfortunate - Pierre Omidyar was the guy who founded eBay, and he seemed like such a nice guy...

Many years ago, at the Computer Museum, I met a volunteer who claimed to be one of eBay's early employees (1997). I asked him what it was like to work there, and he said something to the effect that "Pierre is a real nice guy, unless you've got something that he wants. Then he'll destroy you, and everyone around you, to get it." He said he left, and blew off substantial stock options, after working there for a year and seeing Pierre and Jeff Skoll "doing business". He said he was "appalled at how ruthless and sleazy they were....they filed completely phony tax returns, they lied to the SEC, they lied to state regulators, etc. etc......"

How true is any of that? No idea. But I do know that eBay has made itself a whole lot of enemies over the years.
Milton Roe
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.
Malleus
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?
The Joy
QUOTE(Malleus @ Tue 25th August 2009, 11:11pm) *

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?


Our thekohser has a unfinished PhD and he certainly is no moron! biggrin.gif

I remember a professor in my undergraduate school saying that, in order for one to get a PhD, one had to write a 300-800 page dissertation on a unique topic that added to current scholarship. The moment he said "300-800 page", I didn't want to get a PhD! unhappy.gif
Kelly Martin
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.
John Limey
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".
John Limey
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.
Cock-up-over-conspiracy
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.
GlassBeadGame
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.
Moulton
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.
NuclearWarfare
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).
Moulton
Now imagine there were a system for rating the reputability of Wikipedians.
John Limey
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.
Moulton
If there is one yawning gap in Jimbo's "organic experiment" it's lack of vision.
anthony
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.
GlassBeadGame
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?
Eva Destruction
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."
The Adversary
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
Cock-up-over-conspiracy
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.
GlassBeadGame
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.
anthony
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.
John Limey
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.
GlassBeadGame
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.
tarantino
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.

Somey
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
tarantino
QUOTE(Somey @ Sun 30th August 2009, 3:53am) *

Obviously $2 million is chicken feed to someone who's worth as much as Omidyar ...


Yeah, and also compared to the $12.5 million that the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundations just gave to the Encyclopedia of Life, a collaborative project that's goal is to describe all known species.
Nerd
QUOTE(Somey @ Sun 30th August 2009, 4:53am) *

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...


That would cause an uproar.
thekohser
Akahele: Omidyar venturing out
-- by Gregory Kohs

If you publicly announce (on the same day) a $2 million grant and the award of a board of trustees seat, people will assume that the seat was “bought” by the money-granting organization. No matter how well (or how poorly) you communicate the transaction, there will be skeptics. Gregory Kohs examines how the Omidyar Network obtained a seat on the Wikimedia Foundation board.
Milton Roe
QUOTE(Nerd @ Sun 30th August 2009, 6:20am) *

QUOTE(Somey @ Sun 30th August 2009, 4:53am) *

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...


That would cause an uproar.

It will cause an uproar, but WMF does not care. Do you think they care that Jimbo's BLP is buffed and polished and Doran's is missing? No. They label this as a "privacy" issue, as though didn't cover a whole multitude of sins. Everybody has privacy. And if yours is protected better than somebody else's, it means you can get away with just about anything more easily.

Nobody will be able to add anything false and scandalous to Omidyar's BLP, for quite some time. Depend on it.
GlassBeadGame
Wikipedia acting in a socially responsible maneer, as opposed to relying on immunity and the free content that anyone, regardless of motive or quality provides, will take significant resources. A broke WMF will always be an irresponsible entity. A WMF that relies exclusively on individual donations from a techie libertarian base will always be irresponsible. It will especially take administrative capacity and staff to assure editorial standards and not just some invisible hand nonsense. Omidyar beleives he has something to offer in these areas. I think he is laboring under many false assumptions based on "market fetish" type of economics. But I'm not saying that market devices have nothing to offer. I hope that Omidyar makes them take a hard look at developing responsibility and if market devices don't provide the answers I hope he will be pragmatic enough to look at other approaches too. In any event financial resources provided by givers invested in the reputation of the organization, not a bunch of nameless small givers, will be needed to even begin down the path toward responsibility.
dtobias
QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Tue 25th August 2009, 2:06pm) *

might bring libertarian ethos with them.


...and you wouldn't want something so unspeakably horrible! Perish the thought!
thekohser
It seems that one Austrian is not willing to perceive Omidyar Network in the light that Omidyar would wish him to perceive them.
thekohser
One thing is clear... $2 million buys Halprin unanimous support for an additional year on the Board.
CharlotteWebb
QUOTE(thekohser @ Mon 28th December 2009, 7:41pm) *

One thing is clear... $2 million buys Halprin unanimous support for an additional year on the Board.

Things could be worse. See, I clicked on that and immediately confused Matt Halprin with Mark Helprin. jawdrop.gif

Thus began 30 seconds of explosive brainfuck.
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