Microsoft sounds out guy to improve entries as allowed by Wikipedia rules and says it is no secret and the guy discusses it in a blog but still hasn't done any edits and hasn't talked money yet

by M. David Peterson

May not be much of a title, but at least it speaks the truth.

What actually is Wikipedia's Conflict of Interest guideline for professional writers? - O'Reilly XML Blog

But it is interesting that at least on the face of what the Wikipedia guidelines say, the entire premise of all the newspaper articles is actually wrong. We are not talking about a conflict of interest that is banned, we are talking about, at the most, the potential of an appearance of a conflict of interest for which there are non-absolute guidelines.

I wonder if we will see any newspapers or press printing retractions apologizing to me. It is what I would like. They have published my name far and wide in connection with shady allegations. A headline like "Microsoft sounds out guy to improve entries as allowed by Wikipedia rules and says it is no secret and the guy discusses it in a blog but still hasn't done any edits and hasn't talked money yet" is not much of a headline is it. If you look at the AP article at CNN when setting up Jimmy Wales' comments "paying for copy is a no-no." But they are not paying for copy, they are paying for me to improve technical material on a prospective ISO standard (that they and others would be using.)


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DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed here are my own. My employer is me; I'm an independent contractor; I am not paid to write blog entries for O'Reilly, though have signed contracts in the past and plan to sign more contracts in the future to write other material such as books and articles; I write entries here on my O'ReillyNet blog because I,

7 Comments

Rick Jelliffe
2007-01-27 09:55:06
Thanks David, I really appreciate it. I have had scores of emails and comments in support, from all sorts of surprising people, including people from the ODF side, from the OOXML side, and from people in national standards bodies.


I went out to the pub with mates tonight, none of them in the industry, and if turned out that all of them had read the press reports online or in the local paper; they are not technical people who can really understand what is going on in detail, just that my name was in the papers with words like accusation, scandal and bribery floating about. It is an amazing Chinese Whisper story: after mentioning something on a blog, I progressively get reported as whistle-blower, then a bribe-taker caught out, then a cover-up guy, then (thankfully) an innocent, as the facts emerge. What is difficult is knowing how to restore my reputation: should I sue or should I blog?

M. David Peterson
2007-01-28 07:02:48
@Rick,


> What is difficult is knowing how to restore my reputation: should I sue or should I blog? <


:D BLOG!


Of course, I'm of the opinion that, ultimately, those in whom could have any real effect on your life in one form or another see this for exactly what it is >> If anything, I personally see this is a potential career booster more than anything else. In other words, I doubt much that standard profile of 14 year script kiddies and EOOXML FUD propagators are really the ones you need to be worried about messing with your career ;)


Let me know if you need any help with the blogging side of things ;) :D

len
2007-01-28 11:41:22
You cannot recover from a whisper campaign. I know this first hand and lately, I tried a blog but on reading it, it caused more damage to others than it was worth, so frankly, to hell with it and trust karma to work. It always does if you have patience.


If I were you in this particular situation, I'd publish my own rule for editing a technical article. Get some feedback on that. Not your rules on conflict of interest. If your editing rules are clear and clean enough, the conflict of interest takes care of itself. I don't think you can be bought; you can make sloppy mistakes. How do you catch yourself at that before it goes to press? How does ISO do that?


There is a reason some of us stuck with ISO. What is it?


Wikipedia is just the latest expression of a problem we have seen building since the web first was fielded over the Internet. At the heart of it is the same problem with patents: the citation/date trail that creates a logical assertion chain for proof of a value. If anyone understands that Oh AntiGrammarValidatorDude, you do.


Now how do you apply that model to your professional editing of a Wikipedia article regardless or in accordance with Jimmy's guidelines?

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2007-01-31 01:23:42
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2007-01-31 01:49:00
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2007-02-04 10:32:06
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Melissik
2008-05-02 06:12:55
One afternoon, I was in the backyard hanging the laundry when an old, tired-looking dog wandered into the yard. I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home. But when I walked into the house, he followed me, sauntered down the hall and fell asleep in a corner. An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out. The next day he was back. He resumed his position in the hallway and slept for an hour.
This continued for several weeks. Curious, I pinned a note to his collar: "Every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap. "
The next day he arrived with a different note pinned to his collar: "He lives in a home with ten children - he's trying to catch up on his sleep."

I cried from laughter
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