Monday, May 08, 2017

Mailvox: knowledge core vs convergipedia

A pair of relevant emails:
I teach a course for an online university where students are required to submit papers (with references).  Students are citing from Infogalactic now on a fairly regular basis.  I’m still seeing some Wikipedia cites, but I thought you’d be interested in knowing Infogalactic is being used by students. 
That is an encouraging development. And Wikipedia is, by every measure, getting more expensive and less efficient. One 12-year Wikipedian with 30,000 edits to his credit even suggests it has metaphorical cancer:
According to the WMF, Wikipedia (in all language editions) now receives 16 billion page views per month. The WMF spends roughly US$2 million a year on Internet hosting and employs some 300 staff. The modern Wikipedia hosts 11–12 times as many pages as it did in 2005, but the WMF is spending 33 times as much on hosting, has about 300 times as many employees, and is spending 1,250 times as much overall. WMF's spending has gone up by 85% over the past three years.

Sounds a lot like cancer, doesn't it? For those readers who were around three years ago, did you notice at the time any unmet needs that would have caused you to conclude that the WMF needed to increase spending by $30 million dollars? I certainly didn't.

From 2005 to 2015, annual inflation in the US was between 1% and 3% per year, and cumulative inflation for the entire decade was 21.4%—far less than the increase in WMF spending. We are even metastasizing the cancer by bankrolling local chapters, rewarding them for finding new ways to spend money.

Nothing can grow forever. Sooner or later, something is going to happen that causes the donations to decline instead of increase.
I wonder what that might be? Join the Burn Unit and the Alt-Tech Revolution here.

I should also mention that due to corporate demand, we are going to be putting together an Infogalactic Consult branch to help organizations make the change from the wikimedia engine to DONTPANIC for their internal wikis, or even just to make their existing wikis more functional and efficient. If you have a need for this, feel free to get in touch.

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Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable May 08, 2017 6:00 AM  

Twice a month now PayPal sends me an email to remind me "You sent an automatic payment to Infogalactic AG". My second-best investment in the next generation.

Blogger Dirk Manly May 08, 2017 6:07 AM  

All that and Wikipedia effectively prohibits adding any information which shows the hideous nature of leftism -- even if the subject is the KGB and the documented source is the KGB archives.

Blogger APL May 08, 2017 6:33 AM  

"Students are citing from Infogalactic now on a fairly regular basis."

Interesting, I was always told not to cite from Wiki.

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales May 08, 2017 6:35 AM  


Maybe he means the sources in Infogalactic's pages?

Blogger VD May 08, 2017 6:50 AM  

even if the subject is the KGB and the documented source is the KGB archives.

They have a nice little dodge there. "No direct sources". So, if the sources deemed "reliable" refuse to write about it, the admins have an excuse to keep it out.

Of course, that rule somehow doesn't prevent them from permitting 21 direct cites of John Scalzi's blog for the page about John Scalzi, or 9 direct cites of for the page about Sam Harris....

Anonymous Looking Glass May 08, 2017 6:54 AM  

@3 APL

My impression is the Leftists realized they had full control of Wikipedia, so they changed their stance in the last few years. Though, frankly, it's probably where 95% of their students get their first chunk of information. On any historic subject, your first or second search result is going to be the Wikipedia link.

Though I am impressed by two things on their corporate side of things. 1) How low the actual cost to handling that much traffic is. That's 8000 users per $1 in hosting costs. It's impressive how far down those costs have come. Though I do understand that doesn't cover much in the way of video, which is what really pushes prices in bandwidth. (I also realize that IG can probably get those costs even further down, and by a LOT.)

2) Just how little revenue actually goes to the true Operations side of Web companies. Google, Cisco & Microsoft are practically the only companies that really make money off the Internet.

Inter-related side suggestion: something I just thought of, though I'm not quite sure how to it would be implemented. Considering the process is to "Game-ify" the nature of the Wiki to produce an actual Information Source, there's a LOT of room for a Bounty and/or Tipping system. Definitely for Phase 3, but the reality of the matter is that the CS:GO skins market is worth Billions right now. People love their micro-transactions. Some crypto-based system, in the vein of Brave Payments, could really work for Bounties.

It's one thing to update stuff because you like it. It's another thing when someone tips you a few bucks because it was obscure information they needed. It would also allow for putting Bounties up to clean up/massively update a section that someone felt should be addressed.

Anonymous Looking Glass May 08, 2017 6:58 AM  

I also just realized how much "A Field of Dreams" was incredibly prophetic about what would happen with the Internet. Sometimes, it really is just a matter of "if you build it, they will come".

Blogger VD May 08, 2017 7:31 AM  

FFS, Wheeler, it's one thing to be off topic. That's bad enough. But to BRING TO OUR ATTENTION something that literally everyone here knows about from TWO YEARS AGO is ridiculous.

Seriously, it's like those people who breathlessly alert me to a link that is ON THE DRUDGE REPORT. Gee, thanks, I'd never heard of that! Who is this Drudge of whom you speak so highly?

Blogger Shimshon May 08, 2017 8:15 AM  

I bought a Wikireader when it was available for fire sale prices. The idea for a compact open reader device like that seems cool to me. But the execution was horrible. And so was the entire plan. I wonder how much they blew on it.

Anonymous Confused Boomer May 08, 2017 8:19 AM  

Drudge? I remember him! He's on Channel 5 right?

Blogger Nate May 08, 2017 8:24 AM  

"Drudge? I remember him! He's on Channel 5 right?"

spindly gay dude. funny hat. fascinated by man-bites-dog stories.

Blogger wreckage May 08, 2017 8:36 AM  

I am pretty sure a Drudge is something that hoovers muck from the bottom of the river.

Or is that a Dredge?

Blogger tz May 08, 2017 9:45 AM  

How many SJWs does it take to change a light bulb?
We don't know yet, but HR is still staffing up.
Apparently the diverse workforce doesn't like ladders, electricity, or light.

WMF will be begging for more money soon to double the number of virtue-signalling parasites. Another article noted what remains are spergers posting deep science amd math articles, and a few others, some paid by a source but the gatekeepers don't like it even if it is factual.

Over at Zman, there is a post on diversity and Asian engineers, how they don't understand, and a commenter notes China holds hostages to get paid. Literally.

Blogger Historicus May 08, 2017 10:54 AM  

When is the Infogalactic app headed to the Apple/Google stores?

Anonymous TheShrike May 08, 2017 11:25 AM  

How long does it take the forkbot to update everything?
I only ask because I was looking up the page for Jason Werth (the baseball player) yesterday, and the page was about 2 years out of date.

Blogger VD May 08, 2017 11:46 AM  

How long does it take the forkbot to update everything?

Right now it's focused on the 5,000 most popular pages. We will gradually expand it.

Blogger Aeoli Pera May 08, 2017 11:49 AM  

Is consultation necessary for someone starting a new wiki with the DONTPANIC engine, or is it sufficiently similar to wikimedia that setup can be navigated using the old system's documentation?

Blogger Aeoli Pera May 08, 2017 11:50 AM  

Can we expect JewTube embeds anytime in the future?

Anonymous hoots May 08, 2017 12:40 PM  

A couple days ago I looked up the top 50 NFL QB stats page, and was pleased to see that it was last updated by forkbot.

In case you were wondering, Tom Brady is the GOAT. Converge that!

Blogger Feather Blade May 08, 2017 5:01 PM  


Boy I hope so. "Use Wikipedia for sources. The original source is always the best source. Wikipedia itself doesn't count as a source."

Every year, I have to repeat that to my students. Some of them even listen.

Blogger TM Lutas May 08, 2017 7:48 PM  

You might consider that certain information doesn't make it to english wikipedia but does exist in other language versions. Communism for Kids' author has a german language page but nothing in the english wikipedia. By finding those specialized articles, machine translating them, and moving them into your english language infogalactic, you'll get a higher page count than any one Wikipedia version and save searchers the bother of doing their own machine translation.

What to do when the english language version is a stub and a different language version is much better, I leave to more learned heads than mine.

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