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- 1 Self-written summary
- 2 Major contributions to articles
- 3 "Be Bold" issues
- 3.1 Editing gaps
- 3.2 Wikipinions
- 3.3 Questions for the candidate
Rob Rosenberger is a noted computer security critic and columnist most famous for co-founding Vmyths, a website that debunks computer security hysteria. He is also a comedian who creates deadpan parodies of computer security news at HumorControl.org.
Rosenberger is a vocal critic of cartels in the computer security industry. Hence, Wikipedia's NPOV policy makes it difficult for him to create/edit detailed biographies on important players in the industry. However, he has called on his readers to be bold in this regard.
Major contributions to articles
"Be Bold" issues
A section written in the first person with occasional run-on sentences where I track my foibles for historical purposes (e.g. an RfA) and give my Wikipinions on policy. I will place an RfA notice on my user page when I feel ready, assuming someone doesn't nominate me first.
Until Oct 2007, usually due to military commitments. Also underwent severe grief therapy after the death of my wife in Jul 2005.
0RR: but not strict. I rv vandalism and edit the rest. In one case it certainly looked like vandalism but the page may have been under construction (and another edit occurred after it), so I opened a talk section.
RfA self-nomination: will only influence my opinion if that person describes himself as a "professional critic." Being a professional critic myself, I believe they must earn the trust & respect of the communities they serve. I express no other qualms against self-nomination. One who feels gung-ho will naturally want to do more; one who accepts another's nomination has already gained someone's trust.
Tough edits: I fully support them — and I know boldness comes at a price. I receive the occasional threat of violence as a computer security critic.
Prank edits (not vandalism): I'll admit I laughed like a hyena when Steven Colbert edited the elephant page. But let's face it: the Uncyclopedia trumps any notion of a prank edit. And Wiki itself offers plenty of tongue-in-cheek content.
Non-expert editors on expert pages: to quote myself, "you don't always need to be an expert to append an obviously relevant fact to an article." Be bold.
Questions for the candidate
Please view this as a work in progress until my formal nomination.
What admin work do you intend to take part in?
One BLP in particular needed someone to stop a fanatic in 2006-07. It will help to put another admin out there who monitors computer security pages. Someone needs to do a bit of cleanup on the computer security articles in general and some housecleaning on the stub BLPs in computer security. Yes yes yes, I can always nominate a page for recategorization or deletion — but if I make those nominations, I'd like to be the one who follows through on the consensus decision. That way I know it'll get done. :-)
What are your best contributions to Wikipedia, and why?
The Mafiaboy page needed a serious reworking and of course it lacked sources. I spent a fair amount of time sourcing how a US$1.2 billion guesstimate turned into a US$1.7 billion estimate. The effort involved tracing how the number got converted to a Canadian value, then looking up a seven-year-old currency exchange rate. Mafiaboy's recent return to the spotlight (as a book author) has brought a few new challenges to his BLP.
I hope that my efforts to edit this BLP will make me a better Wiki editor in the future when I choose to edit other BLPs.
Have you been in any conflicts over editing in the past or have other users caused you stress? How have you dealt with it and how will you deal with it in the future?
I've dealt with these conflicts for two decades, first as a CompuServe sysop and then later as both the editor and a critic/columnist at Vmyths.com. I dealt with everything from typos to mistakes of fact — and from vehement counterpoints to accusations of libel & slander. Vmyths has been called a "hate site" for repeatedly exposing the rotten wood in the computer security industrial complex. Vmyths has been threatened with lawsuits for libel, fraud, and extortion. I myself receive the occasional threat of violence when I name someone in an exposé.
I'm more than willing to apologize for all of my human errors. Vmyths has a pseudonym editor/columnist, "Vea Culpa" (usually myself) who corrects and clarifies everything down to the smallest detail. In one case I requested an arbitrator after one of our readers complained I had insulted Native Americans. I took it like a man and stood by the arbitrator's finding.
Conflicts will occur when your folks make bold statements. The writer gets angry that you changed a typo. The person or company gets angry that the critic called him out by name. The reader gets angry at the critic's conclusions. These things happen and I've learned to roll with the punches.
I'll handle any such issues at Wiki the same way. Two decades of experience in this area will help me to roll with the punches.