random memes }

Wikipedia gets it wrong (badly)

With Wikipedia the hope is that folk with bits of knowledge will contribute to common pool. With enough eyeballs any bad additions should get cleaned up or filtered out. The end goal is to have the highest quality material on each subject.

Only the end result matters.

Folk at Microsoft felt that the Wikipedia article on OOXML was less than accurate. They could have edited article directly. They could have hired some anonymous shill to edit the article in their favor. Instead they asked a very knowledgeable outsider, who in turn was completely honest:

An interesting offer: get paid to contribute to Wikipedia "So I was a little surprised to receive email a couple of days ago from Microsoft saying they wanted to contract someone independent but friendly (me) for a couple of days to provide more balance on Wikipedia concerning ODF/OOXML. I am hardly the poster boy of Microsoft partisanship! Apparently they are frustrated at the amount of spin from some ODF stakeholders on Wikipedia and blogs."

In terms of the end result, this is the best possible outcome for the community. Rick is one of the best folks for the job, and anything Rick writes will be subject to community review. I do not see a problem here.

The alternative is much less honest. Parties with an economic interest could employ anonymous shills to tilt articles in their favor. By excluding reviewed contributions by an outside expert, Wikipedia is rewarding less ethical behavior. This is not a good outcome for the community.