Andreas,

I am happy to talk to Signpost on-record about anything that has been
happening under my watch to minimize misinterpretations of second-hand
reports or further conjectures.

Lila

On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 9:57 PM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 10:56 PM, Anthony Cole <ahcole...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Lila should have taken the community along with her as the Knowledge
> Engine
> > project was evolving. I don't know what was behind her reticence. I
> presume
> > an element was unwillingness to announce a thing while the thing was
> > shifting and changing from one day to the next.
> >
>
>
> It was pointed out to me today that there is a court exhibit, no. 666, made
> public in 2014 as part of the [[High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation]]
> (the same case Arnnon Geshuri was involved in), which reproduces some
> correspondence between Sue Gardner, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, and various
> Google managers.[1]
>
>
>
> In short, Sheryl Sandberg (who'd formerly worked for Google) helped Sue
> Gardner by introducing her to senior management at Google. To do so,
> according to the court exhibit, Sandberg forwarded an email from Sue
> Gardner to Jonathan Rosenberg (then Senior Vice President of Products) and
> others at Google:
>
>
>
> ---o0o---
>
>
>
> From: Sheryl Sandberg
>
> Sent: Saturday, August 09, 2008 7:40 PM
>
> To: Jonathan Rosenberg; Omid Kordestani; David Drummond; Megan Smith
>
> Subject: Fw: Thanks + a request re Google
>
>
>
> Jonathan, Omid, David, Megan - I was introduced to Sue by Roger. As you can
> see below, they would love a better and more senior relationship with
> Google. Can I email introduce her to one of you?
>
>
>
> Please excuse blackberry-caused typos.
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
>
> From: Sue Gardner
>
> To: Sheryl Sandberg
>
> Sent: Mon Aug 04 10:02:01 2008
>
> Subject: Thanks + a request re Google
>
>
>
> Hi Sheryl,
>
>
>
> It was terrific to finally meet you last week :-)
>
>
>
> Here's a recap of the Google issue that I raised:
>
>
>
> I started as Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation last summer.
>
>
>
> A few months after that, Roger McNamee began introducing me to potential
> Wikipedia donors in the valley. Most of that was great and successful, but
> in a few cases -including once with a Google board member- I was surprised
> to be have people cite 'loyalty to Google' as a reason to not give money to
> Wikipedia.
>
>
>
> Their objections, which have been echoed to me several times since then,
> seem to fall into three categories:
>
>
>
> * A belief that Wikia Search is an attempt by Wikipedia to compete with
> Google. (Many people don't realize the only thing shared between Wikipedia
> and Wikia is our founder, Jimmy Wales. Nor do they realize that Jimmy has
> no day-to-day responsibilities at the Wikimedia Foundation.)
>
> * The view that because Wikipedia is non-commercial, it is anti-advertising
> and anti-Google.
>
> * A belief that Knol is an attempt by Google to compete with Wikipedia.
>
>
>
> I personally don't believe any of this: I think Google and Wikipedia can
> and should have a complementary and positive relationship. And I gather
> Larry and Sergey feel the same: I believe they've told Jimmy that Google
> has no ill will towards Wikipedia, and that they'd be willing to make a
>
> donation to us in order to signal that publicly.
>
>
>
> I also believe that any real or perceived tensions in the Google/Wikipedia
> relationship may be being exacerbated at some levels inside Google by their
> unfulfilled desires to do business with us. Since relocating to the Bay
> Area in January, we've had plenty of Google folks reach out to us. But --
> we have a total staff of 21 people, with just one person responsible for
> business development, so I am not sure we are even able to politely keep up
> with their pitches. IMO, rather than spending our time on multiple
> product-specific pitches, it would probably be more productive for
> Wikipedia and Google to develop a single umbrella relationship/agreement
> (obviously within the limits of Wikipedia's non-commercial context).
>
>
>
> So. I think a good next step would be some kind of high-level meeting
> between Wikipedia and Google, to talk through these issues and see if a
> donation and/or business deal makes sense.
>
>
>
> I appreciate your advice on this issue :-)
>
>
>
> Thanks,
>
> Sue
>
>
>
>  ---o0o---
>
>
>
> Now, some of this isn't earth-shattering news -- it's long been known that
> relations between Google and Wikipedia have been friendly. The lobbying
> partnership between Google and Wikipedia may well date back to the meetings
> that followed that email exchange.
>
>
>
> What wasn't known to me was that Sue found people in Silicon Valley
> unwilling to donate because of their "loyalty to Google". (This reasoning
> raises questions of its own about Google's influence, but we'll leave that
> aside.)
>
>
>
> Now it has become clear over the past few days that Damon Sicore, to use
> Jimmy Wales' words at Lila's Knowledge Engine FAQ,[2] "really was
> advocating for taking a run at Google", and gave "strict orders to keep it
> top secret".
>
>
>
> Sue referred to her wish to have "a single umbrella relationship/agreement"
> with Google, in part to help with the donation problems she was
> encountering. If such an agreement ever came into being, then being seen to
> be planning a campaign against Google behind Google's back, as it were,
> might well jeopardise that relationship, and be seen as disloyal.
>
>
>
> That would have been a compelling reason for continued secrecy, especially
> if these plans to compete against Google were in the end given up, meaning
> that any loss of face vis-à-vis Google and its friends would in effect be
> for nothing.
>
>
>
> Of course this is just supposition.
>
>
> But there are issues here worth reflecting upon. I recall plenty of
> volunteers over the years saying it was very good that Google seemed to
> treat Wikipedia favourably. Yet I don't recall the community ever being
> asked whether they wanted the WMF to seek any kinds of agreements with
> for-profit players.
>
>
>
> At any rate, whatever the facts of this case, it seems to me that
> maintaining transparency becomes very hard if you pursue such agreements.
> It becomes very easy to tie yourself into knots.
>
>
>
> [1] http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/sandberg.pdf
>
> [2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_Engine/FAQ
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-- 
Lila Tretikov
Wikimedia Foundation

*“Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”*
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