×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Is a "Wikipedia For News" Feasible?

sparkydevil Re:I don't get it (167 comments)

I am the founder of Newslines. We are the closest thing to a Wikipedia for news, although we are really a mix of daily news, Wikipedia and YouTube. Our writers create news-based timelines on any person, product or news event.

There are many problems with the way Wikipedia deals with news (see my article Wikipedia's 13 Deadly Sins. On the reader side, news pages are text-based, very unstructured, and don't have embedded videos and cannot be sorted or filtered. On the writers' side there are many problems with the 10-year-old wiki software that create unnecessary conflict and trouble for anyone trying to add data. By using a simpler approval process we have very few edit wars, happier writers, and a better reader experience. Also, our model makes it much more difficult for groups of readers to push their point of view.

Since we launched in May, our writers have added over 25,000 news events, on thousands of topics. Unlike other work-for-free-while-we-make-billions sites, we paid our writers $1 per post for those posts. In the next few weeks we are moving to a revenue share, where writers and editors can get paid for their efforts. Some of our writers have already made thousands of dollars and we hope they will make much more with the new system.

Some examples: Google Glass, Ben Affleck, Michael Brown, Paul Graham

about two weeks ago
top

Wikipedia's 13 Deadly Sins

sparkydevil Re:notthebest (5 comments)

Sorry I've meant table of contents. On your site, I can't get a simple list of the new's items headlines.

That feature is on the list. Should be ready in a few weeks.

Yet on your google glass page you include a commercial and don't even try to declare it as this.

It's a news item, but I can understand the confusion. It's similar to adding an ad for a new MacBook release on the apple page. It's news and an ad.

Thanks for your comments. Definitely a few things to think about.

about a month ago
top

Wikipedia's 13 Deadly Sins

sparkydevil Re:notthebest (5 comments)

Maybe you are right that the web is not the place for illiterates, but I know from my kids who primarily use tablets and mobile they are not interested in textual media. They are the web users of the future. As I say in the article, why try and read 3000 words about Taylor Swift when watching a few videos will give you far more information?

"sin" 4 is tackled by wikidata, but unfortunately they are still in a very early phase.

I wonder what the incentive is for writers to do this work. I can understand people writing a page to get some glory, but there's not much glory in adding tabular data.

Content is created through controversies. First you say that in wikipedia there are so many conflicts, and then you say that Wikipedia is like a socialist dictature.

I said it has all the inefficiencies of socialist structures, resulting in a low-quality product. That you can download Wikipedia to your HDD is not the measure of a project's advancement. Also, it doesn't matter if the information is "free" if it is inferior. Most media in the word is actually for-profit.

You don't even make an index [newslines.org], and separate your content into "pages". wasn't paper the thing you regarded as "outdated"?

I don't know what you mean about an index. You can see our popular pages on our front page, and search for anyone else using the search bar. By adhering slavishly to a book-like metaphor, the information on Wikipedia articles is overly textual, and cannot be sorted or filtered. The user has no control over the page. The point is that the web gives us many more ways to display data that thinking about it as though it were a book.

And fanpages are already tackled by wikia. You are more a competitor for those, not for wikipedia.

Newslines is not like Wikia at all. We crowdsource news timelines on people, products and news events. Some examples: Amber Vinson (Ebola Victim), Google Glass, Virgin Galactic. None of these can be considered fanpages.

By giving editors money for writing content, you create a system in which lots of people write tons of bullshit, and your page gets more and more meaningless content that can never be updated.

Every post on our site goes through an approval process, so vandalism and other content issues are far less than those on Wikipedia. We also building systems to pay people to maintain the site, unlike Wikipedia pages, which after and initial burst of activity are left to wilt [insert thousands of examples here].

about a month ago
top

Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

sparkydevil It's the wiki software stupid (579 comments)

But for Wikipedia to actually become a platform fully embraced by women, it would have to change its culture in fundamental ways, reducing its emphasis on anonymity and providing more opportunities for meaningful companionship and satisfying social relationships between its contributors. Failing that, women will simply continue to vote with their feet, and find their enjoyment and altruistic fulfilment elsewhere.

Most of the reasons for the lack of female participation in Wikipedia, including those above, are false. On Newslines, my crowdsourced content site that aims to replace Wikipedia's biographies and news-based events, 80% of our contributors are women and minorities. See our leaderboard

Wikipedia can never work for minorities and women because its software and policies are specifically designed to exclude them. The reason we get more women posting is because Newslines is created specifically to allow users to add content without the conflicts that are inherent in a wiki-based system. Wikis are built through conflict. Wikipedia's conflict-driven software and policies attract ego-driven white males eager to gain power through the display of their knowledge. The intensity of this conflict excludes other groups.

I go further into this in this post, but the gist of it is that 1) we pay our writers to contribute 2) we have system that allows people to add information with no conflict -- so far over 11,000 posts with no trouble 3) posts are assessed on the quality of the post, not on who made them -- no conflicts of interest or harassment possible 4) and we don't allow editors ownership of the page -- denying powerful groups the ability to censor people and text.

The real crime though, is to blame the people who are excluded for the failings of the system. How many times do we have to hear -- by the people who created the system that excludes them -- that women and minorities are not interested, they don't have enough time, they don't know enough, they can't use the interface, they prefer fluffy stuff, and that they are are lazy? It's time to move past these old arguments and see Wikipedia's dysfunction for what it is - a software, policy and leadership failure.

about 4 months ago
top

The Internet's Own Boy

sparkydevil Swartz timeline (194 comments)

I made this news timeline of Swartz a while back. If you see anything missing drop me a note.

about 6 months ago
top

Mt. Gox Knew It Was Selling Phantom Bitcoin 2 Weeks Before Collapse

sparkydevil Mt Gox Timeline (263 comments)

Confused? Feel free to check out my Mt Gox timeline

about 9 months ago
top

Major Wikipedia Donors Caught Editing Their Own Articles

sparkydevil Re:Where is the big problem? (125 comments)

FALSE: Any other editor who sees you editing your own article will slap you with a ban for COI. It's a standard part of wikilawyering.

about 9 months ago
top

The Tangled Tale of Mt. Gox's Missing Millions

sparkydevil Re:With oversight like this... (191 comments)

I interviewed Mark Karpeles in May 2013. The first thing I did after I left the meeting was tell my friend, a guy who has worked for big banks all his life, that he should apply for a job at Mt Gox because it was very obvious they had no oversight whatsoever and needed someone like him to make sure they complied with basic financial software standards.

about 9 months ago
top

The Tangled Tale of Mt. Gox's Missing Millions

sparkydevil Mt Gox Timeline (191 comments)

For those who need an overview of the rise and fall of Mt Gox, I made a handy timeline

about 9 months ago
top

Should the US Copy Switzerland and Consider a 'Maximum Wage' Ratio?

sparkydevil Politics of envy (1216 comments)

This is just typical anti-capitalist politics-of-envy bollocks. "Democracy starts to unravel"? Really? Getting paid the going rate *is* the sign of a free society. Attracting the best talent cost real money. I bet most of the commenters here don't complain when their favorite sportsperson gets paid millions.

1 year,28 days
top

One Year Since John McAfee Fled Belize

sparkydevil McAfee Timeline (66 comments)

A while back I made this handy dandy timeline of McAfee's exploits: http://newslines.org/wiki/category/computer-people/john-mcafee/

about a year ago
top

NOAA: Arctic Likely Free Of Summer Ice By 2050 — Possibly Much Sooner

sparkydevil Melting ice does not change sea levels (335 comments)

Put an icecube in a glass of water. As it melts the water level will not change because the ice cube displaces the same volume of water as the amount that melts. In In the same way, sea levels will not rise even if all the ice on the sea melts. Check this video for an example. Nothing to see here, move along and thank you science!

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

top

Stop Giving Wikipedia Money

sparkydevil sparkydevil writes  |  about two weeks ago

sparkydevil (261897) writes "This year Wikipedia's fundraising banner covers half of the screen. But, with $50 million in the bank, and most of last years $50 million raised going to a programming team instead of going to content creators, does the online encyclopedia really need your cash?"
top

Wikipedia's 13 Deadly Sins

sparkydevil sparkydevil writes  |  about a month ago

sparkydevil (261897) writes "Almost all Wikipedia criticism comes is about the vandalism, hoaxes and scandals. There's very little about how the software model creates the many problems on the site. As an ex-Wikipedia editor and founder of a crowdfunding startup I examine Wikipedia's problems and trace them back to the core Wiki software."
Link to Original Source
top

Scandalous Wiki Timelines

sparkydevil sparkydevil writes  |  more than 2 years ago

sparkydevil writes "WeCheck, the people's fact check, is generating a new kind of wiki page — the scandal timeline. So far the site is getting success with its Benghazi Attack Timeline and it has just launched the David Petraeus Scandal Timeline

As new data comes in the page can be instantly updated with new sources, giving an up-to-date overview of the situation. Take that traditional media!"

Link to Original Source
top

What to do when your page gets nuked by Google Search

sparkydevil sparkydevil writes  |  more than 2 years ago

sparkydevil writes "Over the past few weeks I've been building up a wiki timeline of the attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, which is now the most comprehensive on the web. As the page grew and more blogs and sites linked to the page it moved up Google's search pages for the search term "Benghazi Attack Timeline" until it was the second listing on the first page. I had a few days of steady traffic (and pride) and then the page just completely disappeared from the search results. Completely gone without a trace. I didn't use any SEO tricks and the page has no ads, so I don't think it could be counted as spam. I don't think it's any kind of conspiracy. Has this happened to anyone else and how did you fix it?"
Link to Original Source
top

Help crowdsource the authoritative Benghazi Attack Timeline

sparkydevil sparkydevil writes  |  more than 2 years ago

sparkydevil writes "WeCheck, a collaborative wiki-based fact check that I set up a month ago, is attempting to crowdsource the authoritative timeline of the Benghazi attacks with some success — the page is already much larger than any other comparable timeline. I hope this could be a model of how to deal with a large amount of complex, time-sensitive information."
Link to Original Source
top

WeCheck.org - world's first wiki fact check

sparkydevil sparkydevil writes  |  more than 2 years ago

sparkydevil (261897) writes "How can you trust the media when they write the articles AND fact check them? WeCheck, the first wiki fact check system, uses Wikipedia-like collaborative editing to help contributors with varied political views work together to fact check speeches and articles in an independent, non-partisan system. It works by allowing users to tags and link text to create Fact Check pages. There are also over 40 tags including [[STRAW MAN]], [[CIRCULAR]], [[AD HOMINEM]], [[CORRELATION]], [[MORAL EQUIVALENCE]], [[NAZI]], [[RACE CARD]] etc. which editors use to alert reader to the speechwriter's techniques The site is currently looking for volunteer fact checkers."
Link to Original Source
top

Facebook systematically restricting access to fans unless you pay up

sparkydevil sparkydevil writes  |  more than 2 years ago

sparkydevil (261897) writes "Today I wanted to post an update to ALL of my 3800 Facebook fans telling them that I had just updated my karaoke business website when I saw the Promote button: For $5 I can increase the "reach" of my posts to 1100 fans, for $10 FB would increase the reach to 2200 fans, for $15 it would increase the reach to 3300 and for $20 I would have the benefit of being able to reach all of my fans. This essentialy confirms what many fan page owners have suspected — that FB has been systematically restricting reach over the past year so that they could "fix" the problem by introducing the promote feature.

This is a slap in the face to people like me who have spent many thousands of dollars getting those fans to sign up to their page — Facebook is effectively restricting access to my own fans unless I pay up. Basically Facebook is saying those fans don't belong to me, but belong to them."

Link to Original Source
top

My Kickstarter Project Sucks, Send me Money!

sparkydevil sparkydevil writes  |  more than 2 years ago

sparkydevil (261897) writes "Some say that kickstarter is the gateway to a beautiful world full of puppy dogs and kids' smiles, but despite much gnashing of teeth, beating of breasts, rolling in dirt, and rending of garments, after four whole days slog I’ve managed to raise a meagre $1 for my project. My project looks suspiciously like a dead parrot — it has ceased to be. This is the story of how I made it so far, so soon and got so little!"
Link to Original Source
top

How to recover/track stolen wi-fi iPod

sparkydevil sparkydevil writes  |  more than 2 years ago

sparkydevil (261897) writes "Hi, In September my 7-year old daughter's iPod touch was stolen from her school bag while at school here in Sarasota, Florida. At that time nothing came up on Track My iPhone. 30 minutes ago I got an email saying the iPod had been located to a Day's Inn hotel in Talahasee. I called the police who said I should contact the hotel to find out the room but the hotel said they couldn't do it as their wi-fi is open. Are there any other options to track it?"
top

Climategate spreads to Wikipedia

sparkydevil sparkydevil writes  |  about 5 years ago

sparkydevil (261897) writes "Some catnip to those who have long argued about administrator bias and groupthink in Wikipedia.

Canada's National Post reports here and here that one of the objectives of those promoting Climate alarm was to control Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003 U.K. scientist and Green Party activist William Connolley, one of nine Realclimate.org team members, rewrote Wikipedia'½Â½Â(TM)s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling as well as working to erase the Little Ice Age, the Medieval Warm Period and infamous hockey stick graph. He rewrote articles on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of the team.

According to the article Connolly created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles, removed more than 500 articles as an administrator and barred over 2000 Wikipedia contributors while rewarding those who supported his views. "In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement.""

Link to Original Source
top

Obama speech to kids pro-Apple, anti-MS?

sparkydevil sparkydevil writes  |  more than 5 years ago

sparkydevil (261897) writes "The Prez's speech to kids was just released. In it he says "I've talked about your parents' responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don't spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox." and a few sentences later, "Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor — maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone".

XBox bad, iPhone Good?"
top

How to convert social network to open source?

sparkydevil sparkydevil writes  |  more than 5 years ago

sparkydevil writes "A few years ago I started a social network called Crisscross that, amongst other things, interlinks users' likes and dislikes about anything. Our main feature is a cool drill-down people search interface. Due to other commitments I wasn't able to keep funding it with cash, so I made an agreement with some programmers to work for equity. Now those programmers are busy with their own work and I still don't have extra cash so I'm thinking about converting the project to open source. There doesn't seem to be an open source social network so perhaps it could be interesting. The project needs around 200 hours work to get it up to production level, mainly to fix interface bugs, and improve the core date storage system. It's a long story but the beta version I had was deleted by accident so the current site is more of an alpha level and has many annoying minor bugs, but you should be able to see what we are trying to do. Questions: 1) how do I go about making the project open source legally and technically 2) is it possible to keep some elements proprietary (for example the search interface code?) 3) how much management work it would take on my part to oversee the project compared with working with a couple of programmers 4) is it possible to retain some ownership or interest for existing shareholders (about 10%). Thank you for your comments and advice."

Journals

sparkydevil has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?