Archive for the 'General Stuff' Category

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.


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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How nerdy

February 13, 2007

So, I meet up with the friend I was looking for yesterday — Christopher — at the ANU today, and we rocked around for a while, looking for the supposed “Carnival Day” today. In the course of that, we discovered a few things:

  1. ANU’s wireless sucks under load, since it’s only a 54Mbps connection. I get around 15KB/s over the net, though, so it’s acceptable.
  2. Apple don’t sell iSights anymore. This is a bad thing.
  3. The carnival was hidden behind the Chifley library, and was tiny.
  4. For some reason, the carnival featured — among other things — an Apple stall. They saw the iBook, and gave me a free iTunes card. Good thing I didn’t show them the Linux installation.

So, interesting day.

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Standing in line, how interesting

February 12, 2007

At the risk of inadvertently lifeblogging, I’m standing in the middle of Union Court at the ANU, waiting for a sausage from the sausage sizzle. They don’t appear to be selling any, though — I sense a conspiracy.

In other news, my recent post on Citizendium was the 21st most popular WordPress post of the day, yesterday. :)

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O-Week starts tomorrow

February 11, 2007

O-Week at ANU begins tomorrow, and sounds like it’ll be a lot of fun. The timetable includes a number of things I’d like to attend, although due to SA and CGGS work, uni preparations and my current maths course, I’m only going to be able to attend a few. Photos may be posted… but without a camera, probably not.

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I’m blinded by awesome

February 10, 2007

What can I say, but: less than three.  Srsly.

The highlight of the video would be this:

Less than three, O-M-G,
Love computer fantasy,
Meet me here on IRC,