A lot of people have been posting on twitter or sending me email thanking me for bravery in opposing SOPA. That’s a very very kind sentiment, and I really do appreciate it!
But I want to push back a little bit on it and reflect on where the real bravery is in the fight for free knowledge for everyone. I live in a country which respects the freedom of speech. I am at no risk of prison or physical violence or monetary fines for my views. If the worst that gets thrown at me is MPAA head Christopher Dodd saying that an Internet uprising is an “abuse of power” then I will survive just fine. :-)
Hossein Derakshan, a personal hero
I know of Wikipedia volunteers in authoritarian countries, though, who are incredibly brave. Hossein Derakhshan is a young man I first met at Wikimania 2005 in Frankfurt. A Wikipedia editor and blogger, he is serving a 19 and a half year sentence in Iran for his writings on the Internet.
I know of a Chinese Wikipedian who was visited by the police for setting up a mirror of Wikipedia multiple times during the era when China banned Wikipedia.
There are many more like them, all around the world.
These, and people like them, are my heroes. They are the people of true courage. I’m a very fortunate man in life, and I’m proud to stand up for freedom of speech and the right to access to knowledge in every circumstance that I can. But my courage, if it is courage, is nothing compared to the courage of those who are really risking life and limb to speak truth to power.
Let us take a moment today to honor them.
Wow, coming on the heels of the great news I got yesterday about our Comscore numbers…
Just for fun, here’s a comparison of Wikia (all sites) with Mahalo (all sites). Some of you may know that Jason Calacanis enjoys poking at me and not long ago made a bit of a stir in the blogosphere by calling me a poser and saying I’m not a real entrepreneur. Who’s posing now, Jason? (Actually I love and respect Jason, even if he does like to talk trash, and had a nice visit with him at Mahalo not long ago, so this is all in fun. But I dare you tweet this blog post, Jason… ;-) ) Continue reading
Just got some new numbers (thanks Doug and Przemek for putting these together) for Wikia’s growth, especially in gaming and entertainment, traditionally our strongest wikis.
Gaming just crossed 1,000,000 and currently with 1,003,977 articles… joining Entertainment (1.1 million articles) in the “over a million” category. The raw breakdown looks like this:
[Auto] => 15244
[Creative] => 57257
[Education] => 78914
[Entertainment] => 1109651
[Finance] => 12122
[Gaming] => 1003977
[Green] => 14113
[Humor] => 155243
[Lifestyle] => 201605
[Music] => 49232
[Philosophy] => 110072
[Politics] => 37381
[Science] => 120537
[Sports] => 80924
[Technology] => 52603
[Toys] => 35392
[Travel] => 57758
[Wikia] => 232869
If there is one thing that I’ve learned in my career, it is to do more of what’s working, and less of what’s not.
In past 24 months, Wikia.com has seen tremendous expansion. Nielsen recently recognized Wikia.com as the fifth fastest growing member community destination in February 2009:
|source: Nielsen NetView, 2/09, U.S., Home and Work
http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/twitters-tweet-smell-of-success/ Continue reading
Note: My daughter recently (December 5th, 2008) had the opportunity to conduct an interview with President Jimmy Carter. One of her questions to him was about Obama and ended up being about Obama’s speech today. So I thought I’d post an excerpt.
Kira: With the new president elect Barack Obama, what do you think about him being the new president elect and do you have any advice for him?
Jimmy Carter: Well, I have already talked to his major appointments - I have talked to the next Secretary of State and the next Security Advisor who will be in the White House with him and I have also yesterday talked with the person who is going to represent him and United States at the United Nations. So, I have already prepared him for some of the things that the Carter Center is doing that he might find helpful. Continue reading
Today at Wikia we have released our social networking features for MediaWiki under the GNU GPL 2.0. The best place to see this running live is at Halopedia, our Halo site.
I am excited about all the stuff going on in this space. With google’s open social initiative, our work in social search and social networking for mediawiki, I think the whole wiki/free culture space is about to get a whole lot more interesting.
Daniel F. Gass, a talented young developer, has created a Wikia search plugin for Firefox! Awesome! Thanks, Daniel!
Now I wonder what open source toolbars out there might support more functionality…
I am participating in this fabulous and hopefully historic meeting and realized that I have now met Melissa Hagemann on 5 different continents. I think we both travel too much. Continue reading