На reddit даёт интервью Брэндон Харрис (автор очередного обращения от википедии)



Если уж соседняя тема об этом...

Для Ъ:

Mr. Harris, do you listen to metal? If so, favorite bands?

Yes. Slayer, Sabbath, Metallica, Maiden, Melvins. Those are my go-to bands.

How often do you find yourself using Wikipedia for just plain looking stuff up? and have you ever edited a wiki page other than wikipedia itself?

I'm constantly using the site for everything. I actually edit the encyclopedia very rarely anymore, though, since I don't have much time. And I've edited many other wikis.

How do you feel about educators who say that «Wikipedia isnt a valid source»?

I think they're both right and wrong. It's a great source for sources, and a great place to learn an overview. But you shouldn't write a paper directly off it.

How does this make you feel:

That one's pretty good.

Image memes - I'm not entirely sure how they make me feel, to be honest. Some are pointlessly cruel but others are pretty funny.

I've decided only to care about the funny and good ones and let it ride.

Which one have you found that is particularly cruel?

I think the number of times I've been called a pedophile is probably the low point. But you know: it's an easy joke to make. Not clever. So I can mentally dismiss it.

How does it feel being in a picture that 90% of people on the internet have seen?

Well. I hadn't thought of it in that context before. Now I'm kind of overwhelmed.

what shampoo do you use? your hair is amazing...

I actually switch shampoos and conditioners about every 40 to 60 days. A trick an ex taught me, many years ago.

I'm interested: what does switching shampoos/conditioner accomplish?

It's possibly an superstition but I was told that it prevents your hair from getting too much of the same chemicals bound up in it. I am not a chemist nor am I a beautician, but my girlfriend at the time was.

[Citation needed]

She was a chemist and a beautician?


What are your thoughts on sites like Conservapedia?

I'm a big fan of fantasy and fiction, so I guess it's alright.

This comment just inspired me to go donate. Wow.

You just won the internet... twice. First coding Wikipedia and now this statement :D

Let's be clear: I didn't code Wikipedia. Wikipedia was programmed by a host of people, mostly volunteers. The primary developers, though, are Brion Vibber, Tim Starling, and Magnus Manske.

Do you agree with Wikipedia's decision to run a fundraising campaign rather than selling ads?

Absolutely. Running ads would introduce bias to the articles. We can't do that: «The Deepwater Horizon Disaster», sponsored by BP Energy. If you saw that you'd think that BP had paid for better press, even if they hadn't.

Whats to stop BP from editing the article themselves to promote better press?

People know its them. Or the facts don't check out. Or there's no citations. Somethings smells fishy, that sort of thing.

What are some of the strangest articles that you guys have had to deal with? is probably my favorite.

Have you actually been receiving many donations?

Yes, we have. You can actually see the donations accumulate here:

That doesn't distinguish between who's banners and appeals make how much, and I don't think that data is going to be available until a while after the fundraiser is over.

Hey, I remember you! You're the guy who made nexus war, what happened?

That's me!

Uhm, I ran out of money is what happened. I couldn't afford to continue running it, and my contract with EA pretty much said that if I added new content, they'd own it.

I just want to thank you for getting me a Degree. Now, can you get me a job?

Well. What do you do? We're hiring.

unix administrators?

We seem to always need more operations people, so yah, probably. You can check the job openings on

Marketing/ Business Development...?

Probably. Check the job openings at

You guys need a Linux sysadmin?

We're nearly entirely Linux based, so probably.

What do you think of all the memes about you?


I think they're funny. I mean, some aren't, but they're also ignorable.

I don't think it's very clever to do the obvious and mean, which is why I can ignore the images that are like that.

Happy Birthday!

Thanks! It's tomorrow, actually, my time.

Could you front me like 20 bucks?

Paypal okay?

How did you get involved with Wikipedia?

Well, I started doing minor edits and typo corrections a long time ago. 2006, I think.

As far as working there, I was recruited by Danese Cooper, the former CTO. I had worked with her husband in the past at Sun Microsystems and Elemental Security.

By minor edits do you mean fixing all the stupid trolls

Mostly I mean fixing typoes and other mspellinks.

is your homepage wikipedia or something else?

My personal homepage is at

How much would somebody have to pay you for you to shave your head?

The going rate is one million USD. I've shaved it before - in 2000 - after a trip in Nepal.

When my mom got cancer I offered to shave my head in solidarity with her but she forbade me to do so.

How did your mom do?

Well! She's fully recovered.

Thanks for asking!

What's it like playing for Dethklok?

s/playing for/playing/;

I play Dethklok all the time! In fact, I'm going to listen to it now.

«Bloodlines» is one of my «go-to» tracks when I need to get shit done.

Is there any Wikipedia page that you wish did not exist because it has given you or the organziation you work for a great deal of trouble?

Good question.

I'm going to have to say «not really», if we take it as «wish didn't exist». I think we wish that certain attitudes about articles didn't exist, or that some were written better. I think we'd like to see better editorial restraint in some issues.

But otherwise, no.

What about the pages that had to be frozen, like the page on Scientology?

Frozen? Wait. You mean Protected?

Protected articles are just that: protected. People still have discussions on them, and reach consensus, and those changes are then brought back into the article. The article itself is protected to prevent massive vandalism or edit warring.

How does it feel to be part of something like Wikipedia? I mean, do you ever reflect on the impact of it on people's everyday life? (Thank you for Wikipedia.)

Yes. There are times when the «vision of the mission» settles and there's this really weird sense of peace and purpose. Like, an understanding of the full implications of «making the sum of human knowledge available to everyone for free.»

It's a pretty epic feeling. I can't describe it other than «it's one of those emotions where you feel the edges of your eyes start to tear up».

I kind of live for those moments, to be honest.

You can't live like that all the time, mind you. The practicalities of what we do always bubble up.

Teachers across America tell their students to never use Wikipedia to find information because it can be edited by anyone, and therefore could be false at any point in time. Any truth to this? How likely is it really to be fooled by a false fact?

Well, in theory, you shouldn't be using Wikipedia as your primary source - just the place you go to to find the primary sources. Every fact is supposed to have a citation and reference.

There was a study done that said that Wikipedia has about the same error rate as the Brittanica, which is interesting.

People inject false facts into articles all the time but they usually only stay there for about .5 seconds before they're caught and reverted.

I just sent you guys $20. Will you stop glaring at me now?

I believe the banners turn off if you donate. If not, you can just click the X in the corner.

Have you had any genuine offers of no-strings-attached sexual congress as a result of your appearance on Wikipedia fundraising banners?

I have not. Aside from the tests that were run earlier in the year, I've been out of town or stuck in my house during the time they've been running.

Have you ever used your position at Wikipedia to pull offers.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean here.

You mean, like, to try to get job offers? No.

Were your and Jimmy's portraits placed like that (directly above the article subject) intentionally?

Because it definitely worked, wikipedia donation plea has gone viral.

It's intentional, but I don't believe it was actually designed that way from the start. There have been many experiments over time as to the optimal position of the photos, and it just so happens that the left side is where it's got to be.

The green background is new, by the way. That turns out to be a good effect as well.

Why is the donation so many clicks away? I'd imagine, that

«I'm X Y, doing Z on Wikipedia. Please support Wikipedia with your donation. For my personal view, please read on [here].

Donate __ USD via: [PayPal] [EPS] [Moneybookers] [Credit Card] ...»

would work better - why would I need to read a personal appeal from someone I very likely don't even know before I get the opportunity to donate?

Do you A/B test that stuff? Have you tried a shorter route?

We actually can't do that because of some weird technical reason that I can't remember off-hand. Something about not being able to determine available payment methods on the initial screens or somesuch.

Shot in the dark: is it due to IP address geolocation and the way your loadbalancing works? If so, why not circumvent that by displaying the payment options via an iframe from a different source that is capable of what you need?

I'm pretty sure that's exactly what it is. But don't quote me on it.

I know we have a lot of issues with browser compatibility, too.

how would you describe your normal day?

I have lots of meetings every day, mostly. Brainstorming sessions, etc. Actually «getting work done» - I have to do that at home, usually in the evenings for an hour or two. I put headphones on and sit on the porch and smoke a cigar or two while I do design work.

Wait, are you saying that in order to do your job, you have to use your spare time, because your job time is wasted in non-coding activities ?

Either you are a manager, or there's something really fucked up in the team management.

I'm a bit of both. And you know, this isn't really a «job»; it's more like a «lifestyle», I think.

What do you actually do as a Wikipedia programmer?

Well, my title is actually «Senior Designer». The «programmer» in the banner is because it's easier to understand than «designer» which is a really esoteric job.

Mostly I design features and product. I am a programmer (been one for about 20 years now), and I commit code from time to time, but it's not my primary function.

My body of work can be read here:

I'd love to hear your best tip for a young student getting into web application development!

Just start building things. Build small tools just for yourself, maybe. You have to build up a portfolio these days.

One of the best ways is to start coding in an open source project. That way you have things on your resume and you have code samples to show people.

Are you guys close to making your goal in money? Me donated! ______^

Hey! Thanks for that!

You can track the amount of money we raise here:

How do you feel about the people who describe your looks as intimidating? Did you know some people felt like that before you appeared on the Wikipedia banner?

I think people with long hair might always look intimidating to some people because it crosses a social norm and is/was associated with rebellion.

I don't consider myself intimidating at all. I just like metal.

What's your favourite band?

According to my, it looks like Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, and. . . Daft Punk? Huh. Slayer is also a heavy hitter there.

Oh, just look yourself:

Upvoted for Slayer!


If you don't mind me asking, what's the salary range of a programmer that works for Wikimedia Foundation?

I don't have those numbers. The Foundation pays «bottom of scale», however, since they're non-profit. Actually even a bit below that.

Surely you mush know how much you make?

If this is a public organization, the numbers should be available somewhere though right?

On the same line of thought, anywhere to find a breakdown of where the donations directly go?

Thanks for creating an amazing tool for humanity!

I know how much I make but I'm not going to reveal that. Salaries are generally private matters.

One of our tax forms requires us to reveal the top three highest-paid people, so that's out there.

You can find the breakdowns on when the sites are back up.

If you're going to publicly beg for money to pay your own salary, you ought to be man enough to reveal that salary.

You know, it's not about me. I'm not ashamed of it and it's nothing to brag about given my experience and skillset. It's just that revealing my salary will also reveal the salaries of my co-workers, and that's up to them to do.

What is the Best part about working at Wiki?

Going to sleep feeling like I'm doing something, and not waking up thinking that what I do is ultimately meaningless.

Firstly, your website is responsible for most of my decent University grades, so thanks for that. How weird is it to see your face on such a popular website? Have you been recognized much because of it?

Weirdly, I've been «recognized» more often as «that guy from that band» on the street far more often than for Wikipedia.

I don't think it's weird anymore. You kind of get used to it after a while.

What do you believe will be Wikipedia's major challenges in the future?

Gaining major ground in India, Brazil, China, and the Middle East.

Do you think it would ever be possible for Wikipedia to support ads in a way that would be completely non-biased while still generating the much needed thing called cash?

No, I don't think so.

Are there any countries where WP isn't the #1 wiki encyclopedia?

China, I believe, has Baidu primarily.

Do you guys ever consider working with Google in any fashion or to any extent as a kind of freedom-of-flow-of-information powerhouse?

I can't speak to this because Global Development isn't my forte. I know that (or I think I know that) Google pulled out of India.

Partnering with for-profit organizations always is a touchy subject. We tend to avoid it if at all possible.

do you think there should be some tax to keep websites like this operational, like X euro a year ?

Well, then we'd be beholden to the governments, right? What happens when the USA gives us tax money, and the congress votes to remove our articles about Abu Ghraib?

What about enabling advertisers to pay to retarget Wikipedia traffic in a fully self-service fashion?

No ads ever show up on the Wikipedia site. Instead, ads show up across the rest of the Internet (think CNN, ESPN, etc.) to Wikipedia users that enacted specific behaviors (searched for certain terms, hit certain pages).

Wikipedia doesn't even need to know who's running ads or where the revenue is coming from. The platform itself or an independent agent/auditor could manage the self-service interface and Wikipedia could just sit back and receive a check in regular intervals. No ads run on the Wiki site, so there's no way to know unless you're being told by the platform.

Check out - I'm the CMO there and have always thought that sites like Wikipedia/Craigslist could monetize users' intents without compromising their sacrosanct impartiality through this sort of a model.

And in any case, good luck with the campaign!

This would require us to pretty much shred our privacy policy. We don't sell (or even keep) any data about what you look at or anything else.

If there came a day when donations were really running thin, would ads and/or sponsors be used to keep the site running? What steps would lead to that first, or would you rather let the site shut down untilpeople wanted to support it?

No, we wouldn't switch up to ads, I can guarantee that.

Sue Gardner, our Executive Director, has said that if it came down to it, she'd fire everyone except for the operations people and only pay for hosting. Try to keep the lights on as long as possible.

But we're a ways away from that right now.

How do pages get updated so quickly after a death/major event? Even pages that aren't specific to the event get updated less than half an hour after the news initially breaks.

Editors immediately go to the pages and make the changes. That's what they do: they watch and try to make sure things are as accurate as possible.

И так далее.


Последнее исправление: anonymfus (всего исправлений: 5)

В принципе нормальный музон. Только вот я бы выкинул Maiden, а про Melvins я не слышал вообще.

VirRaa ★★★

Slayer, Sabbath, Metallica, Maiden, Melvins.

По-моему это было видно уже по фото.

Sadler ★★★

Зачем нам эта цитата? А эти обращения уже сильно надоели.

ZenitharChampion ★★★★★
Ответ на: комментарий от VirRaa

Большинство известных металлгрупп очень котируют Melvins, хотя группа не так популярна в широких кругах. «The Bit» ихний послушай

BigAlex ★★★
Ответ на: комментарий от BigAlex

«The Bit» ихний послушай

Не понравилось. Как-то медленно слишком, да и голос какой-то вымученный. Ну, на вкус и цвет...

VirRaa ★★★
Ответ на: комментарий от BigAlex

Дык это же и есть sludge-metal, который они (Melvins) и придумали.

Мне больше по душе первые три группы, что он назвал. А точнее первая и третья.

VirRaa ★★★

бедный, не задолбался лоркодом выделять?

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