WikiScanner media whoring.

I was on NewsTalk Dublin at 6:20pm Thursday, on George Hook again, about the WikiScanner thing. Quick four-minute segment. He mentioned his own entry, which spoke of him as a dog-lover — he can’t stand dogs. I said “click on the history tab, you’ll see everyone that ever changed it listed there — the WikiScanner basically indexes all that stuff, so you can look it up.” He liked that. I also mentioned there’d be a lot of employees whose bosses might be a little annoyed at what they’d been doing at work …

And, just now, an 11:30pm call from the Daily Mail. Apparently the Sun is running a piece on vandalism of Gordon Brown from Whitehall IP addresses. She asked a cheeringly clueful question: how long was it up there? I couldn’t find the edits, but did introduce her to the history tab, which she was most excited by. Hear that? That’s a journalistic instinct sniffing out a new source of information.

I also got to note something that’s surprised me: the public’s opinion of what constitutes a conflict of interest is far harsher than even Wikipedia’s.

In other news, have a photo of and interview with me, from the Honda public relations magazine Dream. I came into work to be greeted with an A3 colour photocopy on my desk.

Not just online.

The SOS Children 2007 Wikipedia Selection for Schools is being made available in India on CD and DVD — free for 100 schools, and burnt copies for sale at a small fee for those who can’t download it. A sort of Linux distribution model.

Compare to the German language Encarta, which is no longer doing a physical product.

Wikipedia “shows nerdy obsessive edits.”

WIKIALITY, Florida, Tuesday (UnGadget) — An online tool that claims to reveal the identity of organisations that edit Wikipedia pages has revealed that socially-crippled geeks are heavily involved in editing entries.

The Wikipedia History Tab shows computer users with little ability to deal with human interaction made considerable numbers of edits to the Wikipedia article base. The tool trawls a list of 5.3 million edits and matches them to the “user name” of the editor and their position on the Eurocentricity of kitten cuteness. And Naruto, which is apparently this year’s Pokémon.

A warning on the “talk page” of one editor reads: “You have recently repelled a new Wikipedia user by making thousands of edits in an arrogant and self-satisfied manner, and as such you are now being asked to run for admin. This is your last warning.”

After many edits from CIA internet address ranges, a spokesman said, “I’d like in any case to underscore a far larger and more significant point that no one should doubt or forget: The CIA has a vital mission in protecting the United States, and the focus of this agency is there, on that decisive work.” When we pointed out that CIA editors had in fact been concentrating on querulous Buffy The Vampire Slayer trivia, he said he’d get back to us.

Earlier this year, Microsoft was revealed to have offered money to people not to edit on Wikipedia concerning Microsoft or, indeed, anything else.

(This afternoon, I’m on BBC Radio Ulster Evening Extra some time between 5:00pm and 6:30pm BST and BBC Radio 2 John Inverdale around 5:30pm 6:30pm BST cancelled. And BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat around 5:45pm.)


WikiScanner is taking the press by storm. Two calls today from the BBC and one from The Independent. The line I took:

  • We’ve had conflicted editing since the beginning, and companies getting caught out. This is just another example. We’ve told people over and over, and now this is hitting the press and the general public are up in arms about it.
  • The almost-complete edit history of Wikipedia has always been available — click on the “history” tab. And people have been caught with it before. This is another approach to the same thing.
  • We don’t try to nail companies on it, because we appreciate they sometimes just don’t know how to approach us. We don’t want people scared to talk to us.
  • The best way to deal with problems in your entry is to be completely honest and open about who you are and why you’re there. In general, getting caught out being less than utterly honest online will get you eaten alive.
  • If something’s dangerous or slanderous, of course, contact the Foundation and you can be sure it’ll be looked at seriously and quickly.

So I’m on BBC Radio 5 Live on Wake up To Money tomorrow morning around 5:55am. (There’s an MP3 podcast of it.) The things I do for Wikipedia … They got Virgil Griffiths, who wrote WikiScanner, to comment as well. Should be interesting.

By the way: I told you so.

Update: One quote! I got up at 5:45am for one quote! Mind you, I did start to waffle. MP3, 20:25 to 23:24. Pretty good.

30 Years Ago Today: Jimmy Wales Kills Andrew Orlowski’s Pet Puppy.

Drunk on the outside, crying on the inside. Andrew still tears up a little when he thinks of his long-lost companion.
Drunk on the outside, crying on the inside. Andrew still tears up a little when he thinks of his long-lost companion.

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, Friday (UnGadget) — On this day in 1977, a young Jimmy Wales viciously and brutally murdered the beloved canine companion of Manchester schoolboy Andrew Orlowski, beginning a lifelong collaboration of mutual publicity and featherbedding.

The boy’s pride and dog, a South Somerset Atrocity Terrier named Soberhill Black Medik Markenbrow Beatrice Vraibleu, was viciously murdered by Wales reciting to it John Galtboy’s speech from Fountainhead Earth while Wales was high on crack received for his eleventh birthday a few days before.

“It was unspeakably brutal,” Orlowski said years later. “That he could possibly think a properly brought-up British socialist animal could tolerate his Hayekinspired gibberings on collectivism. The very idea that you could produce a vast collective enterprise without a strong central authority! Fuck!”

A boy's best friend ... in a manly sense, of course.
A boy’s best friend … in a manly sense, of course.

“I don’t know what he’s talking about,” said Wales from the Arbitration Committee yacht, anchored off Bono’s private island in the Caribbean. “Any eleven-year-old with a decent education would have been quite able to teach his dog enough about political systems to cope with such ideas.”

“Well, he would say that,” said Orlowski, “he was home-schooled, so he probably learnt to read and stuff instead of getting his head flushed every lunchtime like all the future computer nerds round our way did. My hair never recovered. Fucker. Wikipedophile!” He noted that the flushing was, however, the perfect training for IT journalism, which certainly beat working for a living.

Wales notes that the collaboration has been vastly productive, producing continued press coverage of Wikipedia and a specialist expert topic for Orlowski to rent quotes on. “Andrew wasn’t keen on the arrangement at first,” he said, “but then … well, you should have seen what I did to his cornflakes.”

Product of the year!

On eBay, no less. (Courtesy Walter.)

Wikipedia Homepage + 12 Permanent Text Links SEO

First of all these text links and content will be “permanent.” We can list your site in the US or across the global Wikipedia pages.

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Regular text links on random sites and in directories, no one looks at, may help a little with link popularity but don’t you want some traffic? More traffic = more conversions.

Last month over 40 million people looked at #10 most trafficked website according to Alexa. And shows up in Google and Yahoo! results. A traffic gold mine.

But how do you take advantage of this? How do I list my website on Wikipedia without it getting deleted?

That is where we come in. We have an extensive SEO background, we have knowledge of Internet User behavior, we know how they search and what they search for. We will get more people to see you on Wikipedia and work with the Wikipedia guidelines to increase the amount of text links to your website. More people will see your website, they will click your text links, hence more traffic.

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The feedback mumbles “haxx0r3d account” to me. You?

Alternately, Durova has better ways. (Precis: don’t be a dick.)