Wikipedia in the news: 2 September 2008

Wiki­me­dia: matur­ing and pro­fes­sion­al­ising

Wiki­me­dia pegs future on edu­ca­tion, not profit (24 August 2008, San Fran­cisco Chron­icle)

Sue Gard­ner, Wikimedia’s exec­ut­ive dir­ect­or, expresses sur­prise at the mis­un­der­stand­ings that people have about Wiki­me­dia. As a char­ity, Wiki­me­dia is not seek­ing to profit from the bil­lions of dol­lars that some say could be earned from pla­cing advert­ise­ments on its pro­jects’ web­sites. Recently, Wiki­me­dia moved its headquar­ters to San Fran­cisco, and the move, Gard­ner says, was because of the area’s “tech tal­ent”; the organisation’s core staff has now increased to 21. Jimmy Wales cred­its Gard­ner with pro­fes­sion­al­ising Wiki­me­dia, insti­tut­ing com­pet­ent and sound man­age­ment. Gardner’s goals for the future include increas­ing par­ti­cip­a­tion, improv­ing qual­ity and mak­ing Wiki­pe­dia avail­able in a vari­ety of formats. On the oth­er hand, Ed Chi, the cre­at­or of Wiki­Dash­board, says that there has been a decline in interest in edit­ing that does not bode well for the com­munity.

US Vice-Pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates with groomed art­icles

McCain camp touts Biden praise ahead of speech (27 August 2008, TheHill​.com)

Blog­gers have noticed changes to Joseph Biden’s Wiki­pe­dia art­icle as news of his Vice-Pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion was leak­ing out. For instance, blog­gers say that the sec­tion about his involve­ment in the 2004 pres­id­en­tial cam­paign was deleted. Also, details of Biden’s under­gradu­ate stud­ies and alleg­a­tions of pla­gi­ar­ism were said to have dis­ap­peared from his Wiki­pe­dia bio­graphy. The art­icle raises the ques­tion of wheth­er Bar­rack Obama’s cam­paign or the Demo­crat­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee changed the art­icle, giv­en the tim­ing of the edits.

Don’t Like Palin’s Wiki­pe­dia Story? Change It (31 August 2008, The New York Times)

A Wiki­pe­dia user called Young­Trigg made a num­ber of edits to Sarah Palin’s art­icle before the announce­ment of her nom­in­a­tion as the Repub­lic­an Vice-Pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate; the user­name is a ref­er­ence to her infant son Trig. The edits, which added com­pel­ling stor­ies about her upbring­ing and pos­it­ive com­ments about her polit­ic­al career, were in fact rewar­ded with a Barn­star, and the edit­or made con­tact with oth­er Wiki­pe­dia edit­ors. In par­tic­u­lar, Young­Trigg asked an anonym­ous edit­or where he or she had heard about Pal­in being McCain’s choice, pos­sibly because, as the art­icle sug­gests, Young­Trigg had an interest in wheth­er the news had leaked already. How­ever, later, anoth­er user came along to tone down the addi­tions that seem biased. Ulti­mately, Young­Trigg, who denied rela­tion to the Pal­in fam­ily, has now retired from Wiki­pe­dia.

Oth­er men­tions

Oth­er recent men­tions in the online press include:

From the Wiki­pe­dia Sign­post.

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