Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Congress should use a Wiki to edit bills. Bonus, from the comments:

"Many in Congress wouldn't want version control. But the point [in the long term] is to make it a cultural norm, by making it a technical norm. It's a lot harder to object to something when to object means to deviate from the expected behavior."

And that, kids, is why you should do your math homework.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Interesting discussion about the nature of Wikipedia's hierarchy.

I've started the Article Rescue Squadron to prevent misguided deletions. Sign up if you're interested.

Unthinking deletion is becoming a serious problem. This isn't your run-of-the-mill "should we include individual TV episodes?" stuff; it's deletion of major public figures and important companies.

Andrew Lih: "How did we raise a new generation of folks who want to wipe out so much, who would shoot first, and not ask questions whatsoever?" Lih, by the way, used to be known as a deletionist. His positions haven't changed; the admin mainstream has.

Couple more points:

* It is easier to delete articles than to create them. Even if most admins keep, deleters will have a huge impact. (This bot tells people when an article they've worked on might get deleted. Only functions for a small subset of articles, but it's a step in the right direction. Systemic solution to a systemic problem.)

* If you work hard to write something, and then it's deleted, that really really sucks. It's a terrible user experience, if you want to think of it in business terms, and an asshole move if you want to think of it in social terms. Someone who goes through that experience is less likely to keep contributing.

A day in the life.

"I’m the chairwoman of the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit charity that manages Wikipedia. I don’t need much equipment — I have a five-year-old iBook laptop in the sitting room and a phone. The desk in the sitting room is my space. The sun streams in and I can see the Puy-de-Dôme volcano in the distance. Thomas is free to crawl around...It’s possible one day I’ll be more proud of Wikipedia than of the kids. Wikipedia’s become a kind of child to me too."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

And the election results are ... Oscar is out; Frieda is in. Sounds fine to me.


1. Eloquence (Erik Möller) 1671 votes
2. Mindspillage (Kathleen Walsh) 1427 votes
3. Frieda (Frieda Brioschi) 1254 votes


4. Oscar (Oscar van Dillen) 1234 votes
5. Michael Snow 1229 votes
6. Danny (Danny Wool) 1217 votes
7. Yann (Yann Forget) 1153 votes
8. Kim Bruning 1124 votes
9. UninvitedCompany (Steve Dunlop) 1047 votes
10. Kate (River Tarnell) 889 votes
11. Kingboyk (Stephen Kennedy) 864 votes
12. Ausir (Pawel Dembowski) 693 votes
13. ^demon (Michael "Chad" Horohoe) 672 votes
14. WarX (Artur Jan Fijalkowski) 571 votes
15. DragonFire1024 (Jason Safoutin) 495 votes

I think this calls for a chart. Unfortunately, my mac's in the shop; here's the best I can do in Excel (it still kind of sucks).

For those who don't know, this was approval voting -- people can vote for as many candidates as they want.

Eloquence and Mindspillage -- both incumbents -- were the unsurprising standouts; among the other qualified candidates, the race was very close. Which is a good thing. It'll keep the board on its toes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Godwin's law (the hitler thing) is named after Mike Godwin, who just got hired by the Foundation. Cool.