Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Friday, December 07, 2007

There have been a few minor scandals recently -- allegations of a "secret mailing list" for powerful admins; amassing of "secret evidence" that, like McCarthy's, turns out to be totally unconvincing; some unpleasantness with the CEO of Overstocked.

As usual for this type of thing, it's completely impossible to figure out what's actually going on. If you like, you can read the authoritative decision from on high, which is accurate as far as it goes but utterly mind-numbing; the Register article, which is riveting but heavily slanted, or the comments in this slashdot thread, which are alright at providing some context. This is probably the best coverage so far.

Frankly, you're best off just waiting for some coverage from actual journalists like Andrew Lih or Noam Cohen. (My overriding feeling right now is pissed-off-ness that I've wasted my morning researching this boring, demoralizing story.)

Until then, here are some cliffs notes:

1. Powerful Wikipedians have a bunker mentality, perhaps because they've been stalked.

(Update: Like I said, admins should not be anonymous in the first place. An "anonymous public figure" is an oxymoron that the universe will attempt to correct.)

2. Adminship has become something it was never intended to be (predictably, because people will use the power they're given)

3. There many be unhealthy social forces at work within Wikipedia. There's the potential for a vicious cycle wherein good contributors are driven away and the climate gets worse, but the sky's not falling just yet.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Well, I'm back in michigan, and I never made another videoblog. But in case you're hungering for wikivideo from australia, here's Wikia's Angela Beesley in a surprisingly good interview:

link, for feed readers