Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Transitioning from the XODP Yahoo! eGroup to the XODP Blog

For just over five years, I have been using Yahoo! Groups (aka Yahoo! eGroups, formerly eGroups) as a venue for the XODP Yahoo! eGroup, a think tank and free speech forum for progressive ideas about how the Internet should be indexed. In the beginning, eGroups served me quite well, and the transition to Yahoo! Groups went fairly smoothly when eGroups was acquired by Yahoo! However, I have been planning to archive discussions from the XODP Yahoo! eGroup on the XODP.NET domain for quite some time, and for the last couple of years I have been wondering whether a blog might better serve my purposes than a Yahoo! eGroup. And when I woke up this morning, I quickly stumbled upon some developments at the XODP Yahoo! eGroup that made me realize that it was time to start the transition.

While trying to link to a post on the XODP Yahoo! eGroup this morning, I stumbled upon two posts that were missing. (See Missing XODP Post 2408 and Missing XODP Post 2420). My first thought was, "Omigod! My Yahoo! account has been hacked!" So I changed my Yahoo! password and began looking through the editing logs at the XODP Yahoo! eGroup to see if I could figure out if my account had in fact been compromised. That's when I discovered that the powers that be at Yahoo! had silently deleted the two posts in question that very morning, or at least that's how it appears from the XODP Yahoo! eGroup editing logs. Once I realized that my Yahoo! account hadn't actually been hacked, I was somewhat relieved, and I resolved myself to set up an XODP blog, look for other deleted posts on the XODP Yahoo! eGroup, and archive any and all material that might have been deleted from the XODP Yahoo! eGroup on the XODP.NET domain.

For the record, I accept the fact that Yahoo! has the right to set up and enforce policies as it sees fit, just as I have the right to move XODP to another venue. And, needless to say, whoever prompted Yahoo! to censor these posts in the hope that they could silence me were wrong. All they did was stir up a hornet's nest.

Missing XODP Post 2420

Threadwatch Feedback from ODP Censors

A recent post at Threadwatch entitled, "ODP Censors Run Amok at Wikipedia" (< http://www.threadwatch.org/node/3472 >) featured my previous XODP post entitled, "ODP's Censors Emboldened at Wikipedia, and both Jean Manco (aka XODP Editall jeanmanco < http://dmoz.org/profiles/jeanmanco.html >) and Keith Tipton (aka XODP Meta Editor kctipton < http://dmoz.org/profiles/kctipton.html >) responded there. To wit, XODP Editall jeanmanco wrote:

<< Thanks for letting me know that I'm now the victim of a personal vendetta. >>

Don't flatter yourself, princess. And don't be so fast and loose with your terminology. To wit, not only am I *NOT* on a "vendetta" against you, I decided that it was a fool's errand to police your clearly biased editing at Wikipedia - this after directing your attention to Wikipedia's NPOV policy < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view > and asking you to respect it and follow it, only to be rebuffed by your embryonic attempts at logic and critical thinking, which I found to be an insult to my intelligence. And as I am wont to say, I am under no obligation to save anyone from his or her ignorance, nor do I have any desire to do so, so let the quality control powers that be at Wikipedia deal with the ignorance and incompetence that ODP's clue-impaired cheerleaders are now exporting.

If you want to see a clear and obvious example of an unprovoked personal vendetta, then take a look at Mike Mackin (aka ODP Editor mackin < http://dmoz.org/profiles/mackin.html >). I've never met the man, nor to the best of my recollection have I ever engaged him in an online debate, although I did have a passing acquaintance with him online during my time as a moderator at the short-lived run of the now defunct SearchEngineDiscussion forum. And yet, totally out of the blue, Mr. Mackin invoked my name at Threadwatch several months ago in the context of the need for a "preban" policy - i.e., in the very same forum where XODP Editall jeanmanco and XODP Meta Editor kctipton are attempting to defend their clearly biased Wikipedia editing. And yet I hold no ill will towards Mr. Mackin. Rather, I am flattered that he considers me so noteworthy, although such flattery is mitigated by the fact that most people who gossip about me usually turn out to be losers with lives that are so mediocre and tragic that they must involve themselves in mine.

As for XODP Meta Editor kctipton, . . well, let's just say that nothing moderates like empathy, and I believe that said self-proclaimed horse's ass has bitten off much more than he can chew at Wikipedia. I say this as someone who learned early on that there is no profit in quality control at Wikipedia. As such, whenever I encounter someone who challenges my contributions to Wikipedia, I limit my contributions on the articles in question to the associated "Talk" pages. The ODP article was the last exception to that rule, and I gave up the ghost in re that article back in late May of 2005.

I think Keith will have much more trouble than I did coming to terms with the lack of quality control at Wikipedia because - unlike ODP or the ODP Editor "Resource Zone" - Wikipedia is not an authoritarian command and control subculture where someone can jump into bed with the oligarchical powers that be. Rather, any Lilliputian with Internet access and a wild hair up his or her rectum is free to revert Keith's work at Wikipedia, and there are quite a few XODP editors to there who will not let ODP's party line go unchallenged at Wikipedia.

Humbly Yours,

XODP Moderator netesq

Missing XODP Post 2408

ODP's Censors Emboldened at Wikipedia

In a previous XODP post, I noted, "The only people who still believe in ODP as some sort of force for good and/or positive change are those who are still on the inside and are unwilling to face the fact that ODP is, at best, an ongoing conspiracy of ignorance and incompetence. The only question that remains is whether that conspiracy will spread to other volunteer communities like Wikipedia." (See < http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xodp/message/2359 >.) Although I did not know it at the time, that ended up being my swan song when it came to opposing ODP's censors in their ongoing attempts to remove any and all criticism of ODP from Wikipedia. The only reason that my opposition lasted as long as it did was because I wanted to see how Wikipedia as an institution would respond to said censors. Because I was too busy addressing the needs of my paying clients to monitor the status of Wikipedia's article on ODP, I got my answer by default: The only way that any article at Wikipedia can withstand the onslaught of would-be censors is if an active Wikipedian has a vested interested in opposing said censors, which I do not.

Giving the devil her due, it was Jean Manco (aka ODP Meta Editor jeanmanco < http://dmoz.org/profiles/jeanmanco.html >) who first corrupted Wikipedia's ODP article back in late May 2005 without generating an appropriate response from me. However, Keith Tipton (aka XODP Meta Editor kctipton < http://dmoz.org/profiles/kctipton.html >) has now picked up the book-burning torch and begun to run with it, and it should now be apparent to all parties concerned that Keith and his ODP cronies will encounter no opposition from me in their ongoing attempts to censor Wikipedia's article on ODP. Rather, I am content to use XODP as a vehicle for commenting on their antics.

Up to now, Keith and his fellow ODP censors have been frustrated by my reversions of their biased edits to the ODP article, but now I intend to leave quality control of that article to one of the many Wikipedia committees who have a vested interest in the success of Wikipedia. The rationale behind my decision not to engage ODP's censors is narrated in the post referenced at the beginning of this post: Nobody of import really takes ODP seriously anymore. This fact was driven home by many of the people I met at SES San Jose 2005 who referred me to various forums where ODP is routinely being bashed. (See, e.g., < http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?p=272804#post272804 >.)

Humbly Yours,

XODP Moderator netesq