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Comment Time for a Reader's Charter (Score 2) 351

The ad blocking software I'd like to see would detect and zap into a heap of ash those unrelated-photo clickbait ads; I'd rather suffer through some honest banner ads anytime.

Web publishers should get together to make a "Reader's Charter" that pledges to stop clickbait and intrusive ads. It's not that complicated. Here's mine

Submission + - Not this time Y Combinator! (

An anonymous reader writes: Y Combinator is seen as the gold standard of startup accelerators, with over 2000 applying for 80 places in the last batch. But a lack of transparency and feedback in the selection process has lead to confusion amongst applicants. Newslines' Mark Devlin explains how, after three tries, he won't be applying again.

Submission + - Study reveals that Wikipedia is "awash in money" 3

Harold Dumbacher writes: Few things seen on Wikipedia aggravate its users more than the annual fundraising banners. Yet millions of people continue to contribute, seeming to think that Wikipedia will "go offline" if they aren't given more donations. Yet as this new Wikipediocracy blog post reveals, the Wikimedia Foundation is rolling in dough — $53 million in net assets as of this year (that's actual hard sitting-around currency, currently put into various investment vehicles). Meanwhile it only costs about $2.5 million to actually keep Wikimedia project servers online and handling user traffic. The rest of the WMF's annual donations go for "staff salaries, travel and miscellaneous". And evidently, many people are growing disgruntled with this ongoing state of affairs, even Wikimedia staff who benefit from it.

Submission + - The Sexists at the Top of Wikipedia (

sparkydevil writes: It's well known that women only make up 10% of Wikipedia editors. Many reasons have been put forward for this, but this analysis says it's the attitude and actions of those at the top levels of the site, particularly co-founder Jimmy Wales and ex-Wikimedia Foundation head, Sue Gardner, that have held women back most.

Comment Re:...Wikipedia has "atrophied" since 2007... (Score 1) 186

Exactly. There is too much emphasis on the people as Wikipedia's problem, when in fact it's the software that's the problem. I write about problem of Wikipedia's software design in this blog post, and have implemented the solutions you suggest (randomizing and mixing the editors to avoid the accumulation of power) in Newslines, my crowdsourced news site.

Submission + - Are Google and Wikipedia in a mutually-destructive relationship? (

metasonix writes: Who benefits from Google's increasing of Wikipedia data to support its search results? Mark Devlin, CEO of Newslines, a new crowdsourced news search engine, says the increasing co-dependency between the multi-billion dollar search corporation and its built-for-free partner hurts users experience, devalues web results and has turned unwitting Wikipedia editors into Google's slaves." And he offers evidence, unlike most WMF press releases.

Previously by Devlin: Stop Giving Wikipedia Money

Comment Re:I assume the Wikimedia developers... (Score 1) 94

>But you missed out the third and worst of the options: editorial decisions which pander to the advertisers.

As a publisher who has run successful advertising sales teams in print and online you simply create policies that say the reader experience is primary and that any attempt by advertisers to influence editorial will be blocked. Readers can tell very quickly if editorial is influenced by advertisers and most publishers don't like to be pushed around. If advertisers really want unrestricted editorial presence they can buy an advertorial.

Comment Re:I assume the Wikimedia developers... (Score 1) 94

Thousands of newspapers, magazine and websites deal with these issues every day without having to run porn or low quality ads. I don't see any complaints that it causes those publications self censorship. I suspect most of Wikipedia's worry about ads is driven by a fear that ads will try to counter bias in articles.

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