---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Zack Exley <zex...@thoughtworks.com>
Date: Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 6:57 PM
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] COI editing by WMF staff
To: rupert THURNER <rupert.thur...@gmail.com>
Cc: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>

Yes, sorry - I was being immature with that comment. I was just
feeling grumpy. But I do think this kind of thing is very counter
productive and off-putting for new and low-level editors who would
like to do good work. It's just too bad. The community of editors is
shrinking and the experience that new editors are having is getting
worse and worse. I am very worried about the future of Wikipedia.

There are so many amazing editors. The problem is not that
"experienced editors are being mean to newbies." In fact, analysis we
did while I was still at WMF (that we were never able to refine and
verify to publishable quality) showed that the vast majority of heavy
editors are welcoming and good to editors. But a few are not. And a
huge portion of editors who are like me -- i.e. who would really like
to contribute more, but need to learn more -- find their talk pages
covered with cryptic warnings and have their first articles (whether
they're about themselves or a legitimate topic) deleted.

This is totally anecdotal -- I'm not sure if anyone's actually
benchmarking this -- but I feel like I keep finding gaps in Wikipedia
that wouldn't have been there a few years ago. Like new bands, local
politicians, software products etc... I want to read about these
things on Wikipedia, not on commercial sites. So does the bast
majority of the world.

If the community continues to shrink and Wikipedia continues to fall
behind, it's only a matter of time before a Google or Facebook or new
start up takes what Wikipedians have created and continues in a more
open and inviting way.

Hopefully that's a more mature version of my offhand, frustrated
comment about grinding Wikipedia to halt from yesterday.

On Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 3:44 AM, rupert THURNER
<rupert.thur...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 9:49 PM, Zack Exley <zex...@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> > I haven't read this thread, but I'll explain my editing history as
> > Wikitedium:
> >
> > First of all, I listed my user name as soon as I started at Wikipedia. It's
> > still listed here on my (out of date) staff/contractor page:
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Zackexley
> >
> > I did start an article about myself a long time ago. I didn't know there
> > was a policy against it. I wasn't an active editor and knew virtually no
> > policies. I created the article because right wing media personalities were
> > doing hit pieces on me and the Republican party was sending out emails
> > asking people to write letters to the editor about me featuring lots of
> > false facts. So I saw Wikipedia as an open encyclopedia "that anyone can
> > edit" where I could set the record straight. Later I learned it was against
> > policy and FELT REALLY BAD.
> >
> > As for the other edits on projects I was involved with. My personal opinion
> > is that those kinds of edits are vital to the future of Wikipedia. I want
> > everyone to add everything they're working on to Wikipedia -- and then all
> > their critics to come and add what they know. I'm saddened every time I go
> > looking for something I expect to be in Wikipedia and find nothing -- and
> > am forced to rely on the organization's own site or whatever.
> >
> > OK -- I think that's all you need from me. Now enjoy yourselves as you
> > continue to grind Wikipedia to a whining halt.
> zack, i find this a little offending. most of the persons in this
> discussion thread did more edits in the last months than you in your
> lifetime - and this without touching an article about self, or
> accepting that the colleagues at work do so. its you who gets a 6
> digit number of donors money wired to your bank account every year.
> you can be sure they did not give it because of your edits.
> instead of "feeling bad" you might consider doing something about the
> cause. e.g. you might propose your own article for deletion
> (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion).
> what makes this whole story confusing to me are the following pages:
> * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Organizing_Institute
> * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_freeman
> * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Carteroni
> * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Mstemp
> the zack exley wikipedia page says you are president of new organizing
> institute, and you let some one time wikipedia user create an article
> about your organization again, and let another one time user create a
> page for your only partner in that organization? after feeling
> terribly bad? after being chief community officer at WMF responsible
> for developing the foundations relationship with the editing
> community?
> many thanks, zack, that you are there. otherwise "the whole thing
> would have fallen apart" (wikimedia), as you say in this interview:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQfHVGMrHCY
> rupert

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