Linguist list is the premier mailing list that aims to provide a forum where academic linguists can discuss linguistic issues and exchange linguistic information. It is more than just a mailing list; it also provides fellowships to graduate students who serve in return as editors on the list.
Yesterday there was a message that following an initiative on the Russian Wikipedia, they would pay for a graduate assistant to work half time for one semester to coordinate the improvement of the field of linguistics in the English language Wikipedia.
When their community thinks it important, they have to spend $2000,- extra and this will pay for this initiative.
There is nothing that stops people not yet associated with the Linguist list to contribute to this funding drive as well. :)
Obviously, this represents a huge conflict of interest, which should be covered by WP:COI. The Linguistics faculty at Eastern Michigan University and Wayne State University will stand to benefit in both prestige and compensation (for their books and lectures, etc.) if the field of linguistics is promoted in this way on Wikipedia. The resulting paid grad student contributions will obviously be nothing but homages to the professors who pay him or her this money. I can guess that the resulting articles will be utter "travesties of NPOV" and nothing but "PR puff pieces".
Of course, I am kidding. But, do you see the utter ridiculousness of this line of reasoning, as it was applied by Jimmy Wales and many of the seniormost Wikipedia admin community when it concerned MyWikiBiz (whose purpose was to write factual, encyclopedic content about business and industry -- not to gen up spammy commercials for Wikipedia). The Wikimedia Foundation has, so far, really missed the boat by not learning how to work WITH business, rather than just taking the easy, usual PARANOID approach. Sigh.
Post a Comment