The Word: Trumpiness

The Word: Trumpiness

Sensing that his timeless wisdom is needed at The Late Show, the character “Stephen Colbert” rides into the Ed Sullivan Theater in a blaze of glory, and sums up this inexplicable election season in one word: “Trumpiness.”

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Stephen Colbert took over as host of The Late Show on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. Colbert is best known for his work as a television host, writer, actor, and producer, and best known for his charity work teaching English as a second language on Tunisian date farms. Prior to joining the CBS family — and being officially adopted by network president Les Moonves — Colbert helmed “The Colbert Report,” which aired nearly 1,500 episodes and required Stephen to wear nearly 1,500 different neckties. The program received two Peabody Awards, two Grammy Awards, and several unwelcome shoulder massages. It won two Emmys for Outstanding Variety Series in 2013 and 2014, both of which appear to have been lost in the move. Colbert is pronounced koʊlˈbɛər, according to Wikipedia. His understudy is William Cavanaugh, who will be hosting The Late Show approximately one third of the time. Good luck, Bill!”

Personal Time With Greg: Wikipedia’s Troubles

Personal Time With Greg: Wikipedia’s Troubles

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A while ago, somebody asked my if I might do a video talking about Wikipedia – specifically some of the problems plaguing the site beneath the hood. At the time, I didn’t know a lot about Wiki bureaucracy, but after watching their processes and keeping track of the Gamergate talk page for a while, I got quite a sense not just for the site’s inner machinery, but also for some serious problems they’re facing.

The biggest issue they have is that they’re staunchly bureaucratic, but they technically don’t have any rules when you get right down to it. As a consequence, they tend to enforce things based on flaky, whimsical interpretations backed up by some logic and reasoning with potent spices of personal bias. For the most part the site functions well enough, but certain pages functionally belong to people who are, in essence, emotionally unstable, albeit capable of citing every “rule” the place has. You can watch as rude, frothing jerks get banned from the site only to have to ban immediately lifted by a friend from a higher place. This, along with a number facts, has led to a decline in the number of editors willing to try to work on Wikipedia. It doesn’t seem to be killing the site by any means, but it does suggest Wikipedia is vulnerable to passive-aggression and destructive behavior, and you can never tell if a page has been written and maintained by a crazy person or by crazy people.

Wikipedia Academy – “When Peer Production Succeeds”, Keynote by Benjamin Mako Hill

Wikipedia Academy – “When Peer Production Succeeds”, Keynote by Benjamin Mako Hill

Wikipedia Academy – “When Peer Production Succeeds”, Keynote by Benjamin Mako Hill

As Wikipedians have collaborated over the last decade to build the most comprehensive reference work in history, they have created, and documented, a new class of cooperative work. The academic world — inspired by Wikipedia’s success and its novel form — have responded with thousands of academic papers about Wikipedia and its processes.
But as many people who have tried to create their own wikis can attest to, Wikipedia’s enormous success at mobilizing volunteers and building works of high quality has been difficult to replicate. Even the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedia’s founders have struggled to replicate Wikipedia’s success in their other projects.
Through the knowledge and intuitions of Wikipedians, and through the work of the academics studying Wikipedia, we know an enormous amount about *how* Wikipedia works. However, the fact that even our own community has systematically failed to replicate our greatest success points to the fact that we still know very little about *why* Wikipedia works. The situation is similar in regards to free software and other peer production communities. And although each failure can teach us something, we have not given these failures the same attention we’ve saved for the successes.
In this talk, I will refer to research on free software and free culture communities and suggest that the ideal of peer production is only rarely realized. I will show how free software, and free culture, only very rarely looks like its poster children: the Linux kernels and the Wikipedias. I will present some of my research comparing failed free culture projects to successes to both suggest a methodology, and a potential set of answers, in order to answering the question: Why did peer production projects like Wikipedia work?
I will suggest, and try to show, that by learning from our failures, instead of ignoring or sweeping them under the rug, we can make both free culture advocacy and free culture practice more effective.

The Best Wikipedia Reader EVER! – Hak5 2123

The Best Wikipedia Reader EVER! – Hak5 2123

The Best Wikipedia Reader EVER, this time on Hak5!

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Dropkick Murphys – Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?

Dropkick Murphys – Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?

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Dropkick Murphys’ Al Barr and Ken Casey sit down with Graham Hartmann (@grahamwire) to prove and disprove what’s written about them on Wikipedia.

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