[Foundation-l] Wikia leasing office space to WMF

Brian Brian.Mingus at colorado.edu
Fri Jan 23 20:31:49 UTC 2009

I do not assume bad faith - by assuming I assume bad faith you are assuming
bad faith.

Your close critics are often your best friends. So long as they aren't
threatening legal action or forwarding their criticisms to the press, they
are forcing you to introspect and determine whether there really is a

I believe I have been openly critical of Wikia since the idea was first
presented. It's been several years since I commented on Wikia, and my
attitudes on it haven't really changed. I believe the project would have
been more successful if headed up by the Foundation. I could engage in a
lively debate as to whether or not the content of those projects are
educational. It's really a level of analysis fallacy that your making here.

Name a resource that hasn't been shared by the Foundation and Wikia.

On Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 1:28 PM, George Herbert <george.herbert at gmail.com>wrote:

> 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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