Digital Communities

Yesterday, Jimbo Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, visited Vienna. He took part at a discussion round at ORF with the title Digital Communites, because Wikipedia won a “Golden Nica” at the “Ars Electronica Prix”. The other participants were an austrian historian, a representative from Creative Commons, and Andreas Hirsch from Ars Electronica.
They discussed various online knowledge commuties, their past and future and special aspects like copyright, vandalism and the digital divide. Unfortunately i was already occupied with taking pictures with Jimbo’s Digicam, so I didn’t wrote down summary keywords. BTW, the UI of my Nikon is much better than his Olympus, and mine does not play an artificial “click”-sample when taking a picture.
To my surprise the historian didn’t attack the quality of Wikipedia articles compared of the articles by his project, so Horst would have been a much better participant :-). Later it became obvious that the historian was pretty clueless about Wikipedia and encylopedias in general, as he tried to persuade Jimbo that he should rewrite Wikipedia presenting a “European Point of View” (as in European Union).
The ORF also installed a livestream to New York, where representatives of other projects tried to take part in the discussion. Someone needs to tell the camera guy in New York, that it is a bad idea to do nonstop-Zooming, because the Stream was full of compression artefacts all the time.
The most useless participants were the director of the Austrian Culture Institute in New York and Franz Morak the austrian culture secretary. The moderator in New York introduced them to the discussion participants in English, but they failed to recognize that most of them did not understand German, and babbled in german how cool all these digital communities are and nobody except the ORF people understood them…
After the discussion we watched Portugal vs. England on a beamer, or more precisely the ORF people watched Football, and we discussed various Wikipedia aspects with Jimbo, while they tried to explain to Jimbo what this Football thing is about.