[Foundation-l] Wikia leasing office space to WMF

George Herbert george.herbert at gmail.com
Fri Jan 23 20:28:02 UTC 2009

On Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 11:53 AM, Brian <Brian.Mingus at colorado.edu> wrote:

> I'm glad someone is concerned about this issue. Wikia has always smacked of
> "they wouldn't let us show ads on Wikipedia, so here is the for-profit
> branch of Wikipedia with ads." There are potential conflicts of interest at
> nearly every level of the Wikia/Wikipedia relationship.

Wikia's content is nearly entirely orthogonal to Wikimedia Foundation
projects.  It's hosting community projects (for profit, using ads for
revenue) which aren't encyclopedic or educational.

There's no more conflict of interest in what they're doing (as a business
model) than a conflict with Google, Facebook, Myspace, etc.

The personnel overlaps are a potential conflict of interest.  The board's
job is to review and avoid actual conflicts of interest.  If this was in
fact the same cost as any other reasonable alternative, and had the
additional proximity benefits with Wikia personnel doing the same general
type of work, then the Board having reviewed it and OKed it is fine by me.

Leaping from "obviously needs scrutiny" to "assuming bad faith" is poor
form, Brian.  That is not helpful.

-george william herbert
george.herbert at gmail.com

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