This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 8, 2007 7:08 PM. The previous post in this blog was Neck and neck. The next post in this blog is Survivor Portland Bureaucracy: Day 7. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I'm about to get de-Wiki'ed

I thought I had made it when a reader of this blog set up a Wikipedia page on me. But I see my days in those lofty ranks may be numbered. The page now has a big old box at the top that says:

An editor has expressed a concern that the subject of the article does not satisfy the notability guideline for Biographies.

If you are familiar with the subject matter, please expand the article to establish its notability. The best way to address this concern is to reference published, third-party sources about the subject. If notability cannot be established, the article is more likely to be considered for deletion, per Wikipedia: Guide to deletion. (See also Wikipedia: Notability.)

This article has been tagged since May 2007.

"Published, third-party sources about the subject." Hmmmm. Don't know if this would count. Or this. How about this?

Anyway, if you're a Wiki editor type, perhaps you could prolong my moment in the spotlight.

UPDATE, 10:23 p.m.: "Ask and ye shall receive." Someone has come in and added some references to the Wiki that have caused the evil box to go away. My sincere thanks to "Fruits" for the prompt action.

Comments (22)

The main Portland page is a mention of BarFly in the media section (erroniously as a weekly, we are actually more of a we-get-around-to-it-ly):
Still it, kind of gives us authoritative street cred, despite not having an entry of our own.

So, as a representative of a Portland media outlet whose mention has gone unchallenged, I say I say "Aye! Jack Bog is a notable Portland blogger. Allow his wiki bio to remain."

Not bad.

I am definitely a "wiki type," having made over 3000 edits to Wikipedia in the last couple years, mediated several disputes, etc. If I can brag for a sec, I'd say I have a very good understanding of the culture, and of how to get things done.

I'd be happy to help out on keeping the article on Wikipedia, but only if there's a genuine desire to engage in the process, and "do it right." For instance, removing the {{notability}} tag without engaging in a discussion, or making claims on the about the blog - the things that brought this to my attention to begin with - will actually work against the goal of keeping the article online.

I'll keep an eye on this blog post; if anyone wants suggestions, ask away.

he things that brought this to my attention to begin with

Are you the "editor" that flagged it to begin with?

Be careful, Jack, oh so careful what you wish for, to come to you. You may get it.

a.k.a. 'it is better to give than to receive.'

Do you mean that some troll will come in and trash the Wiki entry? I have considered that.

It seems to me that the "editor" was actually some sort of program that checked for incoming and outgoing references.

OK, I'm going out for a beer, and so I won't be able to follow this drama if it extends into the wee hours. So let me make this as clear as I can.

I have absolutely no involvement whatsoever in this issue, beyond my posts here. I don't really care too much whether or not Wikipedia has a BoJack entry or not, but I like the blog, and consider myself a (very small) part of the community that has sprung up around it.

So when I saw a request to "help out," I was willing to do so.

I can understand why you might have initially thought I was the person who put the {{notability}} tag up there, since he/she was anonymous. But if you don't take me at my word when I offer to help, I'm not going to bother "defending myself" or whatever. It's not my drama, I don't have anything invested. If I can help, great; if you don't want my help, that's fine too.

Pete -- I sincerely appreciated your help, and, not knowing the Wiki mechanics at all, was just curious as to how my entry got flagged. As I said in a comment here a moment ago, I suspect it was a robot.

Have a good beer. I regard you as a friend, not a foe, of this blog.

Like Pete, I haven't yet dipped into this particular Wiki entry.

Poking around a bit, it seems that the {{notability}} tag got added by a person - not a bot. An anonymous person, but one that regularly makes edits all over Wikipedia.

The IP address for that person is You might check out your backend comment archives to see if it's one of your commenters.

p.s. This seems like an appropriate moment to note one of my bigtime MSM pet peeves. Pretty often, you'll see some reporter or columnist say something like, "And as you can plainly see - this Wikipedia article has some blatant errors in it. Don't trust Wikipedia."

Anybody that writes such a thing is complicit in the error. The whole point of a community-created media like Wikipedia is that when you find an error, you correct it.

Unlike Pete, I'm not a regular editor. But I am a regular reader of Wikipedia. When I see an error, a bit of bad grammar, or a typo - or a place where my own expertise or knowledge of sources can be helpful - I take a moment and fix it.

Seriously, it takes like 20 seconds. And you don't even need a login (though that's recommended.)

By contributing to the commons, we all get a better resource.

An anonymous person, but one that regularly makes edits all over Wikipedia.

I see around a dozen and a half edits, all on one day. Science stuff, radio and television, vacuum tubes, and the surname "Dufay." Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Aha. You're right. I didn't bother clicking on the "250" and "500" links - assuming that their presence meant that there was something there. But no -- just about 20 edits or so.

I see around a dozen and a half edits, all on one day. Science stuff, radio and television, vacuum tubes, and the surname "Dufay." Hmmmmmmmmmm.


Cool, I had no idea there's a crator named Dufay, on the dark side of the moon. is the IP address. Isn't there a program that identifies this? I'm no Wikipedia sort, don't touch the stuff, but there has been some "Frank" who's posted here and there where I generally post...defying my request to distinguish himself from me.

Gotta wonder...

The IP address points to Covad Communications in San Jose, which I don't think narrows it down much. It's not someone who's ever commented on this blog, nor is it anyone whose IP address I have banned from accessing the site. 'Tis a mystery, but let us hope not a significant one.

IP address: (copy)
IP country: United States
IP Address state:
IP Address city: Seattle
IP latitude: 47.595100
IP longitude: -122.332603
ISP: Covad Communications
Organization: Covad Communications

Hmmm...Seattle. Don't know any Dufays up there. If I know the latitude and longitude does that mean I can call in a missle strike? :-)

I think Covad is like Comcast -- in which case, it's one of a zillion faceless Covad customers.

Man. All I get on WIkipedia is "b!X is an artist formerly known as 'slowdog', aka 'Charlie Mange' (although he denies this)." over on the "Bix (disambguation)" page.


Hum? My brother is wiring up folks in CA for Covad. He could . . . nah.

Don't sweat it. Starker ain't notable enough either . . . and he too was concerned with equity.

Do you seek notability? Or WikiVanity.

I am a living fact set who's arguments could go up in flames without proper advocacy.

If your heart and soul can pour into the equity issue (unalienability of Social Security "Benefits") then I am little more than a living breathing fact set . . . (continued).

There's one thing that jumps out to me about that IP address: assuming that it's one person, he/she has made a whole lot of edits, without any messages being left for him/her - EVER. That's very unusual, and suggests that the person is not pushing a radical point of view, or anything like that; if he/she were out of step with other editors, that would have generated a comment somewhere along the line.

That jives with my general sense that Jack B. is in the grey area of notability, where there's no clear answer of whether or not the article should exist.

Given all of that, it's likely that somebody else will come along at some point with the same concern. So, focusing on the individual that flagged the article this time will not be too helpful in the long run.

Fleshing out the article, creating meaningful links to and from other articles, and providing citations are the only way to go, if the goal is to make the article stay online for the long haul. What makes Jack B. notable? What ties him to other notable entities?

Noting "candidates gone wild" hosts at the Bus Project page, with a link, would be helpful. More detail about significant trials and writings would be another. Basically, the same stuff that would make a story about Jack B. newsworthy.

Full citations, inserted as footnotes, are helpful, too. I'll make a sample on the page out of the Jaynes article, to illustrate the formatting.

Hope this helps...good luck!

What, are we done with this? I thought I'd come back to more comments...

But, I do see that I neglected to say, thanks for the welcoming words...and sorry if I was a little prickly earlier.

Also, I totally agree with Kari re: Wikipedia as an example of the commons. Writing it off as "unreliable," as though its central goal is to compete with oldschool media outlets or encyclopedias, utterly misses the point. Resources this accessible, and editable, influence thought in many tangible and intangible ways...they serve as gathering points for new kinds of communities, present new educational opportunities, etc. etc. etc. Getting in there and "getting your hands dirty" is the only way to understand this sort of thing, and it's not hard to do.


Wikipedia doesn't need anyone's blessing. Just look at the traffic it's generated -- an astounding success. And depending on the topic, it's a research tool of first resort.

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