[Foundation-l] Welcome Sue !

Lars Aronsson lars at aronsson.se
Thu Dec 20 19:27:31 UTC 2007

Ben Yates wrote:

> Frankly, I think insiders need to start displaying more 
> humility. There's a bit of a PR crisis going on.  If kelly makes 
> valid points in a needlessly abrasive way, nobody's going to win 
> an argument against her by saying she's a troll.

Even in cases when someone actually is a troll, there's little to 
gain from pointing that out in the open.

I was reading through The Register's articles and comments about 
"naked short selling" the other day,

I have not been involved in this chain of events at all.  But I 
was thinking of how a similar case could be handled if it happened 
in Sweden.  Perhaps we have been fortunate in having really good 
(natural talent, rather than professional) press contacts.  The 
current one, Lennart Guldbrandsson, is also chair of Wikimedia 
Sverige and the true Mr. Nice Guy, always smiling.

The press contact of Wikimedia UK, David Gerard, being portrayed 
in the article (page 5) as one of the bad guys makes his task 
quite impossible in this case.  If he tried to speak the voice of 
reason against The Register, right or wrong, readers would 
inevitably ask if he is defending Wikipedia or his own skin.  
What can we learn from this?  Maybe press people need a backup?

Among the reader comments, one points to [[talk:Overstock.com]] 
where Jimbo on December 13 writes The Register off as a "tabloid 
blog with a tiny audience".  This is a mistake.  Even though it is 
less used in the U.S., it has an absolutely dominating position 
among nerds in the U.K. and large parts of Europe.  Think of it as 
a mix of Slashdot and CNET.  Compare it to Germany's heise.de.  
It's what people (well, programmers) read on a daily basis.

Jimbo is doing a fantastic job for the Foundation.  But he's 
closer to the U.S. than the U.K.  He's also no longer the chair 
and spends time on South Africa and other new directions. Anthere 
is also doing a fantastic job, but the reader comments of The 
Register never refer to her, only to Jimbo.  This could be an 
advantage: She's not tainted by involvement in any such "scandal".  
But it's also likely that too few people, especially in the 
English speaking world, know of her as chair of the Foundation.
I think there is a greater public role to be played here.

  Lars Aronsson (lars at aronsson.se)
  Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se

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