Monday, November 24, 2008

arbcom elections

so I'm standing... really in the hope to try and get some attention for some ideas. In some ways it's hard to see wiki actually improving at the mo..... :-(

Anywhoo... I just published today my '5 big ideas' as the central planks of my campaign! I have zero chance of success in the election, but hope someone will notice what I hope are good ideas......

In other news Lar and I have a 10 buck bet on the outcome of the election - $140 for me if I'm on the money.... I think the old 'red, black, black, red' combo probably is a more reliable way to get 16 to 1 (well Lar's offered me 14....) but we'll see how it goes :-)

Vote for me, and if you don't vote for me - vote for the folk on my list!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

things that go 'bump' in the night....


how cool is this pic? Happy Halloween folks,

I'm hoping to be able to add a thousand or so others to Commons before too long, and am enjoying learning how.....

at some point I may write up something about recent wiki times - what I've been up to, and why I'm considering running for the arbitration committee....

Monday, September 22, 2008

chapcom, wikiversity, mentoring, and 6 unanswerable questions

here's an update for my poor neglected blog.... a few of the goings on lately...

I've been asked to help out the WMF Chapters Commitee with communications - I'm pretty interested and excited about that, and am currently finding out more! (I think I 'slowpoked' them into it - by volunteering to answer emails and just generally keep focus on outstanding issues etc. etc. - still it's kinda cool, no?).

I remain under mentorship at en-wiki in the BLP area, and there was a bit of a broo ha ha with a request I made for admin.s to review long-term-blocked User:Moulton's situation, which resulted in my mentors extending the process - the arbs got involved, and I'd say it's now settling down a bit - though whether or not the path forward is clear is anyone's guess :-)

Wikiversity has been hit rather harder by growing tensions, with the community sort of half eating itself, and not a gruntle to be seen (Jimbo even popped in with a ban). It's a very 'mellow' place though (and that word has particular connotations in the wiki-verse) - and in some ways the drama there is rather more akin to an argument between church wardens when the choir have their end of year party, and someone forgot to order biscuits, as oppose to the cagematches the en-wiki goes for .....

the 6 unanswerable questions are wiki related, and after recent events, I'm rather glad I didn't post them to either en or wikiversity, for reasons I might discuss in another post.... I'll write them up here at some point - so you'll have to pop back ;-)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

asking for restrictions to be lifted.....

to edit BLPs or not to edit BLPs... that's the question rolling around some pages of the english wiki at the moment - and the question which has brought me back to this poor neglected blog. (are there any blog protection services? - I'm sure I'm negligent in many ways, and would probably face charges....)

So I asked arbcom if I could be allowed to edit BLPs again - and now it's sort of grown into a wiki-constitutional discussion in some places (can this be discussed at the Village Pump? AN? RfAr pages only? - is 'the community' actually empowered to make any decision? offer comment? etc. etc. - oh, and where does Jimbo fit in to all this?) - as well as a sort of open review of my editing.... or perhaps more acuarately an opportunity for people to pass comment about their impressions of what's been going on - I think some folk could do with taking a a closer look at some diff.s etc. - or just ask me a question! - I won't bite! :-)

Perhaps the discussion is now at the petering out stage (I've been told in the past that persuading three arbs to actually comment on a request is pretty good going!) - which may or may not bring us back to this point at some point in the future... we'll see how it pans out....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

wikipedia, scientology, and 'anonymous'

Bumping around the wiki a couple of months or so ago, I came across the whole series of articles on scientology - including several related 'featured' articles on pop culture topics, like Battlefield Earth 'the movie' (must check that out one day - can it really be worse than my personal worst film of all time 'Licence to Kill'?)

Anywhoo... to cut a long story short, I've now browsed around the subject online fairly extensively, and found some interesting stuff, in a sort of 'a few threads coming together' sort of way.... hence this post (which as ever is largely for my own edification, and as an aide-memoire).

I think it was Kelly Martin's blog (now a new look, and no wikipedia stuff) where I first read a mention of the connections between anti-scientology activists, and the english wikipedia - from memory, referring to David Gerard having done so much fighting one cult (Scientology) and now supporting another (Kelly's interpretation of Wikipedia at the time). I've also got half a memory of reading that a few more of the wiki 'old guard' were active on the anti-scientology newsgroups back in the day - can't back that up at all at the mo, so I don't know if it's received wisdom, or one of those things that someone tells you that turns out to be not so reliable..

Anywhoo... the final piece of the thread was this youtube video;

which I noticed randomly the other day, on one of my 'fairly extensive' browsing expeditions.... as you can see, the video has been removed, the user account closed, and the pages all gone from youtube's public site - the link above is to the Google cache. I saw the clip the other night (well, it was just a still picture, and an audio file) - and made a mental note to check out what it was saying - though it was a bit fishy. I got in touch with one of the named people from the audio, and sure enough, they knew nothing about it at all...

In the audio, which was purported to be a leak from a Scientology official, it was claimed that the Wikimedia foundation was financially supporting the 'anonymous' movement, and that various wiki luminaries were to be declared 'SPs' (suppressive persons) - a decleration which seems to have led to some rather obnoxious harasssment in the past from various scientology organisations. It was also claimed that Scientology will be sueing the wikimedia foundation in some way at some point for some thing (it wasn't very clear on that point!).

I thought these threads coming together was a bit of a coincidence, and that's why I'm commenting here..... if you can handle conceptual hyperbole, there really are some fascinating analagies to be drawn between Wikipedia and Scientology - which makes it all the more interesting if the two organisations become antaganistic. In some ways Wikipedia is a cultural product of 'anonymous', and as such represents a tangible target, I guess..... or not... maybe.....

anyways.... there are no doubt several books to be writ on related subjects in due course, and there's only a small chance that I'll return to blog about this before one of them is published..... cheers chaps.....

Sunday, June 1, 2008

this month....

I have mostly been thinking about foundation issues - you know - stuff about the elections to the board of trustees... I've been trying to record brief conversations with each candidate... I'm gonna 'publish' as many as I can complete by the 6th June - and I'm hopeful we'll get at least half done....

you know where to find me if you'd like to!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

oh my word....

several other non-written up thoughts cross my mind at the moment - but I'm actually enjoying use of the word 'borked' too much to bother with them - here's the distilled version;

The checkuser system is borked
The arbcom is borked
The way wikipedia handles biographies is borked
The way wikipedia improves itself may be borked, and this would be a bad thing!

If de-borking actualy equates to re-borking then, well, I guess wikipedia's just inevitably borkful. There - no post is complete without inventing a word.

might as well enjoy the ride!

(I did learn some interesting stuff this week, I just can't be bothered to write it up..... sorry... and with that I leave my poor blog alone for another little while......)

Monday, April 21, 2008

that time of the month

ok - so this is a bit of a blatant filler to try and prevent momentum entirely leaving this blog... I wouldn't want to disappoint either of my readers!

I feel like there are quite a few irons in the fire at the moment about Wikipedia in general... there's the establishment of the aussie chapter (well done all!), talking with other editors, and other folk (public conversations at 'Not The Wikipedia Weekly', as well as private conversations, and planned chats too....), issues around biographies on wiki (my proposal, and many others are getting some attention), and finally one that relates to my arb case, and sanctions, which is the use of different accounts (pseudonyms) and how the wiki reacts to such behaviour (ethical concerns abound!).

Poke me for more info (or just slide it under the door of my gmail account!) - the interesting times over there continue!.....

probably see ya' in May!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

tuppence more from the naughty step

okey dokey - so I've finally remembered how to delete my cookies and this has restored my access to wikback.com - and I was a bit surprised to see that I have access to the 'Wikback Itself' forum (for some reason I thought access to that, and to 'Cage Match' was restricted, but I guess it's only 'The Mirror' which is - not sure why, but ours is not to question!).

There's a thread about my recent ban there, which is interesting to me (well it would be, wouldn't it!). Thanks to all the commentators there, who have seen fit to draw a little bit of attention to the situation - it is appreciated, and here's what I see happening;

Well first I'd better refute a bit of stuff that's been asserted - somewhat intemperately I find, but hey, your temper is your business, I guess.

"I have had many conversations with PM privately about the importance of this to me. I've provided examples, and guidelines, and have moved his posts to the mirror (which I've set up as lightning rod for this sort of thing). The other hosts have discussed this with him as well. And he has continued, most recently by again complaining that no one will tell him who ran checkuser on him at what times in the course of events that led up to his ban (the post at issue has been deleted)."

um... nope, not really. Leaving aside the fact that I've been trying to discuss some moderately complicated 'checkuser' issues in general terms, and am more than happy to leave 'my case' out of it; UC and I have communicated, and a few messages have bounced back and forth - but I haven't had any messages from other hosts and moderators excepting CComMack, who's been kind enough to say that he thought my posts were quite helpful on occasion... I really don't believe UC has any reason to be righteously exasperated, which is afraid how it comes across to me - in fact it's kinda misrepresentative to be honest... if I were to paint the situation as one party being calm and polite, and the other being unreasonable, we'd pick the roles differently, I think. However, if anyone is at all interested, I'm happy for UC to release all messages on this matter, because I think they tell the story pretty well.... (ping me if you want a copy of the messages I've sent... they generally go along the lines of 'thanks heaps for running the forum, and I'm afraid I still don't understand x, is y allowed? once again, thanks, PM.'

It's heartening to see that on this matter, I might not be entirely crazy (other folk seem confused too) - and hopefully I'll be unbanned soon, and allowed to comment within the rules / guidelines - I'd like that!

more chit chats, and a month on the naughty step

well we've had some pretty interesting chats over at 'NotTheWikipediaWeekly' in the last little while - and over the weekend I joined the folk at 'Wikipedia Weekly' for my first conversation there! - It was very similar to the 'NotThe' experience, but with the addition of the extra polish which editing (and taking a more technical approach to sound quality etc.) gives - I chatted a bit (not recorded - just friendly chat before the 'show' started....) about the possibilities of how the two projects can combine effort in the long term - and I mentioned that a kind of 'any questions' and 'any answers' approach might be interesting (check out BBC Radio 4 for more info. on these UK Political discussion shows) - time will tell.....

We're having another regular conversation this week - hopefully with some new editors popping along (which is great!) - and behind the scenes, I think we might have a pretty interesting 'special' conversation later in the week......

(oh, and I got a month's ban from wikback for posting inappropriately - I'm utterly befuddled once more, and would like to return to commenting there - do feel free to poke me about it if you're interested - I'm just confused, to be honest!)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

oh the injustice of it all... and a peek behind the curtain

(yet) another PM rant to kick off... my trusty readers will know that a silly comment can get you a one week ban over at wikback.com - but only in some contexts, of course... sometimes silly is allowed!! - I'm sure it's no surprise that I'm totally with Doc on this one, that a bit of admittedly self indulgent humour is a good thing... I'm not sure I'd go as far as asking people to lighten up if they find it trolling, essentially because I've already been banned for one week, and poking the boss in the tummy as he puts you on probation probably isn't a good idea!

The conclusion is obvious....


...well it is on first glance anyways - I'm currently working on a 'what's really going on' post which encapsulates my views about the truthful dynamics at play behind this, and more interestingly other major wiki currents swirling at the mo... I'm too busy / lazy / inarticulate to finish it yet - but having begun it a few days ago, I saw this post and wanted to say that that echoes with me quite strongly.... more to come, folks!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

real life chats, and another ban......

the path to my updating this blog is so beautifully paved, that I thought I'd take a short stroll down it again.....

Since getting back 'on-wiki' I've enjoyed starting a 'real life chat' project, which I've called 'NotTheWikipediaWeekly' as a tip of the hat to the team who gave me the idea (thanks chaps!).

Click through if you're interested in hearing what I sound like, and join in with ideas / topic suggestons or anything really at the wiki page - that's what it's there for!

In other news, UC has been kind enough to help me with my ban withdrawal symptoms by booting me from wikback.com for a week for this post. If your plus is as nonned as mine, I'm sure the ban relates solely to UC's sincere intentions to ensure the smooth running of the board through his firmness, although I did once refer to him as a marble free arbitrator - or to use the expression I'm happy to support in gaining traction - arbonaught.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

back once again....

...and gosh these are interesting times!

No doubt inspired by these erudite scribblings, both Danny Wool and Larry Pieniazek (who is the user 'Lar' on wikipedia) have started blogs. They're both pretty involved wiki folk - Danny having worked at the Foundation Office, and Lar having a number of senior roles across various wikimedia projects. What's interesting is that they both use their blogs to offer criticism of wikimedia / wikipedia which I would consider constructive... if perhaps controversial.

Danny's blog pips Lar's at the moment for sheer fun value, because we get to read about Jimbo being somewhat of a lothario!! The whole situation makes me giggle at the absurdity - and the fact that he's pissed off his ex girlfriend / mistress to the point where she's selling his sweater on ebay is the icing on the cake!

Less absurd, though obfuscated by the titilation, is Danny's concern that foundation money may have been inappropriately spent by 'Jimbeau' (nice one, Danny!). I'd say it should be no big deal to quickly answer danny's points openly and honestly to assuage any concern - no big deal, right?

If you, like me, happen to have known a few friends and colleagues in the past who have preferred quantity over quality in their relationships, perhaps the obvious question to ask at this point is have there been any expenses at all picked up by the foundation which are more to do with Jimbo's lurve machine than the benefit of the project? Danny clearly intimates this is so... and I guess it'll come out in the wash soon enough.....

I was going to mention something about Lar's discussion of how wikimedia has some issues that need fixing from the inside, but now I can't get 'Jimbo's lurve machine' out of my head.... I'll leave you with that thought, and the sounds of Barry White......

Monday, February 11, 2008

i got seventeen days

so i'm at home with ray, sitting tight.

still banned, still bad.

see ya around!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The strange webs one gets caught in with time on one's hands....

Geez - what an afternoon.

Having heard of some of the stories mentioned below previously, I decided that I wanted to work out for myself what I thought had gone on. Here's my take on a famously heated, bitter and vituperative episode - which I've also posted to wikback.com.......


Welcome, Wordbomb to the wikback!

I know this is a chat forum, but having spent longer than I ever intended trying to work out what the heck's going on with Wikipedia, Overstock, Wordbomb, SlimVirgin, Pan-Am 103, and probably the Knights Templar, I've dusted of my 'NPOV' gloves, and I thought I'd post a bit of background from a hopefully neutral perspective. I confess to have ploughed through this mainly for my own clarity and edification - and I've probably got heaps of stuff wrong, so in the same spirit as your post, all should feel free to chime in;

You're Judd Bagley, alias Wordbomb, and you're banned from Wikipedia. Also, you work for Overstock.com whose CEO is Patrick Byrne.

Patrick Byrne has been fiercely critical of something called 'naked short selling', and at this point a journalist called Gary Weiss becomes involved - I think because he's either written about Patrick Byrne, or because he supports naked short selling, or says it doesn't exist (or something). Sorry to be unclear on this point.

You believe to that you've shown, amongst other things, that the editors 'Mantanmoreland' and 'Samiharris' are in fact said journalist Gary Weiss. You assert that there's a fairly straight forward abuse of 'sockpuppets' going on.

I think that's the meat of your situation, but there are a few unique side stories to this one, which are worth noting;

You report that Patrick Byrne may have met Slimvirgin in real life as a student, and recalls the interest in and personal relationship to the Pan Am 103 disaster of the woman he belives to be Slimvirgin. An amazing coincidence - but not really relavent, except......

When you were getting into troubled waters at wikipedia, you believe Slimvirgin acted unfairly and improperly, specifically you allege that you have evidence that private emails you sent to Slim were forwarded directly to Gary Weiss (I think).

I think even you would categorise your reaction to your troubles on wikipedia as aggressive; and some wikipedians assert that you have harassed / stalked / abused / 'sock'ed violently and vehemently ever since. For whatever reason, several fairly well known editors have been quite closely involved - these include;

* Jayjg, who you assert used the oversight tool inappropriately, and has used checkuser in your case
* Fred Bauder, who may have been aware of a 'sock' issue but not addressed it to your satisfaction
* David Gerard, who in dealing with what he perceived to be disruption / vandalism blocked an IP range as an 'open proxy' - it transpires that it's actually a Utah town!!
* JzG, whom you assert has used a 'sockpuppet', and who has been fairly vocally critical of you and your methods.
* Many other editors have put forward strong opinions that you are not to be trusted

Surpisingly, through the fog of the broo ha ha, I'm not sure if anyone has specifically said that your claim that Gary Weiss = Mantanmoreland = Samiharris is complete nonsense, or not - and having ruminated for a little while, I think I'm coming to the conclusion that that's really the most important question.

Thoughts?

Monday, January 28, 2008

busy doin' nothing.....

ah january. so what's been going on?.....

arbcom have shooed me away, I've been chatting away at wikback, I'm hoping the CU ombudsfolk will get back to me fairly soon, and I got a little involved in a rather erm... controversial wiki.

Oh - and my user talk page was unprotected after some discussions about whether or not it was supposed to be. I did find it weird that my userpage was never protected, but my talk page was.....

other than that I remain on the naughty step, and will do for just over a month. I hope they'll let me have toilet breaks.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

'checkuser' tools at wikipedia

I've getting a clearer and clearer picture about the goings on in the private office labeled 'checkuser' - and it's pretty erm.. interesting stuff.

I think there's a serious problem there - with fairly rampant abuses currently passing under the community's radar. Basically, checks have been made for political reasons, and some checkusers have had no compunction sharing information which ought to be far better protected.

Prod me if you wanna know more, or witness my futile attempts to rattle a cage or two at wikback.com. I'd lay good odds for some sort of controversy prompting fairly large scale reform over this process, and would like to encourage stakeholders to address the issues before this point......

maybe someone will publish the logs?

I'd say there's a few dirty paws that need a pretty good wash for the good of all.......

Monday, January 14, 2008

wiki wheels keep on turning...

This poor neglected corner of blogger has been rather ignored for the last little while - so let's have a bit of a catch up.....

I continue to post over at Wikback.com - although the Giovanni thread was first closed, and then deleted as a legal concern (fair enough, but plus ├ža change, no?). So Jimbo's comments have left the record - the only thing I can really remember from the conversation is that Jimbo was saying that my Sock use, and editing to 'Jonathan King' were the real problems, whilst Guy gaily contradicted him, claiming my edits to Giovanni were the only problem - like a 'bull in a china shop'. Any fule kno that I'm a much more interesting creature!

Anywhoooo - the wikback seems to be bubbling away fairly nicely - without quite reaching tipping point yet, and it'll be interesting to see how that goes.....

Mercury has popped up over there, and is chatting away - and has even put a motion before the arb.s to repeal my ban! I think Mercury would be a great involuntary mentor! (well I suppose I would be the involuntary mentoree... i kinda like that - it's got a sing song lilt!)

So my days in the wilderness continue, and the wheels keep on turning...I'm not sure if they're carrying me home to see my kin though - maybe more a kind of slow moving industrial accident....

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Jimbo at wikback.com

Jimbo's activities have been well and truly on my radar for the last couple of days, having made the comments referred to at the Giovanni article - they're having a wonderful effect, and the article is much better.

It is interesting though that in our brief chat over at www.wikback.com Jimbo seems to be saying that my take is inflammatory nonsense - which is both a little harsh and inaccurate in my view.

I sent my appeal in to the Arb Com recently (haven't heard back) - but I'm singularly failing at keeping my head down, which is probably foolish. The urge to try and calmly set out my positions and get my point across is strong, and I hope it doesn't bite me too painfully.....

I feel like my posts contain only mild criticisms, but important ones - at this stage I'm more confused than upset that they would be mischaracterised. I don't think they are inflammatory nonsense, obviously - but more importantly I can't really understand how Jimbo arrives as that conclusion except as an instinct to 'attack the attacker' - which has the effect of suppressing dissenting voices if applied more globally.

Hey ho - interesting times.......