Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

We just had an IRC chat organized by Wikinews to talk about how bloggers and Wikinews could work together. If you don't know about Wikinews, it is an effort by the people behind Wikipedia to use many of the same principles behind Wikipedia to run a news site. They've had an early success with their scoop of the unrest in Belize.

Anyway, it was a very productive discussion. You can see the logs online. There is a page about Wikinews and Blog collaboration, but it's still pretty skimpy. A few ideas that came out:

Exchange IM addresses between active members in both communities to coordinate stories. (See page of IM addresses for Wikipedians.)

Create an RSS/Atom feed of new stories and hopefully for different tags from Wikinews.

MetaWeblog or Atom API to allow bloggers to post to some section of Wikinews using blogging tools.

Wikinews should accept trackbacks. They need someone to help write a trackback plugin for MediaWiki. Let them know if you can help.


Yup, why should the wikipedia people forgo the pleasure of dealing with thousands of trackback spam, just like the rest of us.

Oh, wait. We have nofollow now. Silly us, what spam problem.

Shelley, I see that for you the spammers have already won...

Boris, there is no 'win' or 'lose'. There are facts of life.

Fact of life: 781 trackbacks in less than an hour. My ISP cannot handle the load of this many malicious invocations of functions that also invoke email and database updates. And it doesn't matter if you have a fancy blacklist application -- it's too vulnerable, too easily invoked, and takes too much CPU and other valuable resources.

Since none of us are using trackback correctly, why fight to save what probably isn't worth saving? I'll fight to save comments, but not what is nothing more than a glorified referral link. We can get these from Technorati.

As an interim measure, I have created what will be a blog of new Wikinews articles here: There's nothing on it right now as no-one has written anything yet :).

If you want to help on the TrackBack plugin (which will, with RSS, replace the above blog in due course), contact Amgine here:

Great concept. Wish I could clone myself and contribute mo'!

Just to make it a bit easier to reach, here's a clickable link to the Latest Wikinews Articles blog

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