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Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007, 01:32 am
swisscelt: Now what?

So now that EssJay has [apparently] left Wikipedia, and a cadre of administrators, stewards, and the like are doing their level best to sweep the whole incident under the rug, what's left to do? We're being told to discuss this on the Village Pump, but I see nothing there. On the Community Noticeboard, an ad hoc (and highly disorganized, IMO) discussion is brewing, but already people are calling for its closure.

I've said it before: This is serious. We can't just pretend that because this is happening on Teh Intrawebz it won't be taken seriously in the American media and, ultimately, American and other national societies. How Wikipedia deals with this is as crucial to the continuing survival of this enterprise as any corporate scandal was to their respective companies. It's time we ALL grew up: This is the real world, people.

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 09:50 am (UTC)

Essjay himself is neither here nor there, however what it does illustrate is a significant error of judgement on Jimbos part.

If Kyle Whatsisnam was hired by Wikia for his online facilitation and leadership skills, which he clearly is in possession of, then there would have been no need to operate under the Essjay nym. Given the likelihood of exposure, and probable college drama reaction, then it would have been reasonable to come up with another nym and let the Essjay identity die quietly over a couple of months.

Of course the real cynic might imagine that Jimbo did think about it and recognised that the publicity might be a good thing, but I have to say the handling has merely highlighted, and confirmed, the absence of leadership skills which are required for the project to become established on a more professional footing.

A common problem with these kind of things is founder syndrome, the founder is the charismatic type of person needed to get things off the ground and moving. Many enterprises fail because the founder can't recognise when it's time to move on and hand off leadership to someone with the skills in a larger organisation. Of course that's made more difficult when contribution is an entirely discretionary activity.....