Notes & Queries

JA: I guess my first criticism would be a worry about the name "crowdsourcing". It clangs me wrong somehow. Jon Awbrey 12:12, 8 October 2008 (PDT)

NR: My thoughts: Do I even have real-world credentials? Now there's a problem. Why not have a message board and a wiki? There are good and bad points to having either one.

NR: On the thought of what domain name to use: I think (no, that is a very bad idea) something that implies what we're doing (Wiki..something) would be suitable. (Well OK taking the piss out of Jimbo, we can do that in other ways without using the domain name to do it, it also doesn't seem professional, why I thought that was a good idea, I'll never know) — Nathan (talk) / 19:15, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

JA: I've grown weary of fixating on (1) Wikipedia (2) Wikipedia Personae. Yes, most of our concrete data and hard experience comes from those sources — though I did see the very same dynamics in Citizendium despite the one bug fix that Sanger tried to implement — but we need to view that data and experience as cases under generic concepts, and focus on the genus not the individuals. So "MimboJimbo" would probably lead us down the wrong path. Jon Awbrey 12:30, 8 October 2008 (PDT)

PW: I'm afraid that I really don't like "MimboJimbo" either, as it gives a rather "Monty Python" impression and is also inherently negative. If we want to be taken seriously, we've got to have a neutral name which doesn't imply a result (we already know that the result is going to be negative, but we don't need to come out and say that...Best to let people read the evidence and make their own minds up). So, the actual name of the site should be neutral, rather scientific, yet precise. I've suggested "WikiAnalysis" (first choice) and "WikiReader" (second choice)...However, there must be other possibilities.

BK: There is a professor at Kansas State University who does ethnographic studies of cyberspace cultures. One of his classes focused on the phenomenon of YouTube. He recently gave a presentation of his work at the Library of Congress. It's worth watching, mainly for the example of his kind of scholarship. —Moulton 20:15, 9 October 2008 (PDT)

First seven minutes are very engaging. I'm left with the question, "where did Wikipedia make the mistaken turns away from this magical sense of joyful empowerment?" I'll continue later. Bed time now. -- MyWikiBiz 20:33, 9 October 2008 (PDT)
WP made the same mistake that humankind made back in the days of Hammurabi. They adopted a lamentably idiotic community regulatory mechanism. They adopted a regulatory mechanism ideally suited to games or drama, but ill-suited to an academic enterprise. There really isn't any excuse for it. It was a fundamental failure of leadership. —Moulton 21:32, 9 October 2008 (PDT)

DT: Have you reserved any .org or .info domains, in case the project turns into a noncommercial informational resource rather than a commercial entity? Dtobias 20:44, 9 October 2008 (PDT)

AJD: Personally I'd favor a forum with a more positive focus. But if you're going to stick with the negative, what exactly is it that you're criticizing? Criticism of "unethical, unprofessional practices of information management on the Internet" seems too broad. Maybe limit it to so called "user-generated" content on the Internet? Anthony 13:10, 10 October 2008 (PDT)

Consider the Crowdsource

GK: The only ready synonym for "crowdsourcing" that comes to my mind is "user-generated content", or "Web 2.0". Nathan, you have credentials, in that you have a location, a job, and schooling, which is really all I'm looking for. I think MimboJimbo is way off... I was just mentioning which domains I actually hold claim to. Really, I'm thinking that the domain should be something simple and descriptive (but still available), along the lines of "". -- MyWikiBiz 13:37, 8 October 2008 (PDT)

JA: Okay, let's talk about that. I probably need to start by trying to articulate my inklings, irklings, or reservations about the term.

  • When I hear "crowdsource" it calls to mind one of the prime directives of critical thinking, to wit, "Consider The Source!"
    • That leads me to ask:
      • Is the crowd the source?
      • If we mean that the crowd is the source, is that a Good, a Bad, or an Indifferent thing?

JA: That's about as far as I get for now. Jon Awbrey 13:52, 8 October 2008 (PDT)

PW: The whole idea of "crowd sourcing" as it relates to Wikis is a fallacy. First of all, not everyone has access to a computer and of those that do, not everyone is necessarily able to forcibly vehicle their point of view effectively against the "Voice of the Crowd". The demographics of Wikipedia already show the inherent problems with calling what is produced "the sum of all human knowledge" as there are clearly elements of the subset of humans who are not present in the demographics of Wikipedia. So, what is happening in Web 2.0 is clearly not "crowd" sourcing, but the re-enforcement of the idea that "we are those who define reality". It's a celebration of "Us", which implies a "them" and the division that this implies. The WP:En experience serves very well as a test case for this hypothesis. So, perhaps the "crowd sourcing" angle is too limitative and not the entire phenomenon?

NR: I actually do not have two of the things that you mention (I've expanded on this via e-mail). Anyway, that's a better idea for a domain name. It's more descriptive in terms of what the site would actually do. I don't know what I was thinking, really. I also agree, it's probably not possible (or prudent) to use "Wikipedia" as part of the domain name. — Nathan (talk) / 22:39, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

PW: Nathan, I don't think that this has to be so complicated. We can trace you to a real person and it's obvious that you are indeed that person. That's fine by me.

NR: Okay, that works then. — Nathan (talk) / 17:51, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Suggest we move to the "article"

GK: Might I suggest that we move from "thoughtful conversation mode" here on the Discussion page, over to the wiki-mode "Article" page. Let's craft a collection of principles and ideas that we all can live with, and once we get to that point, we can decide on exactly how to execute. If we start to see "edit wars" on the Article page, even among us friends, then that will itself be an indicator that our ideas are not on a level-set.

JA: For reasons I will tell you about off-line, my mind and time are a bit scattered right now, and I probably won't be up to careful analysis or sustained discussion for another week or so. Jon Awbrey 07:07, 9 October 2008 (PDT)

GK: We'll miss you, but we fully understand, Jon. This is only "web kvetching", you know, and should be toward the bottom of all our priorities!

A word from Joe

WR, in my humble opinion, is just extension of the WP thought police and arbcom, and such has lost sight of it's mission. WR is now, just an apologist for WP and a haven for the miscretin wikipeidiot admins and other power drunk punks, who's respect for others and rule of law is non existent. WP is a Canker Sore on the internet and, in my simple opinion, can not ever be reformed. Wikipedia must be dismantled, it's tax exempt status, revoked and the servers, which houses WP purge of the stinking Cancerous mess of wikipeida and it's lies, mis-information, and virtual altar to the tin god Jimbo, the magnificent.Joehazelton 22:52, 9 October 2008 (PDT)

A word from Blissyu2

My main criticism of Wikipedia is now and has always been the ability for Wikipedia to change truth on important issues. On many very important issues there are multiple viewpoints that must be expressed in order to get an accurate perspective, and it is impossible for anyone to speak or write about them without major bias. Trying to remove the bias leads to removing the factual aspects of the case. Because Wikipedia aims for Neutral Point of View, they forbid experts to comment on topics, which leads to a lot of idiots writing dumb articles. On top of that, experts do secretly edit articles, and secretly control them, to pervert the article. What really should happen is that articles are owned by experts. If an article cannot be written by just one person, then multiple competing articles should exist to reflect all biases. Biases are an important part of historical revelation. I have written many times, and proven pretty conclusively I think, that Wikipedia's article on the Port Arthur massacre, a very important event in Australian history, and even moreso to myself personally, is written horrifically inaccurately. Not only that, but the majority of people who have contributed to it have tried to present accurate information, but have been forbidden from doing so. Because of Wikipedia's inaccurate display of that incident, the generally accepted truth of that issue has changed dramatically, with today as many as 20% of people accepting Wikipedia's version of events, as opposed to less than 5% 5 years ago. On top of that, when Thebainer added the "Conspiracy theories" section, listing some of the least well known theories, and only mentioning their conclusions, rather than the facts that they are based on, combined with saying why they are not believed, he introduced what is called "disinformation". It pretends that these are the only alternatives, when in reality they are not the only alternatives, and indeed represent a minority view even smaller than the minority view presented by Wikipedia.

Wikipedia Review was a good concept, and I think that we can see that in most respects it worked well. The main failure, in my opinion, is in a lack of loyalty. Igor Alexander, the founder of the site, was banned from his own site when we moved. On top of that, then we had all of the original founders, except for Selina, banned from the site, in addition to more than half of the people who have ever held administrator status. Indeed, we have only had perhaps 5 or 6 people ever banned that were NOT administrators or people with power on the site. This reeks of a power struggle, and is quite frankly not on. This kind of thing shouldn't exist anywhere. Perhaps more could have been done to try to stop it, but it is too late now, and I felt like I couldn't do anything more at the time.

Furthermore, a second major problem is that Wikipedia Review began to focus more on popularity and less on integrity. Ever since that director came on (Col Scott, I forget his real name), Wikipedia Review has focussed on what would make them look good rather than what was the right thing to do. For ages we were accused of doing the wrong thing, but then we started to actually do it.

Poetlister should never have been promoted, because Poetlister was never regular enough to warrant it. Poetlister was also the subject of a criticism, hence a poor choice as administrator. Guy perhaps should have been promoted, but they should not have considered both at once, since they were speaking with one voice. Whether they were separate people or not, it is not on.

I do not think that using real names is the answer. That was tried on Citizendium, and it doesn't really make things any better. In the end, if you use your real name on the internet, it just means that the anonymous millions will have more things to smear your name with. When you are talking about criticism and such, you are putting your name out there, and it is dangerous to list your real name.

Besides which, I have known many incidences when people have used what they claimed were their real names, but they actually weren't. It doesn't actually help that situation all that much. Blissyu2 04:40, 10 October 2008 (PDT)

The Wikipedia Point of View

Just to add my two pennies - we already have The Wikipedia Point of View here on MWB. The idea was not a forum, but something more like a Wiki, where problems with Wikipedia articles are carefully documented with hard links and references. I started it because permalinks are hard to maintain in a forum. Plus almost any subject in Wikipedia Review has a long history that its proponents understand too well to explain to outsiders, meaning most of it (e.g. Naked short selling) is incomprehensible.

It is a personal effort and will remain so, but there is a need for something that explains in a reasonable and sober way to an outsider what is happening at Wikipedia. Rather like Encyclopedia Dramatica but without the dramatics and, er, the pictures. Ockham 05:58, 10 October 2008 (PDT)

Peccadildonic Pastimes

What I have observed in the Wikisphere (which includes the many miscreantic outcasts on W-R) is an abundance of unproductive venting on issues running to obscure peccadilloes for which the corresponding emotional state is oftimes utterly inscrutable.

If there is an unmet need for peripatetic peccadildonic palavering, perhaps we should think about how to organize that ongoing orbital oration into a more functional process that converges to some insightfully innovative solutions to our cumulative collection of complementary complaints.

Otherwise, all we are doing is pouring kvetchup on our refried brains.

Moulton 07:28, 10 October 2008 (PDT)

Joe the outcast of WR responds to elitist dribble mongers

Well well, the problem I have is I don't have a fine HARVARD or other ELITE education from some far away remote tower of IVORY were they shit bricks of marble.

I am a simple fellow, whose values revolve around basic truths that you don't LIE, CHEAT or STEAL and the Golden Rule... and you should be held to account for these truths.

The problem is meely-mouth, double talkers, dismiss this, in favor of moral relativism, where every person is a god and no one is bound to "higher moral authority" so evolves a culture of elitism and ends justified the means and a cesspool like wikipeida (where, as in Orwell, black is white, and 1+2=4 and where consensus can generate justification for the lies and bullshit for the sake of "consensus" and "harmony" but in the end, you get a Tyranny of the Majority and the evil you get with it.

For me, wikipeida is full of degenerate and morally bankrupted, liars, plagiarizers, slanderers, and other petty criminals and intellectual bunko artists, which, My CRUDE, UNEDUCATED AND HUMBLE OPINION, makes it a moral imperative that wikipeida is called to task, in the REAL WORLD and HELD TO ACCOUNT, IN THE REAL world and NOT HIDE, LIKE SNIVELING COWARDS, and MEELY MOUTH WORMS, to the destruction of peoples works, ideas and reputations, on the sheer whims of uncontrolled power tripping, basement dwelling pill bugs. Joehazelton 09:07, 10 October 2008 (PDT)

Joe, your passion is always inspiring to me. I hope that I haven't given the impression that all contributors to this new project should have impressive degrees or haughty credentials. Rather, all I ask is that the criticisms be formulated in a journalistic style of reporting that would be welcoming to an "outside" observer in the field of journalism or academia. If we go the route of the wiki, in fact, other contributors would even be able to help collaborate with those who are heavy on passion and justice, but light on citation and narrative. I tend to agree that there exists a surplus of sniveling cowards and mealy-mouthed worms on Wikipedia. But, it's our job to make that clear to neutral third parties, without coming off as misguided invective. For example, when JzG plagiarized the content of the original Arch Coal article, it was at least acceptable under the terms of the GFDL. But when, 15 months later, he deleted the original provenance of the article and then (elsewhere) claimed that this was ethically correct, being that his version was supposedly written ab initio, that was a lie, and it was an act of sniveling cowardice, for which he has still not apologized, even though it would be simple to do so. Documenting activity like that will be an important part of helping the uninformed bystander to come to realize the passion and the justice which you wish to convey. -- MyWikiBiz 10:49, 10 October 2008 (PDT)
Those I address,will know which side of the issue they are on... obviously, not all to this place are in the ivory towers, as I described. Now, as a platform to carry out my war on wikpeida, that I tip my hat to you, the management of this place. I hope you will respect the concept of free speech were the true test of free speach is to protect speech we don't like. (I a a firm believer in this concept, which is alien to the Wipedidiots and those at WR.... is summarized in a Robert Bolt play.. "A Man of All Seasons"

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's.

In other words, you protect speech and options and not censor them, even those that you don't like or consider good, not for the protection of the other guy you hate, but to protect your own right!!! Because without the rule of law and it's fair application, you have a situation, LIKE on the Wikipeida where Thuggery and Tyranny of the Majority and where truth gets thrown out with the rule of the mob.
My main passion is I'm now a running for City Console, for where I will have a impact on those who are in conflict with the ideas of Adam Smith and the notion that government is a regulator and not a participant or BIG Sugar daddy or sugar daddy to grown Adult, who should take responsibility for their life's and those they are responsible for. This is on contrast to most that run wikpeida you see the mess they cause.
Any rate I'm involved and have influence with two congressmen, and may state and local office holders and I make sure all of the know what wikipeida is all about.
Also, I have, as well as my friends submitted to IRS Complaint forms regarding its 501 (3)(c) status, which is bold face violation of said statute. Now, it may take me 20 years, but I will see Wikipeida dead as it's provides the very tools for it's own destruction, the fools that administer wikipeida are to stupid and arrogance to know where the bolt from the blue will come from and they will not be immune...see some who thought they were above the law in cyberspace...the hammer of US:lawJoehazelton 15:57, 10 October 2008 (PDT)


I hope that there will be a blog or at the very least an RSS feed. I don't have the time or inclination to participate in a forum like the one described (and I'm definitely not the type of member you're looking for anyway) but I'd be pretty interested in reading the 'highlights' or at least a summary of current good topics or whatever. Just my $0.02 (~£0.01 in real currency). Naerii 09:36, 10 October 2008 (PDT)

An RSS feed can be a good thing for a relatively "paced" format like a blog, but it would be hell on a wiki. MyWikiBiz (just by example), does have a Feedburner e-mail service that can update you daily on "Recent Changes" here. That's sort of useful, if you're really a frequent visitor/user, but fairly annoying if you were a journalist or academic. Here it is, in case you're interested:
If you would like a daily e-mail notice of what has been created or updated on, just complete this form.


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Enter your email address:

<input type="text" style="width:140px" name="email"/>

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--MyWikiBiz 10:41, 10 October 2008 (PDT)

Old-Fangled Email List

JA: Looking back over my first decade on the Internet — last millennium I still had a life — I think it's safe to say that I had vastly more productive interactions and layed down far more productive content in the process on my old email discussion groups. I know a guy, er, dude, who might be interested in this general topic area and be able to set one up PDQ. Any coherent content that we actually produce could then be munged from the archive into a wiki or whatever. Any takers? Jon Awbrey 11:08, 10 October 2008 (PDT)

Personally, I find e-mail discussion lists to be a real drag on my already-swamped in-box, and I loathe the idea of "munging" content from one format to another. Seeing what is going on right now in my absence on WR is also leading me to believe that "message board" might not be the way to go. Seriously, I'm thinking wiki may be best, for all of its hated "ownership" issues, it provides the READER the most engaging way to have access to content (and content tangents) all at once. If we establish clear rules on dividing "owned" space versus "communal" space (followed by rigorous "locking" procedures), I think the result will (finally?) be a truly authoritative, reliable, and vibrant reference compendium for all who wish to know "what's wrong with today's Internet". Just my opinion. Still musing. -- MyWikiBiz 12:57, 10 October 2008 (PDT)
Over on, the original wiki, they discuss the concepts of a Content Creation Wiki and a Content Classification Wiki. A Content Creation Wiki might work, so long as the initial participants were careful to educate people on how they work differently from Content Classification Wikis like Wikipedia. For those (like myself, actually), who prefer email, I assume there will be a way to dump every edit into a folder in my gmail account. Anthony 13:19, 10 October 2008 (PDT)


Not sure what I can practically do at this point, but I want to chip in with a word of support on this (even though editing a wiki makes my skin crawl a little).

I have a definite split between wanting to read and think seriously about Vacuousness 2.0, and being exasperated by the flood of wikichimps currently using WR as an extra talk page.

I'm also inclined to say that the more exposé sites, the better. appeared to get a lot of information out at one time, though it seems to be stalled now.

I plan to be a participant in any new forum that comes out of this discussion.

Geoff Wilson 11:09, 10 October 2008 (PDT)

When can we start?

I'm ready to stop posting to Wikipedia Review right now. There are three or four things that I'm pissed off about, and this Greg/Selina conflict is a good straw to break the camels back. You need to set this new forum up right now, like today or tomorrow. Don't make the same mistake as the House of Representatives and fail to pass the bailout measure by the end of the day Monday. Greg, you know my email address if you need any technical support. Anthony 13:29, 10 October 2008 (PDT)

Wow, this is a bit of a surprise to me. I thought one of the failures of Wikipedia was that they set off to launch the project before really thinking out what they OUGHT to do for it to be successful in fulfilling the stated mission. I feel like a "let's get this hammered out this weekend" approach would be ill advised, but... I'm also a spontaneous person at heart. How do others feel about it? We're still drawing in new people, so that's a sign (to me) that disgruntled WRers already "know" that they have a place to come, at least for the moment. Personally, I'd think a more reasonable target date for launch would be November 1 or something like that. -- MyWikiBiz 14:01, 10 October 2008 (PDT)
Return to "Criticism of crowdsourcing" page.