By Joe Beaudoin Jr. | Posted on February 2, 2008 at 7:43 am |
Posted in Category: Drifiting Thoughts, Feedback, Outside Sites

The word “wow!” is often overused in the English language, next to “cool!”, “yo!”, “dat s**t”, et al.

However, I feel like using it now, as it was my initial reaction to an article written by Mike Hinman at SyFy Portal. Simply put, I had neither expected it nor thought it was a subject worthy of discussion. Alas, I was wrong. :)

The article in question, “SyFriday: Living Life Out in the Open” , was written in reaction to my detailed blog entry regarding the buy-out offer from Wikia. (The links open in new windows, so have at them then tell us what you think either via the blog or on the Fourm.)

In the article, Mike reveals his initial reaction to reading the blog entry: “Sheesh, that’s an awful lot of information to be sharing … maybe it’s too much?” He briefly goes into a story about how he asked his webmaster friend whether or not I had revealed too much. Of course, as that webmaster told him, Mike does much the same thing himself on his site, SyFy Portal. I can attest to this, having known Mike for nearly eight years now (if not more, time flies!) , and have visited the website rather regularly since it was a seedling on GeoCities!

As Mike points out in the article, openness is a good thing. (At this point, I’m going to assume that you’ve read Mike’s article… and if not, please do so. It’s a quick read.) Now that you’ve read the article, you’re probably asking why transparency is of importance to me.

You see, transparency is important — actually, quintessential — because, as Mike very correctly points out in his article, it builds trust. It builds trust within the community, as well as between viewers and contributors to the Wiki. Without it, we would hardly be the resource we are today, for trust is an extremely difficult commodity to come by. All you need to do is look at the various problems with Wikipedia, both past and present, which stem from the lack of important transparency. Their present issues are gremlins that we have never faced because of our true openness, and the fact that we’re not struggling under our own weight.

Now, I’ll grant you that there’s no such thing as “full transparency”, because there have been people who’ve confided with me their issues regarding the Wiki. I hold their communications in the strictest confidence and, as a matter of both honor and of trust, I don’t spill my guts on those kind of things, for personal information is typically revealed in such communications.

Aside from that exception, in the case of Wikia and all the other issues we face together as a community, I’ll definitely always comment on them openly, even if it appears to put me at a disadvantage. This is because these are issues that affect the community and, in talking about such things, I hope to give you an inside view into the workings of how and why we do the things we do. The reason your fellow contributors and I go to the trouble to do this? It’s so very simple, but apparently so hard to accomplish.

To earn your trust.

And if we’ve done that, then I’m happy, for we’ve done the (seemingly) impossible and that’s made us mighty.

Thank you! :D

So say we all!

This entry was posted on Saturday, February 2nd, 2008 at 7:43 am and is filed under Drifiting Thoughts, Feedback, Outside Sites. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  • Catrope

    Mike was right about $2,500 not coming close to being reasonable: that’s less than a buck per article, and there are quite a few articles out there (most notably FAs and QAs) that are worth just a little more than a buck in my opinion :D

    Anyway, I principally oppose any buy-out; it’s our party, and we’ll sell if we want to.

  • Steelviper

    Ah… I wondered if this was maybe a “coming out of the closet” type scenario (a la, “Sexuality in Battlestar Galactica).

    I know that Joe’s original post wasn’t intended to draw comment, it’s just how he works. Actually, I think Gil had already learned his lesson from the whole Guildwiki debacle, and has said that going forward they will:

    * Talk to each community BEFORE signing any legal papers. The better wiki founders did this, but some chose not to and we didn’t force the issue. In the future, we will demand it.

    * Require as part of any contract that the community be offered re-imbursement for any donations they may have made previously

    * Encourage the domain owner(s) to disclose any compensation and at a minimum disclose if there is compensation being offered and to whom

    As for Joe ever selling out, I wouldn’t blame Joe if he ever does. While it is a community-driven creation, and while others have contributed financially, ultimately the server tab (and other costs) have always fallen at his feet. If he ever gets tired of that, I would understand if wanted to let that pass to someone else.

    That being said, I’ve enjoyed the independent spirit of the wiki, and the freedom and flexibility that has allowed us. It’s been quite a learning experience, and I appreciate Joe’s continued persistence, patience, and his open wallent in keeping this thing going.

  • Joe Beaudoin Jr.

    Oh, I agree with what’s been said here. :)

    I also believe Gil when he says they’ve learned a lot from GuildWiki/GameWiki debacle. However, the issue is that none of the three things that Steelviper mentions were presented to me in the proposal — and they should have, right up front. The e-mail I was sent did not mention any of these three things. I wasn’t encouraged to talk to the community.

    However, I believe it’s safe to say that from this point forward they’ll state this information during the initial proposal. :)

    Onto the other matter… Obviously, people relish in the fact that we have an independent, Browncoat spirit here at the Wiki. This spirit can’t be bought or substituted, and I wouldn’t even make the attempt. Having run various websites over the years, Battlestar Wiki is very special in that it has a strong community that continually grows with new blood, even during a drawn-out hiatus like we’ve experienced. :-)

    Regardless of whether the show has a last season, I feel that we’ll be around for years to come, even if there is a reduction in editors and traffic. :-D

    So say we all!

  • Joe Beaudoin Jr.

    Wow. I’m smiling a lot… Nice! :D