Interview with Wikipedia’s chairwoman

The Chairwoman of Wikipedia foundation, Florence Devouard, is interviewed on video by Nicolas Charbonnier and part of her speech at LIFT is online in the last third of his eight-minute video. On screen is a slide showing Wikipedia’s growth, which is one context behind why Wikipedia needs more funds/donations to keep up in the future. When your service is doubling every few months in near-exponential growth you need to think about how you’re going to pay for future servers and pay for more bandwidth. LIFT recorded all of the sessions and will have those videos up in the next couple of weeks.

How did I find this video? I did a Google Blogsearch for “LIFT07.” Blog search is different than using Google’s main engine: it shows you people who have just blogged something in the past few hours and, I’m finding, is an invaluable tool for learning more about news stories that are breaking. I wish more bloggers used blog search to look for additional angles on stories and linked to those — I’m seeing very few bloggers doing this and it leads to meme trackers that only have A-listers like me on them (boring! incomplete! not always accurate!). I haven’t seen this video linked to on TechMeme yet. There’s a bunch of stuff that’s not on Digg or TechMeme (or other meme trackers) over on my link blog as well.

I didn’t know Nicolas until I started doing blog searches for LIFT07, by the way. This is the way to bring new voices and new ideas and new media producers into the conversation. I hope to see more bloggers linking to new things. Even just including a link to a blog search engine like Technorati, Ask’s blog search, or Google’s blog search, at the bottom of your posts would make your posts more useful to your readers.

OK, now I’m off to the airport. See ya on the other side of the Atlantic.

15 thoughts on “Interview with Wikipedia’s chairwoman

  1. Hi, I’m happy you found my blog through Google Blog Search.. I wish I had asked Florence more extensively about the server growth thing and the way she is thinking to lift the millions of dollars needed to keep up with the growth. She did talk a little bit about the servers being in Florida, in Netherlands and in South-Korea, and the 5-10 full time people who are managing the servers and the software, I don’t know how many people know about that.

    I find that Wikipedia is awesome, but surely there must be some features added in the way the community elects representatives and how the truth is guaranteed in each Wikipedia article. There might be some added rating, voting, digg-like and some more algorithm put in so that somehow vandalism and spam in Wikipedia would become impossible.

    I suggested to Florence Devouard that Wikipedia try to identify users using Paypal-like technique, of charging a credit card with a micro-fee that is the code to use to identify a Wikipedia account. Thus identified Wikipedia accounts could have somekind of higher reliabillity, since if people do vandalism with a verified account, then it’s more troublesome for them to steal another identity to continue their acts of vandalism and spam.

  2. Hi, I’m happy you found my blog through Google Blog Search.. I wish I had asked Florence more extensively about the server growth thing and the way she is thinking to lift the millions of dollars needed to keep up with the growth. She did talk a little bit about the servers being in Florida, in Netherlands and in South-Korea, and the 5-10 full time people who are managing the servers and the software, I don’t know how many people know about that.

    I find that Wikipedia is awesome, but surely there must be some features added in the way the community elects representatives and how the truth is guaranteed in each Wikipedia article. There might be some added rating, voting, digg-like and some more algorithm put in so that somehow vandalism and spam in Wikipedia would become impossible.

    I suggested to Florence Devouard that Wikipedia try to identify users using Paypal-like technique, of charging a credit card with a micro-fee that is the code to use to identify a Wikipedia account. Thus identified Wikipedia accounts could have somekind of higher reliabillity, since if people do vandalism with a verified account, then it’s more troublesome for them to steal another identity to continue their acts of vandalism and spam.

  3. The problem with relying on blog searches for information is that they’re frequently quoting each other or other bad sources without bothering to verify. So instead of Techmeme giving you bad info, you’re a hundred hits on Google giving you bad info because they’re all either quoting each other, or the same single bad source.

    Lord knows you’re proof enough that blog != accurate.

  4. The problem with relying on blog searches for information is that they’re frequently quoting each other or other bad sources without bothering to verify. So instead of Techmeme giving you bad info, you’re a hundred hits on Google giving you bad info because they’re all either quoting each other, or the same single bad source.

    Lord knows you’re proof enough that blog != accurate.

  5. Dan: I’ve been using Google Blog search since the day it turned on and I’ve talked about it many times in the past year. I just want other bloggers to discover it, because it’s pretty clear that most don’t look for more links beyond what they find on TechMeme.

  6. Dan: I’ve been using Google Blog search since the day it turned on and I’ve talked about it many times in the past year. I just want other bloggers to discover it, because it’s pretty clear that most don’t look for more links beyond what they find on TechMeme.

  7. Google blog search is getting so good that you don’t take any risk betting that it will be integrated in the main search results.

    Now if they could fix that “sort by date”/”sort by relevance” context issue, that would be it.

  8. Google blog search is getting so good that you don’t take any risk betting that it will be integrated in the main search results.

    Now if they could fix that “sort by date”/”sort by relevance” context issue, that would be it.

  9. I’m amazed you’re only just discovering Google Blogsearch :-). I’ve used it for about a year now and it’s invaluable, and streets ahead of its competitors. Nothing seems to find and index new posts quicker.

  10. I’m amazed you’re only just discovering Google Blogsearch :-). I’ve used it for about a year now and it’s invaluable, and streets ahead of its competitors. Nothing seems to find and index new posts quicker.

  11. “This is the way to bring new voices and new ideas and new media producers into the conversation.”

    I thought that is what just having a blog was for. You know, that mumbo-jumbo about having a conversation and all. Thats not good enough anymore?

    WhoKnew

  12. “This is the way to bring new voices and new ideas and new media producers into the conversation.”

    I thought that is what just having a blog was for. You know, that mumbo-jumbo about having a conversation and all. Thats not good enough anymore?

    WhoKnew

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