Friday, December 28, 2007

well I never!

Jimbo has posted at the Giovanni talk page, in a very measured and intelligent manner!

The wiki never fails to surprise, and hopefully this will now cast good light on the situation and the article will improve.... this is wonderful!

Uninvited Company - an arbitrator and general senior type wiki person, has started a discussion forum at '' which I've registered at, and am giving a go.....

No doubt mention on this giant of the blogsphere will bring the registration numbers to a critical mass and the servers to a standstill.....

seriously though - why not take a look and p'raps join in.....

ding ding

the article at Giovanni di Stefano, in many ways the catalyst for my ban, has been deleted and recreated again by Fred;
Questions asked immediately... more to come?
I really hope they can sort that mess out - the article is really weak in my view.
hey ho... have a good new year all!

Monday, December 17, 2007

calmer waters.....?

I think there may be some cause for cautious optimism in the wiki-climate over the next little while. I think the various scandals and revelations may lead to a useful period of introspection - and it was the lack of self-governance that caused most (all?) of the wikis problems in my view.
I'm pleased to see sanity returning to the Giovanni di Stefano page, and quite like the direction of the 'Linking to External Harassment' page.
I've had some surprisingly pleasant communications with folk on all sides of the various debates, and have hope that normalcy may be restored in due course. (normalcy in wiki terms of course.... heh!)
I still think that I have been treated very poorly, and will continue to try and have my sanctions overturned as soon as possible, because I think that's the right outcome......
(i'll keep myself posted at this location of course..... !)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Wise words

they're not mine;
As one of the world's ten most popular websites, Wikipedia is a big target. It is also big news. Soon the press will become more sophisticated about finding stories here - and trust me: people who know how to dig learn a lot of interesting things.
but I totally agree with them.

Monday, December 10, 2007

on again off again on again 'n off......

My see saw ride on the english wiki mailing list continues..... Having been first moderated, then fairly unceremoniously booted (well, unsubscribed) by David Gerard, I sent a message to the list 'owners' (the address is public on the wiki mailing list page) asking for clarification / permission to resubscribe - having heard nothing, I just went ahead and signed up again in the usual way, and sent some short responses to the ongoing discussion.
One got through ! - and I received a couple of notes saying - ah, you're back! - but none of the others have, so I'm thinking that I might in fact be de facto banned?
I've dropped Jimbo a note because I really would like to continue useful discussion, but at the same time, if that's not possible, I would at least like to know.
What kind of posts are being restricted currently? Take a look;

>Having this kind of coordination can end up being Kafkaesque
hear hear.

I'm fully supportive of private discussions to help build informed opinions, I'm very concerned that editors seem now to wear many hats at once, as friend, confidant, admin and arbitrator, with no sense of differing propriety in each role.

Jimbo, we communicated directly with each other, and you mentioned that you would take a look at my situation - can you see how that might appear disingenuous when it becomes apparent that you were already quite well informed?


apparently the list can't allow such comment.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Secret vs. Private

Can't resist a brief comment on what I think are the very very weak attempts to say 'nothing to see here' in various ways.... perhaps best summed up by;
"The very idea that there were "secret email lists" is absurd." - Jimbo

Compare and contrast with;
The one thing I have to ask is that you all be very tight lipped about this."
"They don't know this list exists"
"Foremost, please keep mum!" - Durova
'nuff said.......

playing semantic games just so clearly says more about those playing them than it does the topic in hand. Silly really.

The Register, Slashdot dot dot dot.......

So the 'story' broke. Hopefully the ride will be enjoyable for those surfing it for the day or two before it washes up - it may serve ultimately to remove some of the useless heat from the situation, and maybe distill everything to the point where any outstanding issues can be seen clearly.

You'll see below that my personal consequence for passing comment was being booted by David Gerard from the mailing list as a troll, and told to 'go play' at Wikipedia Review.

Sorry David, but I don't think that was either warranted or a sensible reaction. Hey ho, I'm off to Coventry for christmas.........

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Mailing List again

You may have read below that I have previously been put on 'moderation' on the wikipedia mailing list, which basically means that my posts have to be approved, and may or may not get through. You may further have read that I didn't really think I was posting anything inappropriate, and was a little surprised to be 'moderated'.
I was further a little surprised, when it seemed that I had been 'un-moderated' - no one told me anything about this, so unless there was some sort of technical stuff up, when my posts just started being allowed through automatically once more, I assumed that I had 'served my time' on moderation, and was a regular Joe once again.
Now it seems that I am far from a regular;
I've booted this troll from the list as counterproductive for working on the encylopedia. I'm sure he can have lots of fun on WR" - David Gerard.
.....and with that, David 'unsubscribed' me - I received a brief email telling me so, and now I no longer receive messages (although of course they're online, so I can keep track).

I wonder if anyone else finds this an ironic reaction to this post. Because I am bored of subtlety today, I shall highlight the source of my wry amusement;

The assessment of The Register as being quite a fan of controversy is pretty much accurate - but it's of course true of much of the mass media (and perhaps human nature? a digression.....) - leaving aside the fact that I believe the article is actually pretty fair and accurate, perhaps the more important thing to do is to quickly realise that this really is of interest to people. This is a function of both the nature of the behaviour, and the profile of Wikipedia nowadays. Two journalists have contacted me to date concerning these events, and personally, whilst it may blow over, I feel there is a possibility of the story 'going mainstream' - our (your?) ability to react calmly, sensibly, and openly could be important - I'd consider it to be.

To briefly comment about some of the replies concerning my interest / behaviour at the moment - JZ said he finds it odd that I would like to help still, having been banned. From my perspective, I find the fact that I have been banned a little odd - I still care just as much as last month if the 'Socrates' article says 'Socrates is a clown nigger' - it just really really pisses me off.

I've noticed what I consider to be an unsustainable trend to permanently label people 'trolls' or 'enemies' - it isn't the accuracy of the label which worries me, it's the permanence (I don't believe I deserve it, either). I see circular reasoning being employed to define me as a troll, then criticise me for being one. This can only ever work if such a thing (a troll) can empirically exist. btw. - I'm not interested in 'wedge' issues, or banging on unduly here - I am glad that the list I am now emailing quickly fixes the vandalism that pops up on my watchlist (and are very very helpful and pleasant about it too.....)


Sunday, December 2, 2007

New ethical considerations

Well, now that I'm banned, I find myself considering a few new ethical questions. I've got the 'Heather Mills' page watchlisted, and noticed this morning that it's had some vandalism. Further - the IP has vandalised two other articles - this is just run of the mill stuff that you usually just fix and move on.
Of course, I can't - so I've emailed an editor I saw was online to ask them to fix it up, which hopefully will happen before too long - and it got me to thinking about how the community would wish me to react.
It feels somehow wrong to log out, change IP, and make the edits myself, not to mention the fact that I feel it would be held against me in future discussions - but wouldn't that be the best course of action for the wiki?
Further cogitation required.........

Thank god 2008 is a leap year

I'll be permitted to return to editing on Feb 29th. (although not to BLPs) - I'll post some more stuff here anon......