Jimmy Wales speaks at Wikimania 2007 (live stream!)

August 3, 2007

The Wikimania 2007 keynote is on at this very moment, with Florence addressing the audience right now. Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, will be speaking very shortly. If you have Skype, get online and listen right now!

read more | digg story


Jimmy Wales speaks at Wikimania 2007 (live stream!)

August 3, 2007

The Wikimania 2007 keynote is on at this very moment, with Florence addressing the audience right now. Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, will be speaking very shortly. If you have Skype, get online and listen right now!

read more | digg story

Forget my own head if it weren’t nailed on

March 12, 2007

A recent email from Larry Sanger:


It occurs to me that a few of you might not be participating on the wiki (http://pilot.citizendium.org/) because you lost your username. Well, it’s no bother for us to look it up for you. If you have forgotten yours, simply drop a quick mail to constables at citizendium.org and we’ll send it to you. Then you can easily have your password sent to you, and get involved!


Hang on. Citizendium requires all users to register with their real names, and always has done; it’s one of the fundamental principles of the site. Not only that, but there is a standard format for all Citizendium usernames: “Firstname Lastname”.

So.. why does Larry think that people are forgetting their own names?

The twenty-first thing

March 11, 2007

Angela Beesley has collected a total of twenty things you probably didn’t know about Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation, and it’s a good read. Some particularly important points that I want to stress would be:

13. The Wikipedia Foundation did not announce a new project.
16. Admins do not have editorial authority in Wikipedia.
17. Wikia is not a Wikimedia project.

If everyone would get these points right, the pedant within me would be that much happier. I have one more, based on my own experience:

21. Yes, I did hear about “that guy on Wikipedia.” Thank you for asking.

Wikipedia Weekly 14

March 11, 2007

… is now up, and available here. Go download it, right now.

Apparently, I’m awesome

March 10, 2007

Or so says Jonathon Stokes, the co-founder of a hitherto unknown-to-me site called ValueWiki. Look, I’m up there at number 1! (Err, technically that’s Wikipedia Weekly, not me. But I get a personal mention.. that counts for something, right?)

Indeed, that’s a pretty good list to look at, and I follow a number of blogs that it lists. Among the others that get a mention are Citizendium’s official blog at number three, Geoff Burling (one of the most knowledgeable Wikipedians I know), and, surprisingly enough, Jimmy Wales. Jimmy rarely posts to his blog, but it’s usually worth reading when he does.

To go a little beyond this list, I could also point to Wikimedias who blog at Meta, or better yet, the very excellent sites Wiki Blog Planet (which seems to be identical to Open Wiki Blog Planet) and Planet Wikimedia.

Go subscribe to some lists, or something. In the meantime, I’ll ponder the question: is Jonathon Stokes the Jonathon Stokes?

Wikimania 2007

March 10, 2007

I’m not much of a conference guy. I remember volunteering to help at Linux.Conf.Au when it came to Canberra in 2005, but that’s about it. However, I’m fairly certain I’ll be attending the annual Wikipedia/Wikimedia meetup, Wikimania, when it hits Taiwan in early August.

If I’m lucky enough to go this year, it would be in the semi-official self-important role of “Podcaster d00d”, along with Andrew, Liam and hopefully the mysterious Tawker and others. In general, we’ll be involved with covering the event in the spirit of citizen journalism; recordings of each talk will presumably be made available online, but we’ll be concerned with recording as much of the event as we think would be interesting. That includes attendees’ comments, interviews with the speakers, and so on.

We already have a few ideas for how this could be done. Here are a few:

  • We could produce a shortened episode of the podcast for each day of the conference. This would probably run for half an hour or less, and preferably include a rundown of the day’s events, ideally including a brief audio clip from each talk and perhaps a quick chat with a few speakers.
  • Brief interviews with attendees, from which we could extract 3-4 soundbites to be interspersed through the day’s episode.
  • Video recordings of the day. Due to bandwidth concerns, these would probably need to be limited in duration and so lend themselves best to short interviews and the like. We’ll need to find a decent camera for this.
  • An audio workshop, running through our methods for recording the podcast. This would probably be of interest to the Wikiversity crowd, as that project has made heavier use of user-produced audio than most others.

I’m sure there are plenty more ideas to be had on that front. Even if I can’t personally go, Andrew will certainly be in a position to go through with at least a few of the above and probably more besides. I’ll create this page at Wikipedia in a little while so can collect a list of ideas for the event, and I’d love to hear what other people think we could do.

How to influence people

February 27, 2007

Larry Sanger’s Citizendium is just drowning in good press these days. Unfortunately for the site, two slashdottings later the site is still struggling to keep up a decent rate of expansion: the “Big Write” project fizzled, and hundreds of new users in just a few days have done little in terms of writing new content. So, when Ars Technica’s Nate Anderson posted a glowing three-page review of the Wikipedia alternative, it was another chance for Citizendium to leap to the big time.

However, the resulting discussion thread turned out a little differently. The response was overwhelmingly negative, despite the best efforts of Citizendium’s Jason Potkanski, an Ars reader and forum denizen himself.

This is where the story gets interesting, though. It seems that Larry saw the discussion thread, which had been linked to on his site’s official blog, and decided to take a read. Here is his response (emphasis mine):

Jason, why do you waste your time in that discussion? Clearly you’re dealing with a bunch of jackals there who simply hate the idea of the project. There will be only more and more such people as we become more and more successful. No one cared much last September, so we only had a few negative reactions, all of them saying that it can’t work; but now that we’ve got over 1,000 articles, many hundreds of participants, consistently well over 500 edits per day (and pushing toward 1000 regularly), with scores of regular contributors…well, some people are evidently starting to feel threatened by us.



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Baby steps forward

February 26, 2007

Big Things are happening at Larry Sanger’s Citizendium. Things like “The Big Delete“, in which the project “unforked” itself from Wikipedia by deleting most of their derivative content; “The Big Speedydelete“, in which they deleted “probably over 1,000 pages” of other crap; and “The Big Cleanup“. Most recently, though, Citizendium has launched itself into the next Big Thing: the imaginatively named “Big Write“.

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Citizendium struggles to convert publicity into content

February 14, 2007

Citizendium was slashdotted again recently, prompting the creation of 900 new user accounts in the last 24 hours. So, following up from my recent post on their last slashdotting, how has this affected the site’s performance?

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