Japanese civil servants reprimanded for Wikipedia anime article edits

Six civil servants in the agriculture ministry of the Japanese government have been reprimanded for their combined 408 edits to the Wikipedia.

The most prolific of the six made 260 changes to pages related to “Mobile Suit Gundam”, a Japanese animation show (or “anime”) about giant robots.

A representative for the ministry, Tsutomu Shimomura, said: “The agriculture ministry is not in charge of Gundam.” He also confirmed that a ministry-wide order and site ban is now in place to prohibit access to the Wikipedia from their offices.

The other five officials had fixed some typos and edited various articles about movies, billboard signs and local politics. An article relating to a former senior ministry official was edited from a ministry computer to alter the phrase “losing by a landslide” to the much more positive “losing by a narrow margin.”

Definition of Web 3.0 by Nova Spivack

20071005a.png Nova Spivack’s “best official” definition of Web 3.0 was posted today in response to Jason Calacanis’ “official” definition of Web 3.0. You can also read Tim O’Reilly’s reply to Nova’s Web 3.0 definition. The picture on the right is Nova’s graph of the current and envisaged evolution of the Web (with versions).

As you may know, Nova and his company Radar Networks are “building a broadly consumer-facing application of the semantic web centered around collective intelligence and knowledge networking, a new online service that helps people organize, share and find information” (Josh Dilworth). On October 19th at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Nova Spivack will demonstrate Radar’s semantic web application in public for the first time, coinciding with a phased entry private beta.

“Graphing Social Patterns” event this weekend in California

The event “Graphing Social Patterns: The Business and Technology of Facebook” is being held this weekend (October 7th to 9th) in San Jose, California.

This is a conference for both technology and business people on how to build and distribute applications for the social networking platform Facebook. There will be some interesting speakers at the event including Tim O’Reilly and Robert Scoble.

If I wasn’t 5000 miles away right now, I’d definitely go!

Baagz semantic search and social networking combo

20071004a.png Via Computerworld, I’ve been reading up on a forthcoming social semantic website called Baagz. As presented recently at DEMOfall, Baagz is a new service from French company Exalead that aims to bring together semantic search and social networking.

How does it work? Users gather their interests into a bag (called a Baag, hence the plural Baagz), and they can then search for other people whose “Baagz” have similar content items. The site also has a push mechanism as it will send alerts to users based on their interests.

Finding related users based on their interests (via their tags) is also a functional aim of NUI Galway / SNU’s int.ere.st website, but (by all reports) BAAGZ also operates as a social network for creating areas around such interests.

What is the ratio of contributors to readers on social media sites?

There have been a variety of figures bandied about for the ratio of content contributors to browsers / lurkers on social media sites.

From CNET News.com:

A recent Hitwise study indicates that as few as 4 percent of Internet users actually contribute to sites like YouTube and Flickr, and more than 55 percent are men. […] To be the mainstream trend (that it [Web 2.0] deserves to be), it must evolve from the currently small group of people who are creating and filtering our content to a position where the “everyman” is embraced.

and from vnunet.com:

Bill Tancer, general manager of Hitwise, said that the company’s data showed that only a tiny fraction of users contributed content to community media sites. Just 0.16% of YouTube users upload videos, and only 0.2% of Flickr users upload photos. Wikipedia returned a more reasonable percentage, with 4.6% of visitors actually editing and adding information.

Obviously, there’s some mismatch here, especially since Hitwise provided both sets of statistics, but I’d be interested in getting more figures if you have seen them elsewhere or have calculated some yourself.

Hospital in Paris, Texas tries to issue legal suit against anonymous critical blogger

From the Houston Chronicle, we read of a case in Paris, Texas where a defamation lawsuit has been filed by a hospital there to reveal the identity of a blogger who has been severely critical of the hospital and their practices:

A state district judge has told lawyers for the hospital and the blogger that he plans within a week to order a Dallas Internet service provider to release the blogger’s name. The blogger’s lawyer, James Rodgers of Paris, said Tuesday he will appeal to preserve the man’s anonymity and right to speak without fear of retaliation.

20071001a.png The blog entitled “The-Paris-site” has been posting about the Paris Regional Medical Center since late 2005. The blog author, who goes by the pseudonym fac_p, believes that Essent Healthcare Inc. (the owners of the hospital) are ultimately looking for the names of some hospital employees who have either posted comments on his blog or who have given him inside information.