User talk:Snowded

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Easter Rising[edit]

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Hello, Snowded. You have new messages at Rannpháirtí anaithnid's talk page.
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Conflict of interest in Wikipedia[edit]

Hi Dave - I work a lot on conflict of interest issues across Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a scholarly project, and like all scholarly endeavors, managing COI is essential for ensuring the integrity of Wikipedia and retaining the public's trust in it. I am providing you with formal notice of Wikipedia's conflict of interest guideline and the Terms of Use for editing Wikipedia, and will have some comments and questions for you below.

Information icon Hello, Snowded. We welcome your contributions to Wikipedia, but if you have an external relationship with some of the people, places or things you have written about on Wikipedia, you may have a conflict of interest or close connection to the subject.

All editors are required to comply with Wikipedia's neutral point of view content policy. People who are very close to a subject often have a distorted view of it, which may cause them to inadvertently edit in ways that make the article either too flattering or too disparaging. People with a close connection to a subject are not absolutely prohibited from editing about that subject, but they need to be especially careful about ensuring their edits are verified by reliable sources and writing with as little bias as possible.

If you are very close to a subject, here are some ways you can reduce the risk of problems:

  • Avoid or exercise great caution when editing or creating articles related to you, your organization, or its competitors, as well as projects and products they are involved with.
  • Avoid linking to the Wikipedia article or website of your organization in other articles (see Wikipedia:Spam).
  • Exercise great caution so that you do not accidentally breach Wikipedia's content policies.

Please familiarize yourself with relevant content policies and guidelines, especially those pertaining to neutral point of view, verifiability of information, and autobiographies. Note that Wikipedia's terms of use require disclosure of your employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any contribution for which you receive, or expect to receive, compensation.

For information on how to contribute to Wikipedia when you have a conflict of interest, please see our frequently asked questions for organizations. Thank you.


This is about your extensive work on Cynefin per your difs there, your relationship with that conceptual framework as you disclosed here and through your username and edit notes like this, and as discussed a few times on the Talk page of the Cynefin article (here for example, from way back in 2006).

I am no risk of violating OUTING to say that it is clear that you are Dave Snowden and that you have realworld relationships with the former Cynefin company, now called Cognitive Edge and the Sensemaker software product (per this link and this link.

I looked through your Talk archives linked above (the organization of which I don't understand; i just text-searched the links there one-by-one) and found only one page where COI or conflict of interest was mentioned (this one) and each time it was you bringing it up about someone else. You mention others's COI at the article, in edits like this, with part of the edit summary saying "Stop using wikipedia to promote your interests - can get you a ban" to which the other editor responded on the Talk page: "Its really funny to see the main claimer of the Cynefin model accuse me of a conflict of interest."

Dave, you have a very clear financial conflict of interest with regard to the Cynefin article. This is not ambiguous. As the founder and CSO of Cognitive Edge, you would be classified as a "paid editor" here for topics related to that company.

  • Inserted Note: A discussion elsewhere established that the use of "paid editor" above is not correct ----Snowded TALK 05:38, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

As in academia, COI is managed here in two steps - disclosure and a form of peer review.

Disclosure: On your User page, would you please fully disclose the external relationships that create financial conflicts of interest with regard to your work here? That should discuss Cognitive Edge and the Sensemarker software, the cyenfin concept, and any other companies, products, or concepts that you write about here in WP. You may want to consider adding a link to your signature, to that section of your Userpage with the disclosure to your Username. You can set this up in your preferences.

Peer review: Since Wikipedia editors directly edit our published articles, there is generally no mediating peer review process nor even a publisher to accept or reject edits - editors publish directly. We ask editors with a COI to submit their edits for review on the Talk page of articles where they have a COI instead of editing the article directly. You can do this simply just by opening a section on Talk to make the edit request, or you can use the "edit request" function. I made that easy for you by adding a section to the beige box at the top of the Talk page - there is a link at "click here" in that section -- if you click that, the Wikipedia software will automatically format a section in which you can make your request. Would you please do that going forward?

So two questions:

  • Will you please disclose your conflicts of interest on your User page as mentioned above?
  • Will you please stop directly editing the cynefin article?

I look forward to your response - I am watching this page so you can just reply here. If you do not agree, btw, I will bring this to WP:COIN and we can get the community to weigh in. I believe the responses there will be simple and clear, but we can go through that exercise if you like. Best regards, Jytdog (talk) 03:22, 7 June 2015 (UTC)


If there is a process by which a group of editors will review content based edits on the one article where I have an involvement then I welcome it. For example the original Cynefin article has just been named in Academic Research as a 'classic' article based on citation history - it is in the top ten cited articles on knowledge management as a field. I had not added that fact as I don't think it would be right to engage in direct content creation, nor to ask someone to edit the article by making a request outside of wikipedia. You provide a diff from 2006 above when the article had just been created by someone and I think it shows my concern and full disclosure in that conversation. The COI guideline was not present in its current form at that time by the way. But for the avoidance of doubt I have no problem in agreeing to what seems a sensible policy in respect of content creation if there is a commitment by the COI community to engage when such requests are made.

A question to you is how does this policy apply to vandalism, or the use of the page for COI from other editors - the recent case being one example but there have been others. The COI guidelines about using the talk page reads as applying to new content creation. In this case we had a clear case of vandalism with the insertion of material that was not supported by any reference. Despite that, the minute it became obvious that this was not going to be simple vandalism correction I asked for Admin review in order to avoid COI issues. That review showed that the addition was vandalism and the other two editors were warned. So I think I was playing that one by the book. If you think policy (or a guideline) would suggest a different approach then I'm interested to hear it.

There is no article on SenseMaker® and I have no intention of creating one. If someone else does then I'm happy to declare an interest in it but hopefully no one is planning too any time soon. The only time it has been mentioned to my knowledge was this recent incident by an editor who has created a copy of it using open source software and tried to use the Cynefin article here as part of a general campaign he is running on social media, without references. Aside from the page about me this is the only article about my work.

In respect of Cynefin my main concern is reputation. The model is in the public domain and has been academically recognised twice as having a high volume of citations in peer reviewed journals. A lot of people make money out of its use without paying any royalty or license fee. Cognitive Edge has no control over the use of the framework. My company does run training using it (as do many others) but that is about the limit. To conflate this position with someone who is paid to make specific content changes is not appropriate and I don't see that in the COI guideline. Given that the link between myself and Cognitive Edge as a company has been on my user page for over a decade I think I am being pretty open. I'm happy to make that more explicit if there is a template or form of words now required by policy over and above what I had already done.

I've always been concerned about COI issues over a range of articles. I hadn't realised that activity in that community had stepped up in recent years so I have put the referenced pages under watch and will see if I can participate. ----Snowded TALK 04:30, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for your reply. WP:VANDALISM is a very clear concept in Wikipedia, and your recent dispute was not about that. It is actually WP:DISRUPTIVE to call an edit vandalism that is not vandalism, so take care with that. But yes, per WP:BLP you are entitled to act to address vandalism in the article about you. And on the Cynefin article you can provide simple, noncontroversial (broadly defined) updates to the article.
This discussion is about your COI. Since you are also emotionally invested in cynefin as your brainchild that is an additional reason for you not to edit the article directly, per Wikipedia:Conflict_of_interest#Writing_about_yourself_and_your_work and you may want to disclose that relationship in the COI disclosure section as well.
Will you please make the disclosure of your financial interests on your User page, and agree not to edit the Cynefin article directly except in the very limited cases just described? Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 05:43, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
I think I was pretty clear above in saying that I welcomed a system that allowed content provision by request and that if you could point me to a form of words in policy or guideline then I would be happy to add it. If there is no form of words then I will look at drafting something later in the week in respect of Cynefin. If anyone adds an article about SenseMaker® and I put it on watch I will modify that statement. My view is that I have only edited the article in the context of the limited cases over (say) the last five years. If you think otherwise then the odd diff would allow us to resolve any potential disagreements. I'm not sure I agree with you on vandalism by the way. Here we have an editor with a clear COI who hit the page with irrelevant unsupported material for which they have now received a warning. If there is another word of that behaviour please tell me. So I think my behaviour there falls within the limited cases, save that in hindsight I should have have asked for administrative oversight two reverts earlier. ----Snowded TALK 06:03, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm happy to discuss issues about the other editor when we are done discussing your COI. With regard to making an edit request, above I wrote "I made that easy for you by adding a section to the beige box at the top of the Talk page - there is a link at "click here" in that section -- if you click that, the Wikipedia software will automatically format a section in which you can make your request." That section is at the bottom of the header box. The manual way to make an edit request, is to open a new section, copy the {{Edit request}} template at the top on the section, and write your edit request. Thanks for agreeing to do that. With regard to disclosing your COI, you can write something very simple, like: "As an academic, I originated the concept of Cynefin. I am founder and chief scientific officer of a company called Cognitive Edge which offers consulting services and a software product called Sensemaker that enables analysis based on the cynefin concept." And, btw, per Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Trademarks we generally do not use the R symbol in WP. Jytdog (talk) 06:16, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm not interested in the other editor, only in clarity of what type of edit is uncontroversial. Where do you get this idea that SenseMaker enables analysis based on the Cynefin concept? It's a research tool that derives from ethnography, cognitive science and other fields. Its compatable with Cynefin obviously as it comes from the same stable (as do many other things). I'm happy with something alone the lines of "I created the Cynefin framework and continue work on its development. I am Director of the Centre for Applied Complexity at Bangor University and Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge which provides a range of consultancy, training and software services". If any other articles arise based on my work I will add the links. Incidentally I do know how to make an edit request, I've been here for some years. You might like to remember that you are one editor here, just like others and the tone of your comments should reflect that. ----Snowded TALK 06:26, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Sorry I misinterpreted the first line of your reply above - I took your writing " I welcomed a system that allowed content provision by request and if you could point me to a form of words in policy or guideline then I would be happy to add it." I took you to be asking about how to make an edit request. Please clarify what you meant.
About "uncontroversial", per WP:COI, we define that broadly as anything that anybody disagrees with. (broad!) Please restrict yourself to simple, factual updates (for companies, that is things like updating annual revenue based on their published Annual Report, that sort of thing). Nothing that is actual content. To be frank I don't see any kind of simple factual updates that you could make to Cynefin as there are few facts about a conceptual framework. Pretty much any change you want to make, you should ask others to make on Talk.
With regard to the disclosure, can you please add words to the disclosure connecting the company activity to the Cynefin framework? The point of the disclosure is to make it clear to the WP community where you have a conflict of interest - it should be simple and clear where folks don't have to guess. I'll reply after you post your disclosure to confirm it is OK (or ask for changes) and pick up any remaining threads. Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 06:38, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Thank you. How about: "I created the Cynefin framework and continue work on its development. I am Director of the Centre for Applied Complexity at Bangor University and Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge which provides a range of consultancy, training and software services. In respect of Cynefin I deliver academic lectures on the subject and provide training and related consultancy services" ----Snowded TALK 06:44, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

How about: "I created the Cynefin framework and continue work on its development. I am Director of the Centre for Applied Complexity at Bangor University and Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge which provides a range of consultancy, training and software services, some of them directly related to and using Cynefin. I also personally deliver academic lectures on the subject and provide training and related consultancy services" ---- Jytdog (talk) 06:47, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm OK with that and actioned. In respect of factual changes I'm happy to request new content on the talk page - that is good news. If someone else makes a change which is factually incorrect and the details can be referenced then policy (as I read it) allows me to make that change. but if it hits an edit war or controversy, then as I did this time I will ask for review. Be aware that this article and the one about me as a person get subject to periodic vandalism/attack. Some arising from editing controversies elsewhere in Wikipedia (I deal with some difficult articles with lots of paid advocates like the one on NLP) or as in the recent case. There the Cynefin page on wikipedia gets high traffic from those looking for material and the edit was a clear attempt to make a commercial point by the editor concerned. If you check their edit history you will see two articles in preparation which are all about the commercial interests of that editor and which have no third party references as well as a lot of factual inaccuracies. For the avoidance of doubt I have no intention of every creating an article related to my interests. ----Snowded TALK 06:49, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Thank you! I mean that - you've been gracious through this whole thing and I appreciate that. Some people get angry and defensive when dealing with COI. So thanks. I have the Cynefin article on my watch list now, so I can help deal with whatever problems arise there.
OK, now with regard to the other editor. Without saying anything that would violate WP:OUTING, can you please explain the situation so I can address it? Thanks Jytdog (talk) 12:17, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm pretty paranoid about COI so I had no problem with your concerns. You may see me more active in that community if I can get the time. As to the other editor: he is using the same ID here as his twitter hash tag so he is more or less outed and he made a 'snowded is bullying me to stop criticism' accusation on twitter (can give you the link if you want it) which self-identifies. The commercial issue tis that he has created an copy of our SenseMaker® software using open source software, a breech of his license conditions. If you want to have links to his company web site it won't be difficult for you to find it. I can link if you want. As you can see from the Cynefin article, the framework gets a lot of citations, and a lot of traffic to the wikipedia page from social media references. What he was clearly trying to do was to influence that traffic against SenseMaker® using Cynefin as a front. The two draft articles he has in preparation are for an organisation he helped set up and a framework he is promoting. Neither have third party references and to date they have not been accepted. But in effect he is seeking to use Wikipedia to promote his business and attack our product. He is a minor irritant outside of wikipedia and my general policy is to ignore him. However other commercial developments around investment in Cognitive Edge may force me into getting lawyers involved. Incidentally his response to the block is interesting. Other editors have improved the article. The only attempts he has made have been unsourced but he seems not to understand that need.----Snowded TALK 22:36, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. all that twitter etc stuff is not helpful. We need on-wiki disclosures. Anyway, I will head over to his Talk page. fwiw I suggest you do whatever you can do avoid importing RW arguments into WP. Thanks again, and good luck. Jytdog (talk) 23:22, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
@Snowded please read Wikipedia:No legal threats and consider striking through your language above about "getting lawyers involved". Thanks. Urs Etan (talk) 23:46, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Facepalm3.svg Facepalm totally missed that. yes strike that or you face a ban from wikipedia. argh. and this was going decently well. Jytdog (talk) 23:55, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Well you did ask for background and the main point was that I really do not want to have to waste time on him, let alone bring any dispute to Wikipedia. I see he has now published is name and the links to his organisation so you have a clear link to the draft articles he is creating - both of which would be the equivalent of me or one of my colleagues drafting the article on Cynefin. .... ALL struck and assuming you resolve this all I will need to do it watch out for socks or meat farms ----Snowded TALK 05:00, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
I restored the content and struck it. you should know by now that you cannot delete something after people have responded, you need to redact. if you need a reminder, see WP:REDACT. what you did there was really inexcusable for someone who claims to be experienced. and now i need to tell you that i am going to be watching very closely. you write anything like that again and you are gone. mind your COI more carefully when you log in. Jytdog (talk) 06:11, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Cool it, I got in late last night as you can see after a long day and responded to your request with an quick summary of the current context before going to bed. When I got up early this morning I saw the request for a strike so I did that quickly before dashing for a train; maybe too much context but not a threat per se. It didn't strike you either until another editor raised it remember. Also I simply said that relationships between the companies had reached the point where lawyers might have to be involved. That happens in commercial situations a lot, its not a direct threat of legal action against another editor to influence their behaviour. Otherwise to be clear I've minded my COI with considerable care over the years thank you very much, only using sourced material with minor edits when necessary. - I don't think there is a single edit that does not comply with policy - which is all I am required to do - or if I have you have not given a diff. If there are examples show me, always willing to learn. I think the new guideline (or at least new to me and it is a guideline) is a useful change to COI practice so I'm happy to go along with it as summarised above. I've also read it and some of your summaries of that guideline I think deserve clarification at least. I think there is a clear need to differentiate between editors who are paid to create content, and those who have a genuine interest in an article which impacts on their reputation. The way the two are approached to follow the guideline needs to be different. I've been around here long enough to know that editors engaged on policy groups have a tendency to peremptory comments and can (as you did from my perpsective) come across like a policeman I'm not fussed about that, its part and parcel of being a part of this community. However I think the way this is handled could be improved and I'll do that in the appropriate forum when I have time. I the mean time I suggest you watch the tone of your language if you want people to co-operate with the COI guideline and remember that all editors are equal on wikipedia. A tendency to peremptory judgement does not facilitate collaboration. ----Snowded TALK 06:41, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

The allegation that we created a copy of sensemaker is false. We use LimeSurvey, open source to carry out our business. Snowded has been spreading lies about that for years and seems to threaten anyone who he deems enters "his" turf with legal action (which he never does as there is no legal basis for that). So to be clear, there are no lawyers involved and from our side there never were any.

Snowded also makes a habit of accusing people to have a lack of business integrity. He does it to me several times a year. That is a very slippery claim that is easy to spread on Twitter and social media. He thus far however fails to provide any proof of such behavior. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hvgard (talkcontribs) 09:08, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

You made an exact copy of SenseMaker® using Lime Survey Harold (I see you have now self identified so I can use that name), having previously signed a development license which gave you privileged access and having been given free or discounted versions of SenseMaker® to help your company get started (evidence also available). You actively promote that as an alternative to SenseMaker® (evidence available if anyone wants it) which was the clear motivation behind your edit. You have also been spreading the myth that Cynefin was not originally created by me in its five domain form. That was disputed on wikipedia before with an anonymous editor and the citation evidence clearly showed it was a false claim. Despite that you continue to assert the position without providing any evidence. The only person I have ever accused of a lack of integrity on twitter is you and I'm more than happy to justify it. The only point which is relevant to Wikipedia is that you are clearly have a RW conflict with me personally, with Cognitive Edge and with SenseMaker®. That needs to be factored in and I suggest you accept the COI restriction. I also strongly recommend that you start to use evidence not opinion when you make statements. ----Snowded TALK 09:33, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

1) Dave you repeated your threat. Strike it. That was cute to quote yourself so I will give you some wiggle room. I will bring you up at ANI to you indefinitely blocked if you do not strike that. btw the legal threat issue has nothing to do with COI - it has to do with Wikipedia:No legal threats which is a separate policy. Jytdog (talk) 12:31, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
2) Both of you - if you guys bring your realworld dispute to article space or Talk space, you will both end up topic banned from anything having to do with your fields of professional activity. I've seen it before. So figure out how to restrain yourselves, or the community (not me) will restrain you. So if either of you bring up your RW dispute again now, in response to this, I will bring you both to ANI. If in the future either of you bring it up I will probably do the same. Jytdog (talk) 12:31, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
I explained an earlier statement which is visible to anyone, happy to strike anything but tell me which phrase you dislike, I've made a guess but feel free to extend it. Just to be very very clear, you asked me to explain the context with the other editor; I did that because you asked me to not because I wanted to. I'm confining my self to responding to comments, I'm not initiating anything and a response on my talk page can be more direct than on an article page. I will be off line for most of the rest of the day by the way. ----Snowded TALK 12:40, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
What I asked you to do, was explain why you thought Hvgard might have a COI. I did not ask you to discuss your RW dispute with him nor what you think he or his company might have done wrong. Simply writing "Like me, he has a company that provides consulting services using the Cynefin framework and other approaches. I should also make it clear that I have a RW dispute with him, which I will not go into here." That would have sufficed; you went way beyond that. As far as I am concerned, the discussion about your COI is complete for now, and you have answered my question about why you think Hvgard has a COI, so that part is done as well. I will see you on article Talk pages, and hope I do not have to come back here again to discuss your behavior. Good luck. Jytdog (talk) 13:35, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
I read it as you asking for the context so I responded! We obviously had different understanding which happens. Pleased you know have enough data.----Snowded TALK 13:38, 8 June 2015 (UTC)


Regarding this edit: I apologize for any edits of mine that you feel have not adequately contributed towards this project. Perhaps it would be better to discuss them on your or my talk page, rather than someone else's? isaacl (talk) 04:46, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

That was addressed to GoodDay not you! ----Snowded TALK 04:49, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. isaacl (talk) 04:52, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
My advice was for your benefit, Snowded. Next time WP:AGF, please. GoodDay (talk) 09:45, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
You have been told about leaving advice for other editors and not adressing content issues before GoodDay, it was one of the reasons you got blocked. You are getting back into bad habits. Nothing to do with AGF ----Snowded TALK 21:03, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

RfC: Religion in infoboxes of nations[edit]

There is an RfC that you may be interested in at Template talk:Infobox country#RfC: Religion in infoboxes of nations. Please join us and help us to determine consensus on this issue. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:27, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Hope not Hate[edit]

Why would you want to deliberately repeat the nonsense that Hope Not Hate are mainly funded by individual supporters?! Even you (as an obvious registered official supporter) would have to concede and admit that they are not! They are mainly funded by the big trade unions! [1][2] -- (talk) 19:21, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

I told you to take controversial edits to the talk page. I suggest you comply rather than speculating about my activities and memberships here which are none of your business. --Snowded TALK 19:41, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

The Signpost: 17 June 2015[edit]

The Signpost: 24 June 2015[edit]

Llandaff Cathedral[edit]

Probably a silly question but as a former Cardiff resident I added the bit about the Great Storm of 1703 but far too little info is available. I can't get to the city now but if and only if you know how find more info AND have time I'd be grateful for any pointers. Regards JRPG (talk) 22:07, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Regrettable I don't live in Cardiff an I am in New Zealand/Singapore for the next two weeks so don't have access to any text or reference books. But I will try and find out when I get back ----Snowded TALK 22:11, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks in advance and enjoy the trip. JRPG (talk) 21:49, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

On my editing to the article on UKIP[edit]

Will you please stop summarily reverting my edits to the article on UKIP by essentially making (false) accusations that I had somehow attacked you or other people personally?! You know perfectly well what you are doing amounted to assuming personal ownership of articles in order to push your particular personal political agenda, and this is against at least two main, generally agreed and published rules of Wikipedia (Wikipedia:Ownership; Wikipedia:Tendentious editing)! -- Urquhartnite (talk) 08:53, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

The subject has been discussed on the talk page and the consensus is against you. You made accusations in your edit summaries against other editors and you have repeated that error here. If you disagree then get agreement on the talk page or take it to ANI and see how your comments are received there ----Snowded TALK 08:56, 28 June 2015 (UTC)