Sunday, August 06, 2006

Ok - Its All Finished Now - Scroll Down!

Again there is some editing that could be done, but I've spent the better part of the night completing this and I'm ready for breakfast now. A lot will depend on the other projects that are to come as to whether I'll be up to continuing with this project before Monday. But I will continue to consider working on it a bit more.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Embarking Again

When I started this project tonight, I thought it would be relatively easy. It would seem that nothing is as easy as it seems. When you are quoting technorati heavies like these guys it is possible that confusion can arise with every word, so I'm trying to do my absolute best to bring a clean picture of what actually "went down" at Harvard on Friday. I hope you continue to enjoy these journals, and as I finish this one up, I hope you have a great time with whats already here.

Stay cool this summer,

Just another friend in the ether,

Chris Bradley
author of American Mohawk

Wales Transcript

"I would sing the wiki anthem - but I'm not sure I can remember the words..."
"This is creative commons music - Hello - I'm sj...I'm really pleased that wikimania was able to come to Harvard Law School."
"3 sessions and then people are going to break out into Austin Hall."
"Those of you who have computers can access schedules from the conference website."
"we have the editor and chief from world book" "larry lessig talking in austin hall"
"I wanted to thank everyone who helped make this conference possible"
"Please make sure you turn off your cell phones - don't make too much noise etc."
"Gobby server for realtime transcription.
I want to introduce you to Jimmy Wales, ever since his debates about how to start Wikipedia and the free culture movement - he's been kind of a hero to me - I hope you'll welcome him, and I hope you all have a great time today and can take part in the conversation."
"While crafting my scorching reply....I checked wikipedia....which leads to tonights word - wikiality..." - S. Colbert
This is the one talk where I have to talk to both people who know something and know not too much about Wikipedia
Imagine a world where every human being is given free access to all information
What's coming up in the coming year.
The milestone.
The sweedish passed 100,000 articles.
Germans passed 400,000
We had a lot of news this year
The sigenthaler controversy
Apparently there was a controversy
Something was incorrect in the encyclopedia
They dragged me on CNN and yelled at me - Our traffic nearly trippled.
I had just visited an article from Nature magazine. I knew that good news was coming out about Wikipedia, but I couldn't say anything
The article from nature article found an average of 4 errors per article in Wikipedia - 3 errors per article in Britanica. 3 Errors per article in Britanica means that there are errors in fundamentally trusted sources and often they aren't quite as reliable as they would seem. We are very strong in science, we come from deep culture, we come from the free software movement. That's where our major things are.
We need to bring more good quality people into Wikipedia - in many cases Wikipedia people craft beautiful articles - and sometimes they end up choppy due to consensus questions and edit conflicts.
"We have huge articles on things like truthiness. I'm just kidding, my overall point is we aren't as good as Britanica yet."
"In the coming years, we can no longer feel that we are superior without focussing on improved quality thinking.
We started a session where it was essentially me sitting at home in my pajamas and ended up with having something that has the cultural parameters that are maturing. We are becoming a better run organization. We can actually be expected to start applying for grants.
I talked to Jimmy Carter. He was saying many people in countries like Africa have only been able to capture 20% of the possible grants because they are just scraping by and trying to live.
"Brad Patrick has been hired - his route into Wikipedia is as General Counsel and Interim CEO - in his first 2 months on the job - he has been helping get the foundation organised - as far as applying for grants etc."
"Brad refers to Jwales article the 10 things that should be free which appears on the lessig blog. This is an amazing thing we are in the middle of - the skill level is unimaginable - the committee is part of what we - I
have seen - and I expect we will see astronomical progress." "Brad makes it sound like it took a long time to get back to him." "Moving on to other news in our little world, I want to talk about wikia being funded. Wikia, as most of you know is my company doing advertising supported for profit communities - we managed to raise venture capital. I was very fortunate to take my time and make some careful measures to ensure that we will be able to support the wikimedia foundation with a large part of the money that we raise. One of the amazing things about MediaWiki is that it
we are hiring several full time engineers to work on MediaWiki - it is amazingly fantastic and is always driven by volunteer participation - brion of course has been an employee of the foundation for a long time, it is all driven by volunteer development. Its very creative in the Free software environment - you have something like Red Hat Linux which has the ability to package it - but then you have the developers that are volunteer that do the interesting bits on the software.
Its been very exciting because there are a lot of things that people in the community really enjoy about MediaWiki. We have a total commitment for free knowledge and respect for communities and that everything that made Wikipedia successful can now be expanded into free culture. I just launched campaigns wikia on July 4th which is American Centric - but I was in an American Spirit that day, I'm posting local meetups all over the world, I recently went to a meetup in Chicago - I was pleased to meet everyone from Chicago and noticed that there are many people who are wikipedians and even otherwise that are interested in coming out for some of those sorts of things.
That's what I'm working on these days.
This is the news for today - we're going to have some press conferences later in the day - we're announcing today that the 1 laptop per child program - Nicholas Negroponte's project over at MIT the 100 dollar laptop project - he's very excited about it - he says that he could be correct that it is the killer ap for this project - and I'm very confident that our project can succeed and that I'm happy we're a part of that. ,
It is possible with deeper penetration into global markets through that that entire new languages can arise in Wikipedia that we've never even seen yet.
The computers are networked computers.
The other big thing that can go on is called Wikiversity, it went through several revisions as we hammered out what it should look like what it should be like what you should see.
Wikiversity works on textbooks - quizzes review materials - tests - for all age groups - all languages. Can be good for people to help to figure out and how to learn things.
This is a kind of an example - a kind of interesting research project can emerge

One of the things we know as wikipedians is that things can generate a very healthy dialogue when things go right. Wikis really help people to understand each other and generate a consensus view. World Wikia - the travel site. I really kind of love the idea that beyond the people taking an encyclopedia as a hobby, people can pick up new hobbies.
Wikipedia is to be the FIRST element to the 100 dollar laptop content repository.
It is a way to not only access the knowledge through the content repository, but to generate whole new venues of knowledge.
Wikiversity -
1) would be a center - wiki on the web - for learning
2) center for texts - all age groups - all languages
3) host learning communities as well
4) hosting and fostering research into how wikis can be used well
5) I believe that with the funding we are going to receive we will be able to make things happen
6) six-month beta trial version - launch soon
What's going to happen in the coming year - more general things that will happen at some point
We will be creating an advisory board
try to pull together a bunch of interesting people and contacts with prestige and strategic input
with a very strong academic component
How to make wiki communities stronger - work on quality control
WikiWyg - WikiWyg - What You Get - Full time people will be devoted to the project - feeling that it will be part of the future of wiki-editing in general
Story : A friend of his who graduated from Harvard was studying 8th century Chinese poets -
Looked up articles on some of the poets - said the articles are written possibly by an elderly chinese man in San Fransisco who loves the poets
this is very possible?
"She spent the last 15 years living in the 8th century."
She loved the idea of Wikipedia and Loved the idea of sharing free knowledge
but when she went to press into the edit page - she was frightened off by the codes required - because of the style of markup
she didn't really know what to do
When its difficult to edit we think perhaps its not so bad that there's a barrier to entry
It keeps out a lot of really really smart people -
But then it is not enough of a barrier to keep out persistent troublemakers
Who have learned to edit wikitext but do nothing else.
I'm speaking here primarily of the wikipedias - the smaller ones - With more than one million articles in english - we should turn our eyes away from growth and more toward developing quality.
One of the more important things we can do are WP:Bio
As wikipedia has gotten to be larger and larger - so everybody who's famous like S. Colbert looks himself up in Wikipedia
George Bush doesn't care -
But someone sees an article and sees something that they don't like in - so they blank the article
- Blank the article again - then get blocked - Then they make a legal threat - and get blocked - and it begins to become a really problematic thing for that user
The living biographies part of Wikipedia -
We've made huge improvements with image tagging - you can't claim fair use if you don't give a source
Its been a big social battle for people
People sometimes have to put up with a significant fight with new users - to refine and reform fair use of images
the issues around fair use are very complicated - we don't want to rely on it in cases where we can get a legal free image and put that into use
there has been some resistance, the tide has turned, people are beginning to realize that fair use is only very narrow for usage
We only want to use it in those cases where it is 100% free
A friend likes to take baseball players pictures himself and then upload them, and while they aren't quite as professional as conventional media they can be just as good for our purposes.
German stable usage talks -
The details of this should be widely discussed at this conference,
how can we get to stable versions
they will allow us to move to show 2 objectives - to enable anyone to edit them - but blocks and reverts can be made to control the effects of vandalism - if we don't get this done by the time we roll up to the keynote next year, I think we're really making a big mistake
10 things that will be free -
how many of those things I could update people on :
I just wanted to talk for a minute on a handful of these things - Free the encyclopedia
if you have a broadband connection - our mission is done - it is an encyclopedia - it is free - it is essentially done - French and Japanese - joke about Mission Accomplished -
Our foundation seek funding
was done
its easy for people to start doing these things in english
We should be looking to hire some people to go out and meet and greet contributors - reach out to volunteers
Any wikipedian might want to go to bengali
last year I said it needs software development for support
There's been some amazing stuff at Wiktionaryz - GerardMason or Eric can give you a demo of what they've been working on - they've managed to get some funding - I think its going to start to be functional by mid year
I never really thought about what it would be like to create a multilingual dictionary correctly - until I looked at the software and talked to Gerard Several times
Wikibooks has gotten a lot bigger
Possible to model wikiversity after free university in South Africa - conditions required - the people that benefit are required to go out and teach other people
One of the big costs they have is learning materials - maybe we can help with that.
"What can we do to help you?"
Wikiversity has very great prospects for the future.
That's essentially what I have to talk about today. Thank you!