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CraigJimmyKeynote

Page history last edited by PBworks 18 years, 1 month ago

Wales / Newmark keynote.

 

The founder of craigslist talks with Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales about how a simple interface and an easy-going zen attitude have helped to make life better for millions of users across the world.

 

Craig Newmark Founder, Craigslist

Jimmy Wales Pres, Wikimedia Foundation Inc

 

Customer service rep+founder. The users run the site, not craig.

Culture of trust. People expect to be trusted and give in return. Only 19 ppl at craigslist. Ppl who use the site run the site. We run the infrastructure – servers, customer service is specific cases

- spamvertising

- misbehaving apt brokers in NY

 

Why are you so involved with customer service? – typically the management is detached from the people you are servicing.

 

 

"In history, the winners wrote the history books, but things have changed." So do wikipedians = losers?

 

You get detached from reality dealing with management / intermedaries. One of Newmark's inspirations is the phone company - he looks at their custserv and does the opposite.

 

##What kind of informational attacks has he had?

 

obviously scammers from west africa and east europe. Lots of swiftboating on CL around the elections. He deals with shilling quite a bit - is concerned with smear situation on these "new news sites" and wikipedia.

 

##Crooks are early adopters

 

Amt of crookedness on the net is not increasing all that much. There is a fair amt but the overwhelming indication is that ppl are trustworthy and good. good ppl are drowning out the bad guys.

 

"people are overwhelmingly trustworthy and good" so as more and more and more "good people" come online the ratio of good guys to bad guys online will get better. Wikipedia experience supports idea that most folks "do unto others as"

 

 

##Tivo will save democracy?

 

Craig is doing an Amanda Congdon impression. What a card. Now he's talking about West Wing endlessly. He keeps dropping political bombs and referring to his pride in President Bartlett. If everyone starts skipping political commercials on their DVRs it will negate them. Then politicians will actually have to *say* more, and the system will change.

 

"People everywhere have pretty much the same interests" they just talk about it more in san francisco (referring to Casual Encounters)

 

Corps: a lot of people that want to do the job right, want to listen, but their corp culture is contrary to that. he is experimenting iwth giving people the courage to change things internally.

 

##Journalism

 

"when it comes to news and journalism and stuff i'm very much an amateur, a dilettante, but for some strange reason people will listen to me"

 

In order to live in a democratic society, you need good sources of news. He says CL is affecting the media industry, says they are draining some revenue from them but it is overstated, but what is bigger is that they are seeing again that we need investigative journalism. Newspapers have been firing investigative journalists for the last couple decades.

 

Normal people commenting on the news, trying to decide what are the most reliable versions of stories. Dan Gilmour is putting together a think tank on citizen journalism. There are a lot of efforts but there's no academia on it, no specific reports on the space.

 

Center for Public Integrity writes a book every couple years called "Selling Of The President" they want to blog it now. Putting online databases of fundraising. Exciting opportunites for citizen journalists, highschool composition classes. Build something that says 'pick your district' and out pops a record of things that maybe shouldn't be happening.

 

If you want to tell the Truth, make them laugh or they will kill you.

 

No substitute for professionals - their efforts can be amplified by working with a swarm of citizens. Citizen journalism not replace traditional, but we'll have a new hybrid model

 

##communities

 

You can't abuse a community that you've built, throwing in ads or whatnot. you have to be fair and respectful of why your users are communing, and if you don't you will fail / blow up.

 

todo: find statesman article on FOIA delays.


 

 

News – working on collaborative filtering venture. Filter the best sources of news. Will drive traffic to big newspaper sites and citizen journalism sites. Also working with Dan Gillmor who is experimenting with citizen journalism – putting together a think tank of citizen journalism.

 

Note: need to talk to Gillmor (and JD) about when we end the campaign – need to send them somewhere. They might blog the think tank.

 

Investigative journalist asks Q: what the hell should we do? CN: invite ppl to participate with you. New technologies are cheaper and move things forward. Investigative journalism is a really big deal. Newspaper chains should get more investigative journalists – more important than profit margins. Newspapers should be public services. Return to that will decrease sales. Internet site can do global or local news.

 

Q: cultural differences impacting craigslist?: Don’t see much cultural differences. Only English for now. Learning that ppl all over the place have the same needs and values. People need a place to live and a job. The only difference is that in LA ppl are interested in media jobs and in NY, real estate is a blood sport. Jim Buckmaster, CEO craigslist – in fortune magazine this issue.

 

Q: Daniel question: investigative journalists have spent a lot of time training and they have a responsibility to be accurate. Citizen journalists not supported by that level of skill and knowledge and the dedication to spend time to work on story thoroughly. What challenges to see re: accuracy and accountability?

 

A: If you’re a journalist of any sort, you should put something out there that is accurate. The pressures of fast news cycle means that sometimes misinformation gets out there. Whole spectrum of publishing and fact-checking which is changing all the time across all media. The normal model in citizen media is publish first and hope that ppl fact check you. A big part of the solution is for ppl to remember that you need to be skeptical. FactCheck.org is a great place for looking at all sides of the story and saying what’s real. My fantasy is to see fact-checkers being trained to address these issues. The best model I’ve seen is the Daily Show.

 

JW: Everyone tells jokes but we still have professional comedians.

 

CN: There is a spectrum from pro journalists to citizen. Sometimes there is no substitute for pro writer, researcher, editor.

 

JW: Pro can become better by working with the community.

 

Q: Katrina?

 

CN: people repurposed our site as they needed it. we just got out of the way. families connected. Ppl offered jobs. Important to get out of the way.

 

Q: look and feel staying the same?

 

CN: I did something simple as possible and got out of the way. Don’t have much interest in changing the design with the exception of making the homepage less about sanfran.

 

Q: impact of ebays purchase of part of CL?

 

CN: ebay bought a bunch of stock. No real effect. Craig asks favors from their “trust and safety” dept. ISP contacts, etc.

 

Q: business model for wikipedia and CL?

 

JW: wikipedia is a nonprofit. Wikia is the profit model. Communities can build amazing things but you cant abuse the community.

 

CN: we realized we needed a staff. Had to decide what to charge for so we asked the community. We’re contribution hundreds of millions back to the community through the transactions that take place on the site. Decided against banner ads long ago while still had a day job. “Nerd values” – after living comfortable, more fun to change things a little bit. We are doing well financially but we don’t talk about it.

 

Q: google?

 

JW: Google censorship in china – I have a big problem with this. Wikipedia is blocked in china. We will never compromise with censorship so we’re stuck. But I will say google has taken a lot of heat “don’t be evil.” If Microsoft does something bad in china, not so surprising. Google taking a lot of heat for things that other co’s do all the time. My role in internet culture is to be the person that says “we don’t have to do this.”

 

CN: Maybe google does more good in china by being there for 20 yrs. Sometimes a slow gradual approach does better than a grand gesture. I am willing to trust them a little bit and see what happens. On the other hand, we have much scarier things happening here regarding free speech and censorship. Info that is supposed to be public is being fooled around with. Freedom of info act requests are taking longer than they are supposed to. Lots of scarier stuff going on in this country. We need to stay the shining light of free speech and we need to get our house in order before we start complaining about elsewhere.

 

JW: I agree that being there over 20 yrs could be beneficial but we need to watchdog.

 

CN: Both of us are in a position where we might affect ppl in a large way and we have no idea. We have to pay attention.

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