1. Monday, December 4, 2006

    the wikipedia debate is actually getting interesting 

    973756_10151618133193057_1444231123_n which doesn’t mean that my cause has any hope in hell, but at least there will have to be some solid reasons to delete it other than deeming it “blatant self-promotion”.

    so since there are so many allegations being thrown at me, lets clear up some things superfast.

    1. Although it was very nice of whoever created the entry on Wikipedia about me, that particular page accounts for less than .01% of the hits that I get on this blog. It also accounts for less than .01% of the hits that I get to LAist (the only hits that I actually care about). Therefore if it is self-promotion its a horrible promotion and if a Marketing freelancer had done it I’d fire them.

    2. A few of the Wiki editors have accused me of using this blog to send out a “call to arms” to get votes on the discussion board. This is troublesome because if those editors have a difficult time reading last night’s post (where I basically threw my arms up at the situation and said that the post is scheduled for demolition and is doomed to be removed so take a picture while it lasts) then how accurate of editors are they on far more important things that they should be reading and editing: world events and controversial people on Wikipedia?

    Love him or hate him, I have always been an admirer of Howard Stern. One reason is because he never organized a campaign to keep him on radio stations who were planning on removing him, nor did he ever ask his millions of listeners to protest the anti-free speech groups who tried to get his sponsors to pull support of his shows.

    So when I saw that the guy spearheading this “war on blogs” has pull at Wikipedia (despite his spotty past and bizarre user page), the last thing I wanted to trouble my readers with was some fucked up web debate/war on my behalf. As I’ve said here before repeatedly, I am one of the luckiest people ever. So save your energies on less fortunate souls, especially now during the holidays, namely the poor. Being on Wikipedia is not a make or break situation for me, and I would be a loser if it was.

    However, nobody gets to tell me what I can put on this blog or not put in this blog, and if I told my readers who were editors of Wikipedia to vote on this matter, I don’t see how that should disqualify my post. Since when, in America, have we encouraged people not to vote? It appears that the small group of editors who are anti-blogs wanted this vote to go under the radar and happen quickly so as to avoid a true vote. Me, I think that regardless of who votes, the entry should be voted on based on its merits and whether or not it fits in Wikipedia based on their guidelines. Any mention of the “controversy” on an alleged blog by an alleged non-notable blogger is neither here nor there.

    But for the record: In no way am I telling you, busblog reader, to do anything with your time on my behalf. If you want to do something that would make me happy buy your mother flowers, or give a homeless person some food tonight.

    3. the best defense that ive seen so far for keeping the entry has been here:

    Keep WP:BIO states as a criterion for inclusion: “The person has been the primary subject of multiple non-trivial published works whose source is independent of the person.” It continues, “This criterion includes published works in all forms, such as newspaper articles, magazine articles…” etc. Pierce meets that criterion. A quick search of the Dow Jones/Reuters Factiva service shows Pierce has been the subject of articles from the New York Times (27 May 2004) (followed by an echo to the Times-owned Int’l Herald Tribune on 29 May); Reuters (10 July 2004); Straits Times (Singapore) (5 March 2006); Reforma (Mexico City) (2 April 2006); EL PAIS (Madrid) (20 April 2006); Los Angeles Times (16 October 2003, 27 Feb 2003, 12 July 2004, others); Le Monde (25 June 2005); and others. The search string was (Tony Pierce AND blog), and the variety of citation shows that some regard “just blogging” to be sufficient for notability, if one is widely enough known for it (just as one could become widely known for such synonyms “writing a diary”, “writing a journal”, “writing essays”, etc.). A campaign to edit the phenomenon of blogging out of Wikipedia, when it is clearly observable in everyday life, could be considered a violation of WP:NPOV through overly aggressive editing out of known facts. .–hbobrien

    4. Authorship: although i understand why they frown upon having the subjects write or edit their own posts, if the subject is alive an has been known around the web to be an honest person, who better to create an accurate post? and isnt’t that, after all, the ultimate goal of Wikipedia – accurate entries that are the definitive source for reference? therefore many of the things that I noted in the post before could/should be edited into the wikipedia entry, as well as the information that hbobrien provided, and many other bits of facts that the rest of you could/should add.

    5. i was accused of writing on the debate page under a fake name. although the accuser pointed to the wikipedia page “Sock Puppet” when they should have linked to this page. notable bloggers do not need fake names to defend themselves in the discussion areas of web sites. i stated my case under my name and initials. if i wanted to say anything more on that site i would have done so. but the way i saw it i said my peace and moved on. not everyone works that way, but i do. anyone on the blogosphere knows that IP addresses are easily checked and others have been caught using fake names to support themselves. i have better things to do during working hours, namely blogging. for money. something some notable bloggers are fortunate enough to do.

    6. my favorite exchange so far has been this one:

    # Keep – He taught thousands how to blog.PermanentE 09:02, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
    * Comment – it that a good thing? – Femmina 15:24, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

    o Yes. –Oakshade 17:20, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

    7. some are voting but their votes are being discounted because its the first time that they’ve posted something. although i can understand that attack, the truth is everyone has a first post or edit. if this debate creates more to volunteer and edit more things in Wikipedia then Wikipedia benefits. same goes for those who sign up to vote my entry out. all i want is for people to vote for the entry based on the guidelines of Wikipedia or vote against them based on the guidelines. therefore the amount of edits that the voters have made on the page, to me, are immaterial.

    8. i forgot what eight was.

    9. the five main reasons i think im a notable blogger under their guidelines are:

    a) ive had articles written about me in major publications, interviews conducted with me in major places, and tv appearances due to the fact that im a notable blogger.

    b) my post “how to blog” has been linked to throughout the blogosphere and reproduced in several languages, and the fact that a word that i helped coin, “blook”, was runner-up in the Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year contest this year shows that im more than just some cute cam girl.

    c) with a rank of #428 out of 54 million blogs means that the busblog is in the Technorati Top 500. ten percent of 54 million is 5 million. one percent of 54 million is 500,000. .1% of 54 million is 50,000, and .01% of 54 million is 5,000. so to be in the top 500 of blogs means that your blog is more popular than 99.999% of all other blogs. a feat i have achieved over the last three years. certainly no flash in the pan. in the war on blogs, may i suggest that if you have sustained a ranking in the Technorati Top 500 for several years, despite the ever-changing world of the blogosphere, you’re doing something unique, and thus have a pretty good arguement for being in Wikipedia

    d) i wrote the first blook, and the second (which was much better).

    e) there are less than 100 bloggers who have been able to turn pro. and even few who did it without being journalists, writing primarily about politics, or writing primarily about sex. when i became editor of LAist i got to join that very small club. and once i got that job i helped triple the amount of traffic on that blog in less than six months, without a lot of sex talk or political coverage.

    of the 50 million bloggers very very few have accomplished any of those feats, let alone all of those. which is why i believe im notable.

    10. As one of my defenders noted, this all out “war on blogs” goes against one of Wikipedia’s “fundamental principles” that of a “Neutral Point of View“. The same reason they ask the subject of the entry not to write about themselves because it goes against this priciple, one who clearly hates blogs should not be allowed to delete or judge entries about bloggers since they obviously have an agenda against those who have their work viewed on computer screens.

    /self serving defense

    Update: As Bloopy reports in the comments, this matter has made it to the front page of Digg. Holy crap!

    Update #2: Even though they swear that the discussion page is not a place to vote, but to debate, the page was closed once the debate became interesting (and once the original nominator got banned indefinitely). Thus a second nomination was introduced and that page can be viewed here where currently the vote discussion is pretty even.