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Music in every style -- except dull. Tom Smith, the World's Fastest Filker and the prototypical geek folk-rocker, releases new music for free download on a regular basis. (It was a song a week for almost a year.) You can subscribe to the RSS feed, purchase a better-quality MP3 of the song, or purchase three months' worth as a downloadable album.

Friday, August 24, 2007

049: WikiPirates

Aaaaand we're back.

Many, many thanks to you all for your patience. I'll try to get another song out the door before I hie off to Dragon*Con next week, and then we should get this album finished pretty quickly. Dang. Another album. This has been a fantastic year.

Today's ditty was inspired by yesterday's Wikipedia foofrah. Some guy, as far as I can tell the Wiki equivalent of a trainspotter, decided I didn't merit a Wikipedia page and opened the floor for discussion regarding deletion of the page about me. Honestly, while it's nice having it, I don't need it... but that's not why one of my fans created it in the first place. And the whole spectacle of watching this one guy, determined for no particular reason I can discern except his offended sensibilities, justifying this noise in spite of a growing list of citations of my nominal importance (by a great bunch of folks, thanks one and all) was something to behold.

Indeed, something to sing about.
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Words and Music © 2007 by Tom Smith
Released under a Creative Commons Noncommercial ShareAlike License

Some lust for gold and silver, and some for gems and jewels
But some want greater treasures, and they use their software tools
For some of us quest for knowledge, and we wants it undefiled,
But now and then you get a troll who thinks he's Oscar Wilde.

Beware the Wiki Pirates, who sail the server seas.
They flaunt their fake credentials and their advanced degrees.
They control the information with bullying moderation,
'Cause arrogance and online swagger trump your expertise.

No matter what your sources, no matter whom you cite,
He doesn't want to hear it, 'cause he knows for sure he's right
There is no compromising, no bargain or accord,
He's never heard of you, or doesn't like you, or he's bored.

Beware the Wiki Pirates, they love to wield their clout
All day they'll argue details that no one cares about
They don't see as overreachin' their demands for page deletion
Web pages are in short supply, and what if we run out?

Yo ho, yo ho, no one ever thought,
Yo ho, yo ho, in this web we'd be caught,
The Wiki's meant to document the stuff the mainstream missed,
Instead we've got a pompous sot who's building up his wrist.

So if ye've got a subject that really interests you,
Beware the Wikipirates, they've got nothing else to do.
Someday we'll have a knowledge base with all you want and need,
Till then we'll take cold comfort that they're likely not to breed.

Beware the Wiki Pirates, who whine at our attacks.
They're only trying to help us, never mind the rules and facts.
They're just honest, not unpleasant, it's not their fault that we're peasants,
If we'd only see their brilliance, everybody could relax.

Beware the Wiki Pirates, that basement-dwellin' band.
They regulate and obfuscate what they don't understand.
The grief they give ya will reduce ya to trivia and minutiae,
And prayin' that you really do get banned,
Only "public noteriety" will get you in their library,
Be grateful they're all lost at sea... they'd try to delete the land.


At 6:55 PM, Blogger Bryan said...

well, all I'll say is that you were overly kind to actually leave the malefactor's name out of it.

Beware offending bards, their music sometimes lasts forever and they know your name.

That's gotta be one of the shortest deletion debates I ever read.

At 4:11 AM, Anonymous Rob Balder said...

This is effing brilliant. Funny and to the point, without the kind of bile I cough up whenever I talk about what deletionism is doing to what was almost the web's best knowledgebase.

Though I admit, I was thinking you should have done "Banned From Wiki." :D

At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

His page is roughly two bad sentances long. There is nothing useful on it, and nothiong hinting that he has done anything besides acting like a ponce.

And he wants to delete you page?

At 2:28 PM, Blogger filkertom said...

It was a good deal longer. He's put up a "gone fishin'" page, in case anybody was desperately worried about his online presence. [eyeroll]

At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Tech Talk for Families Dale said...

Tom, you're one wicked Wiki Ninja. Well done.

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Mark H Wilkinson said...

"Every action has an equal and opposite criticism."

Yes, I'll concede this nomination wasn't the best move I've ever made on Wikipedia. Consider it an honest mistake from someone for whom filk is unfamiliar territory.

And I might add it's oddly flattering to have helped inspire a song, even if not for the best of reasons.

At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Kranth said...

I thought the point of wiki
(correct me if I'm wrong)
was that it was a knowledge base,
meaning that if you didn't know anything about it, you could use it to look stuff up. If you aren't knowledgeable about something, why comment at all?
Ted Sturgeon's First Law "dullard - someone who turns to the entry in the encyclopedia, reads it, and closes the book."

At 7:29 PM, Blogger Mark H Wilkinson said...

"If you aren't knowledgeable about something, why comment at all?"

In the state the article was in when I first encountered it, there was exceedingly little to assert notability, a Wikipedia guideline on what makes a suitable topic for an article. There was a noticable lack of sources (which, by the way, is taken extremely seriously on biographical articles) and Google was not its useful helpful self in remedying this.

So I opened up a discussion on whether the article was suitable for the encyclopaedia (an AFD or "Article for deletion" page), the eventual results of which were A) eventual provision of a reasonable level of independent coverage to assert notability, which led to my withdrawing the any objections to the article, B) a net improvement in the article due to this sourcing, and C) my making a whole new bunch of enemies.

Just another day on Wikipedia, really...

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Garrett said...

"13-time Pegasus award winner" is "exceedingly little"? *shakes head* Tom was too kind, methinks...

At 5:33 PM, Blogger Mark H Wilkinson said...

"'13-time Pegasus award winner' is "exceedingly little"? *shakes head* Tom was too kind, methinks..."

Oh, he's done well within a field that has limited competition. I don't think I've ever disagreed on that point.

Remind me, again: why don't the Pegasus Awards have their own article?

At 11:45 PM, Blogger Danny said...

You know what's amazing?

Mark nominated the page for deletion...

and then he admitted he'd been wrong!

And then he withdrew the nomination!

Holy shit! It's almost like he's a human being! A well-meaning one!

At 12:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is all about censorship. After all, censorship is becoming America's favorite past-time. The US gov't (and their corporate friends), already detain protesters, ban books like America Deceived (book) from Wikipedia (and Amazon) and shut down Ron Paul. Free Speech forever.

At 2:10 PM, Blogger Rockpocket said...

Except Mark Wilkinson isn't an American and could, I expect, give two hoots about Ron Paul; but don't let that get in the way of a good conspiracy theory.

Funny song, though I hope you appreciate there was very likely no malice in this and simply a bad call by an editor trying to do the right thing. It happens.


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