This Friday's office hours will feature Mike Godwin, the Wikimedia
Foundation's Legal Counsel. If you don't know Mike Godwin, you can
read about him at <http://enwp.org/Mike_Godwin>.
Office hours this Friday are from 2230 to 2330 UTC (3:30PM to 4:30PM
PDT). Mike will also be taking the following Thursday from 1600 to
1700 UTC (9:00AM to 10:00AM PDT).
The IRC channel that will be hosting Mike's conversation will be
#wikimedia-office on the Freenode network. If you do not have an IRC
client, you can always access Freenode by going to
http://webchat.freenode.net/, typing in the nickname of your choice and
choosing wikimedia-office as the channel. You may be prompted to click
through a security warning. Go ahead.
Volunteer Coordinator, Wikimedia Foundation
Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
Hello gopher65, unknown location, and everyone else,
Thanks for a detailed and great reply! However, of course not good
enough :-) Of course I have more comments and questions! Note that
I am _not_ flaming anyone here in my text. Though that might come later!
Note that this message is intended for anyone to reply to. It is not
personal, in any formulation.
> our current problems are twofold: 1) quality issues often sneak in,
> and 2) we don't produce enough content. The answer to both issues is
> the same: we need more users.
Yes, I agree fully to that. However, how to get more writers/users,
when the conditions are as follows:
> - Story about how to make raspberry jam or raspberry pie, with the
> fresh berries, focusing much on recipes
Ok, so aunt Mary can't write a story about what she knows, got it.
> - Review of say new I-phone, or other gadget
Ok, so the computer types writing/reading wikipedia can't write a
hands-on review of say new I-phone, or Win 7, or new Flash, or new
Ubuntu version. Got it, the user/reader base can't write about what
they might know something about.
> reprinting press releases is not allowed.
Ok got it, instead of slightle re-phrasing the (fictious) Safeway
relese that they will open superstores in 20 new cities and publishing
a story, we will have to wait for somebody to re-write the story after
CNN and BBC has pubished the same, then quoting them as sources.
I think it says somewhere "Wikinews is written by people like you!".
"created by everyday people... around the globe". Got it, maybe like
you, but not like me and my aunt.
I saw somewhere something like "provide an alternative to proprietary
news agencies". Got it, so Wikinews is now going to make the interviews
with Obama and Putin that AP and Reuters never made. Should I hold my
breath until I see those stories?
Now for my next question, do you think the result matches the mission
statement, the master plan? If not, what is the plan how it will be
achieved? Or might it be reasonable that the goal is set just a few
inches lower? Or that the 'ok' filter is made just an inch wider?
I have re-read the following, and I understand the words, but I do not
get the idea. I took the liberty to edit slightly, this is what I
thought was most important.
> Because of this you shouldn't try and be "fair and balanced",
> unlike the major national and international media organizations; after
> all, who decides what is "fair" and what constitutes "balance"?
> Any story that deals with the facts of a case doesn't have two sides,
> it just has the facts.
What are facts or not depends on culture and faith (and religion!). If
you don't accept that (fact), then it will be extremely difficult to
agree on what facts or non-facts we have in front of us. Even
mathematical facts develop during time.
> Burnout rate is very high on Wikinews.
Has anyone made a work-place safety study on that? Is it necessary
to have it that way? Does it contribute to Wikinews to have a high
burnout rate? Please give examples of how Wikinews have/will become
better by having a high burnout rate. If there are no examples, could
that maybe possibly suggest that high burnout is not something to strive
> Not allowed stories:
>> - Review of say wines
Oh shit, then I will not get any review samples this summer :-)
Best Regards from a non-flaming (yet)
Jan wiki foto
by the way, how is my (non-spell-checked) english? Can people understand?
What are the 'allowed' subjects in Wikinews? I have read the mission
statement and the discussion page, however that basically only says
distribute free news that anybody can re-use. So I would like to know,
what the welcome subjects, allowed subjects, and un-welcome or prohibited
subjects? Is there any info about how the subjects work internationally -
what I mean is are there any different rules for different countries,
when it comes to Wikinews?
Specifically, it says 'where anyone can write the news'. Let me make
a list of some examples (not meaning that I myself will try to write about
this, but that I want to know, as that will give me useful information.).
Anone, please tell me which are good, and feel free to elaborate a little
on why or why not. If it does not say 'original' or 're-writing' then it
basically means original reporting.
- Political news, less important reports
- Political news, breaking news
- Interview with (fairly known) fotball player
- Interview with (only locally known, in the city of origin) fotball player
- Report from fotball game (national level), only reporting what happened
(no interviews, no original photos)
- Interview with singer (famous only in country of origin)
- Interview with singer (only locally known)
- Report from concert (globally known singer, ex: Lady Gaga)
- Report from concert (only locally in the small city known singer)
- Review of say wines that are nice and good value for price, in the summer
(such stories go well in Sweden and the UK generally speaking)
- Story about how to make raspberry jam or raspberry pie, with the
fresh berries, focusing much on recipes
- Story about how to upgrade your Flash (Adobe Flash) for your Windows
- Report about Flash, including criticism regarding security
- Report about Flash, made as an interview with an expert, who is critical
regarding Flash and security
- Review of say new I-phone, or other gadget
- Report about research on sexual behaviour, like reports about if the
G-spot exists or not, based on university scientific reports
- Story about say the G-spot, based on only material in say Wikipedia
- Story about star, say like Paris Hilton, maybe what diet and skin
cleansers they use to stay beautiful - original reporting, interview
(maybe by telephone)
- Story about star, say like Paris Hilton, maybe what diet and skin
cleansers they use to stay beautiful - using exisiting sources on
the net and in magazines
- Story about the annual fiscal report from some major corporation
(at least listed on some stock market)
- Consumer stories, like 'the best credit cards for you', or 'the best
TV buys for soccer championship', or 'the best internet deals for
summer shoe shopping'
- Short report about road closures on important roads (like Paris
for french wikinews, Helsinki for finnish wikinews, etc), basically
just telleing what roads are closed for work and when
- Re-printing a press release from say Safeway, about opening a new
super-market (just taking the release more or less literally as-is)
- Debate article - relatively neutral, but still with a discernible
- Debate article - heavily pro one opinion, but researched and with
- Debate article - heavily pro one opinion, without much research
Yes, many examples, but it will give me a better picture of what is
in demand. It is not necessary to comment each of them.
What is most important currently, for english Wikinews? If I was 'a site
owner', then I would first look for readership (whether the site was
commercial or non-commercial), secondly reputation and influence in
society, and probably also productivity, quality, appreciation by readers,
and of course making a profit if commercial. However, what are the vital
points, at the moment, for english Wikinews?
Best Regards from
Jan Wikiphoto, in Sweden
Hello Brian, and others,
> Should you have anything further to add, please consider if you wish to
> divulge this email address to a public mailing list.
> I would be happy to continue our discussion regarding evidence (audio,
> and video), but in a public space.
Public email lists - no problem! It is just that I am old-fashioned...
I barely know how to email, so these discussion pages confuse me :-)
Email is easier to handle for me. However, I know that does not interface
well to the Wiki idea of discussion pages, and that anyone can discuss.
This email address was created specifically for Wiki use, and can probably
be seen in my profile. SO it can also be used publicly for discussion about
I think it is a good idea generally to save un-published stories, they
can become useful in the future. Another question is how to index and
search them, but that is another technical question. However, I feel
the writer/user should be free to delete the story from their user page.
Maybe they don't feel like being reminded forever about it :-)
> I, personally, have taken an enormous amount of
> flak recently, been forced to surrender positions of authority
> on-project, and feel there is an element of campaigning to drive me
> off-project for my more acerbic style.
Why? You seem to be the one who is actually doing something, as far
as I see! It seems to me more like most others involved in eng Wikinews
are more used to re-writes of what is already written in other internet
press, and that then of course comes with linkable handy sources.
"Source: News-of-the World" :-)
(I just found that according to Wikipedia it is 'the second-largest
selling English-language newspaper in the world', so I do have to use
News-of-the-World more frequently as a source!)
> One off-wiki comment was that, given your genuine credentials, and with
> the help of one or two sv volunteers, there is a small chance you could
> help kickstart sv.wikinews.org. provided people stopped bickering....
Cool idea! Then the beatings (for any reason, good or not) would never
stop :-) Actually, I think it will not happen. Nobody expects anything
to come from swedish wikinews, no reviewer are expecting material. So
it is not clear how that would work, or what to do to make it work.
However, I did take a quick look at the finnish Wikinews, and material
seems to be published fairly regularly there. I already know that
Wiki-any is the feeding grounds for the people who enjoy spending time
bickering and flame-warring :-)
I will write later when I have time a question about what material is
'acceptable' on Wikinews, about policy.
It would have been very useful to be in contact a few weeks ago, as we
could then have done a story about the Crown Princess wedding in Stockholm,
we where there and could have done on-line immediate updates, and photo
uploads, just to show that Wikinews was as on-line and there, albeit with
much more limited resources, than the big news organiations. Now it is
not going to happen anytime soon again.
> Not everyone on WMF projects is an utter freetard who would take
> away your livelihood
No, I did not think 'freetard' or say so. What I mean is that if
'the work of me' is put up on WMF freely downloadable servers, then
eventually I will have done the work of somebody else, who writes
a story using the background work I have done. And it will be
somebody I do not even know, who is not even offering me a beer after
the story gets published. It is already bad enough to send a detailed
synopsis to magazines in order to sell a story, too many will say
'no thanks', and then do the same story with their own staff.
While I personally support the idea of free information and software,
I do not have the resources to work totaly for free. If I have written
some software, I might release it for free, to help the world. Now I
have found that I can send in a few of my pictures (note: pictures I
do not think it i likely that I will ever sell and get paid for) to
Wikipedia, an contribute in that way. Do also note that I _will_
keep any pictures and material that I think I can sell at a high price
(just for your information, I have never had any celebrities or the like
kissing an unknown date in front of my camera, so I have never had any
truly sellable pictures or stories). I also do not have another work
or income that is so big and easy, that it makes it possible for me to
spend a lot of time for free for Wikipedia/Wikimedia.
Best Regards from
Jan - in Sweden
You are BCC'd on this response as it is "for the records" on the
Wikinews mailing list. I, personally, have taken an enormous amount of
flak recently, been forced to surrender positions of authority
on-project, and feel there is an element of campaigning to drive me
off-project for my more acerbic style. At 41, I doubt that will change.
Off-wiki I have discussed with one or two old-timers a change or two to
our policies. This was prompted by what went on with your contributions,
and their reasoning in ceasing to actively contribute to the project.
Effectively, after sending this email, I am going to be BOLD (A sort-of
policy on-project) and change the directions and rules around material
that is deemed stale. If it is original reporting, I feel it should be
moved to a user's personal space on-wiki instead of deleted. In a
nutshell, you should never lose that work and be free to build upon it
in the future.
Should you have anything further to add, please consider if you wish to
divulge this email address to a public mailing list. If you are happy
with that, then please use a reply to all option.
One off-wiki comment was that, given your genuine credentials, and with
the help of one or two sv volunteers, there is a small chance you could
help kickstart sv.wikinews.org. You're obviously smart enough to follow
the remainder of this email and see where this would be a
career-enhancing opportunity for you.
I would be happy to continue our discussion regarding evidence (audio,
and video), but in a public space. I know full-well that to get your
UN-recognised credentials you are required to be making the majority of
your income from journalistic activities; I faced a similar roadblock
(to official recognition) when I was still resident in Belgium. Not
everyone on WMF projects is an utter freetard who would take away your
livelihood. If some way to share 'evidence' privately can be set up, I
think you could be an extremely valuable contributor.
You, provided people stopped bickering, and did real work, would then be
able to capitalise on Wikiewsies' writing skills to bring your
photographic work wider prominence.
A closing comment, more for the peanut gallery, is that I queried a
local university about mature student entrance requirements for their
journalism course. The response did indeed indicate that, as well as
surpassing the bar for entrance by almost double the required points, my
contributions on-wiki would be taken into consideration and could,
potentially, see me bypass a year of the full course towards a degree.
As an old socialist, I would prefer to see Margaret Thatcher, and her
"pay for your education" policies safely in their grave first. Ideally,
buried face-down to ensure they dig the wrong way if reanimated.
On Tue, 2010-06-22 at 20:44 +0200, Janwikifoto wrote:
> Hello Brian and all,
> First just another comment, I see that the story "Sweden's Crown
> Princess marries commoner" is on the first page, and if you look at
> the photos you will find they are taken by Janwikifoto and
> Prolineuser. Me and another guy. With official media accreditation,
> along with the big press agencies. So Wikimedia is now in some way
> considered 'world class'. Maybe it would be interesting for somebody
> to a story about Wikimedia being officially accredited?
> Going back to the emails and the potential story,
> >> How much do you change what they have really said ?
> > That is a give-and take-judgement decision.
> >> Personally, I think a comprehensible english is
> > You really didn't get the "extracted" quote from Orwell in the style
> > guide, did you?
> I have read and agree on the six points. I have not read the full
> text by Orwell, will take too much time. Commenting on the six points,
> I have never seen "bete-noire" before, I did understand it from the
> surrounding text, but it is not something I would expect a common
> englishman to understand :-)
> > The link to Orwell's full article in Spectrum is an ideal example.
> Got to do that later. Now end-of-month is near, I have to get some
> text done and send out an invoice, in order to live. Academic studies
> comes later.
> > And, yes, Wikinews needs more articles. That does not mean dropping from
> > a very high standard of English.
> Ok, what do we do with this Frank la Rue material then? If I was the
> sole judge I would shorten what they said, in that process clean up
> spoken word to written word, and try to extract the meaning. Cut maybe
> 30-40% of the text as some is lengthy discussions. However, I could
> not achieve a very hight standard of english, just a decent standard,
> and it would mean changing exactly what they said to what I interpret
> them as having said. That is what I would do if I was the sole judge.
> So what way forward do you suggest? That somebody re-writes the
> text from what it is like now (the emailed version)? Or that I try
> again to bring it into some kind of shape?
> > I know a few people have upset you by requesting the video footage
> No, not upset, it is simply that they do not think before they ask.
> They consider it so natural to upload everything. What I have is
> 23 minutes of speech, and I simply do not want to send out what I
> have taken time to record, for free, without getting paid, so somebody
> else is writing another story out that, and getting paid (what I mean is
> that somebody will pick up the sound and write a story and sell to say
> Guardian and get paid). I do not mind free info sharing, but now I am
> broke, and I am definetly not going to send out all the stuff that took
> so much time. I can write something for free, sometime, for Wikinews,
> if it does not take too much time. This has taken a lot of time, I
> have written all this as a 'first-time' experience in the hope that
> problems can be fixed for the future.
> > 'clear-speaking' extract of the associated audio
> What is an 'extract'? The sound is the important stuff, the video
> gives relatively little information.
> Extracting certain parts takes again time. Exactly what will/can
> be achieved by sound extract? What I wrote in the emailed text
> version is pretty close to what was said. What is the proposal for
> edit? Again, I look forward to suggestions on what to do, what way
> to go.
> I wrote another short story on German foreign minister talks on Gaza,
> that story is really not very interesting, BUT it is original reporting,
> and there are reasonably good photos. Will anyone fix that up for
> I see problems in the future. I can supply a few original stories,
> that have not been published extensively elsewhere, but I can not
> write an excellent english, and I do not see anyone that can and
> really will edit the english sufficiently, and I do not see that it
> will happen quickly before the story dies of old age. Swedish
> Wikinews is dead, I think last article is dated 2009. Should I just
> forget Wikinews totally? And just do a few Wiki photo uploads and
> nothing else?
> Best Regards from
The next strategic planning office hours are:
Wednesday, 04:00-05:00 UTC, which is:
-Tuesday (8-9pm PST)
-Tuesday (11pm-12am EST)
There has been a lot of tremendous work on the strategy wiki the past
few months, and Task Forces are finishing up their work.
Office hours will be a great opportunity to discuss the work that's
happened as well as the work to come.
As always, you can access the chat by going to
https://webchat.freenode.net and filling in a username and the channel
name (#wikimedia-strategy). You may be prompted to click through a
security warning. It's fine. More details at:
Thanks! Hope to see many of you there.
Facilitator, Strategy Project
mobile: 918 200-WIKI (9454)
Imagine a world in which every human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
I know, I know... spam, canvasing, yada yada. We need a few more votes in
the WN:RFP Oversight votes. If we don't get at least a few more people in
there, the entire deck of cards will fall apart. So please, even if you're
semi-idle on Wikinews, stop by and cast your vote.
Wikinews Needs You!
[[User:ShakataGaNai]] / KJ6FNQ
"This email should not be used to sue me" -- Bawolff
> From: Jon Davis <wiki(a)konsoletek.com>
> Date: Fri, June 11, 2010 7:20 pm
> To: Wikinews mailing list <wikinews-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
> Maybe you've decided to avoid the project pages on Wikinews as of late...
> hey, we can't blame you. Or maybe you're purposefully avoiding Request For
> Permission because you're tired of voting on reconfirmations. Either way,
> Wikinews needs you!
> We've got Oversighters up for vote, 4 in fact (Choices, oh my)! In order to
> get local oversight, we need 25 support votes, and at least 2 OS'rs. We're
> getting close to that count... but we're not quite there. So please, stop
> by WN:RFP ( http://enwn.net/rfp ) and vote today.
This has been a message from the Special Ministry with Responsibility
for the Memory Hole™!
Your vote has been oversighted if not in compliance with
Maybe you've decided to avoid the project pages on Wikinews as of late...
hey, we can't blame you. Or maybe you're purposefully avoiding Request For
Permission because you're tired of voting on reconfirmations. Either way,
Wikinews needs you!
We've got Oversighters up for vote, 4 in fact (Choices, oh my)! In order to
get local oversight, we need 25 support votes, and at least 2 OS'rs. We're
getting close to that count... but we're not quite there. So please, stop
by WN:RFP ( http://enwn.net/rfp ) and vote today.
Vote. Or the Wikipedian's win.
[[User:ShakataGaNai]] / KJ6FNQ
"This email should not be used to sue me" -- Bawolff
> Subject: Re: [Wikinews-l] [SPAM] Re: Fwd: Re: Wikipedia e-mail (Matthew
> Edwards' email)
> From: diego.grez(a)wikinewsie.org
> Date: Sat, June 05, 2010 1:35 am
> To: "Wikinews mailing list" <wikinews-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
> I agree. All of this shouldn't have happened. the stupid damage he caused was catastrophic for the community. I hope this will be, someday, forgotten.
Not by me.
Oh, and good luck getting the checkuser and proxy checks done on your
new pet troll.