aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Wikipedia false entry author found
Remember, we’re not anonymous on the web:
A man in Nashville has admitted that, in trying to shock a colleague with a joke, he put false information into a Wikipedia entry about John Seigenthaler Sr., a former editor of The Tennessean in Nashville.
Brian Chase, 38, who until Friday was an operations manager at a small delivery company, told Mr. Seigenthaler on Friday that he had written the material suggesting that Mr. Seigenthaler had been involved in the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy. Wikipedia, a nonprofit venture that is the world’s biggest encyclopedia, is written and edited by thousands of volunteers.
He was being “cornered in cyberspace” by the anti-wikipedian Daniel Brandt, so quit his job and came forward.
All quiet on the Western front
The Religious Right won’t boycott Brokeback Mountain:
Instead of boycotts, picket lines or enraged letters to the editor, conservative Christian groups are hoping to kill the film with silence. Robert Knight, director of the Culture & Family Institute at Concerned Women for America, says his group has made a conscious decision not to campaign against the film. “People aren’t going to walk around outside theaters with protest signs,” Knight says. “This is not ‘The Last Temptation of Christ,’ which was such an affront that people felt they had to respond. This is something that could be and should be ignored.
“We’ve actually discussed whether to do some sort of action,” Knight says. “But the consensus was, why give it that much credit, or why call attention to it?”
Peter Sprigg, vice president of the Family Research Council—the group that a year ago led a campaign against “Kinsey,” the biopic about America’s favorite/most-hated sex researcher—says his group came to a similar conclusion. “We talked about whether we should do something, but at this point we don’t have any plans,” says Sprigg. “Some of these things, we don’t want to draw attention to them. We would almost be doing them a favor if we were to mount a big campaign—we’d be making a martyr out of the movie, so to speak. I don’t think we want to fall into that.”
Even Focus on the Family, which on Thursday announced it would stop using Wells Fargo because of the bank’s contributions to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), has been mum, indicating that it would release some sort of statement on the film, but that it had no campaign planned.
My brush with the bubble
This site’s promise to provide “a pre-created VC friendly Web 2.0 company just for you!” took me back to the heady days of the Dot Com Bubble. I was a close observer with an opinion then, contrary as always, but swept up in it and not so cynical as some of my colleagues. Now I can hardly recall the ridiculous jargon I had such fun with.
In this clip Carl Pritzkat, my boss through some of those years, takes us from YourPharmacy.com to GayHealt.com, a wild ride that was my brush with the internet bubble. I sometimes wonder where I’d be had I been a producer at Yahoo! rather than Mediapolis, but the boutique internet shop was the best fit for me. Yes, those were the days.
While on the topic of bubbles, I will take this opportunity to agree with John Battelle’s NYTimes opinion piece from last month. John says it feels like a bubble again:
Let’s tick off the signs: a red-hot market for Internet stocks (Google, for example, has more than quadrupled since it went public in 2004); fawning articles celebrating entrepreneurs; a glut of venture capitalists elbowing one another to invest in companies with no plans on how to make money past some hand waving about “advertising” and plenty of vague claims about how their technology will “change the world.”
The Internet is exciting again, and once again folks are rushing in. In some categories - like search or social networking, for example - there are scores of start-ups vying for pretty much the same market, and it’s certain that, just like last time, most of them will fail.
But regardless of all this dÃƒÂ©jÃƒÂ vu, we are not in a bubble. Instead we are witnessing the Web’s second coming, and it’s even got a name, “Web 2.0” - although exactly what that moniker stands for is the topic of debate in the technology industry. For most it signifies a new way of starting and running companies - with less capital, more focus on the customer and a far more open business model when it comes to working with others. Archetypal Web 2.0 companies include Flickr, a photo sharing site; Bloglines, a blog reading service; and MySpace, a music and social networking site.
He explains that this time around the Web platform has already been built, so we don’t need as much money to start companies, and we’re not as reliant on VCs. That means the driving force this time around is the entrepreneurs and geeks, rather than the financiers. And that search emerged from Web 1.0 as the killer app.
I’m hoping that some variation on the Wiki theme emerges as the killer app of Web 2.0. Attributes I’m particularly interested in include aggregated filtered distributed and citizen-produced.
A lesbian motorcycle group in San Francisco declared victory Thursday in their fight for a federal trademark for the name “Dykes on Bikes.”
The U.S. Patent and Trademark office twice rejected the group’s application on the grounds the term “dyke” was offensive and derogatory. The office reversed itself after the group’s lawyers appealed, submitting hundreds of pages of additional material that they said showed the slang word does not disparage lesbians.
Via Law Geek.