- 1 SW Site Re-Org of Navigation
- 2 Discussion about front page, autumn 2005
- 3 Comments
- 4 Is there any evidence to support paid discussion board posts?
- 5 requests for comments regarding RFE-RL's reprint policy
- 6 Notice of ongoing spin: a black rapper from Iraq. As featured on Fox News.
- 7 Fixing URLs pointing to Archives of the PRWatch Forum
- 8 Help Page needs update
- 9 =SW funding
- 10 Note to Bob/John/Sheldon, et al.
- 11 SW
- 12 Request for comments
- 13 Change to Edit Summary Box - Adding a Brief Note Now Compulsory
- 14 new
- 15 SW: Typo
- 16 Register Links Broken
- 17 Intro
- 18 SW: Broken links for PRWatch and BanksterUSA on SourceWatch home page - fix broken link
- 19 Front page material: Funding Denial
I have moved the portal bar from the top of the page as part of the SourceWatch reorganization of navigation information. The portals are prominently displayed in the left column and the portal bar is also at the bottom of the page. Lisa Graves, Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy, publisher of SourceWatch, PRWatch, and BanksterUSA (December 22, 2009)
Discussion about front page, autumn 2005
FYI: On the topic of current / "hot topics" around the globe, there are:
- WIKINEWS (main page).
- "Current Events" in the Wikipedia (today's date at top of page, with descending order throughout current month, then archived months, etc.).
Although I missed the "action" on this, I do have a question: Is there not room somewhere on the SW "front page" for a hot link "SW Recent Topics" or "SW Hot List" to offer a link to a page listing things like Peace Vigil in Crawford, Texas and Cindy Sheehan, Treasongate: Beyond Karl Rove, Pat Robertson, Judith Miller, and other "recent" (within past few months) topics previously featured on the SW page without presenting a full paragraph on them, just the link ... It could be as simple as a regular SW article page that could be kept updated based on current events (and items removed from SW page).
I know that the "Recent Changes" page should do that, but that list could possibly be overwhelming during those times we are all making numerous edits and that selection to view 50 or 100 items fills the page. Do we know how often (besides users) that this page is accessed? Just thinking outside "user friendly".
Just suggesting! ;-) Artificial Intelligence 07:49, 24 Aug 2005 (EDT)
Yes I agree we need a better front page that highlights a little more of the diversity of what's being added than the rather daunting recent changes page. One of the things on my list for today is to have a look at Wikipedia's Village pump http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WP:VP and to have a look at re-organising and simplifying the lists on the front page and beyond. One thing I'm trying to keep on top of is doing a weekly summary of SW work by each Wed as a brief blog post on the PRWatch site. The primary purpose is to encourage more of the 16,000+ subscribers to to the weekly Spin bulletin to up to date with and hopefully contribute to SW articles. Be back later today.--Bob Burton 18:18, 24 Aug 2005 (EDT)
Great job, Bob (hey, that rhymes!) ... much, much better and certainly more useful and appealing.
A couple other "hot topics" perhaps to include are peak oil, Able Danger, and, of course, Treasongate and the war in Iraq, all of which involve the public relations industry in one way or another. Casual visitors to SW may not be aware that those articles are covered here.
As you mentioned above, beside being currently in the news, many of these topics are have both long-term and yet are ongoing, as are others which you, Maynard, and others are more aware of than I. Not quite sure how you would handle that without the front page becoming a list of "hot topics".
Regardless ... Spot on, Bob! :-) Artificial Intelligence 02:58, 26 Aug 2005 (EDT)
Tks for the feedback -- I've added your other suggestions in -- in the next few days I'll add a few links and tweaks that will make the right hand column a little longer - so I don't think there's a problem with having the list on the left hand side as long as it is, or even perhaps a little longer. As much as anything it is a bit of an experiment to see if better organisation of the front page helps entice more contributors in and make it a bit easier to get started for those interested. (Though bearing in mind most SW readers come to a particular page from a specific Google or other search so the appearance of individual pages is more important in may respects). I'll have a bit more of a look around how Wikipedia does its updating too - though I'm mindful of keeping our approach unique too given the scale advantages of W over SW.
Would appreciate it if you have any thoughts on fine tuning the List of lists page too - I've only done a quick cut at that but think it still needs a bit of work. Cheers --Bob Burton 05:40, 26 Aug 2005 (EDT)
OK, Katrina has had her week on the front page. It's time to bump her down to "in the news", remove the Crawford Peace Vigil which ended a couple weeks ago; and I nominate for front page coverage, Bush administration cronyism and incompetence
--Maynard 09:33, 13 Sep 2005 (EDT)
Second the nomination ... but can it ever leave once posted? It is one of those "endless" issues (at least until 2008 -- possibly). Artificial Intelligence 09:39, 13 Sep 2005 (EDT)
Oh yeah; he's just warming up for a "grand finalee" <g> and will bury this issue with some other astonishment as soon as he can. Heck, if the press doesn't lighten up on him, he'll have to pre-empt somebody.
Is there any evidence to support paid discussion board posts?
I have noticed a striking similarity of posts across a couple of boards, with swift articulate yet empty responses to certain issues, and most recently, on Democraticunderground, a rash of posts that seem very much like what I've seen on open sites like yahoo--posts with dismissive catch phrases rather than content like "YAWN," "That's old news," or "conspiracy theorist" for ideas that have mainstream credible evidence, and have been widely discussed on that board before.
It could well be people of other political persuasions messing with the board, but the characteristic of their responses is so consistent, and so often ignores or grossly misstates the content of the post they are responding to, that it seems like disinformation or an attempt to shape the debate.
With things like viral marketing being and fake letters to the editor, it doesn't seem like a big leap to say people are paid to shape the discourse on discussion boards. I'm just wondering if there is any hard evidence for this.
Professor Smartass 
- Not that I know of - a few instances of how PR/corporates are seeking to engages in the blogging world over at the Blogging article but not quite the same as what you are asking about.--Bob Burton 15:30, 4 Oct 2005 (EDT)
There is in fact hard evidence of what you're talking about. They have a name for it. A person who does this is often referred to as a "troll". And for our purposes, a paid troll would be among efforts at astroturfing. Their tactic is often to join forums that oppose theirs or their organization's viewpoints for the sole purpose of damaging morale. Otherwise it's to criticize market competition. They can get very slick with their approach, being subtle, sounding like one of the group but constantly raising questions that are talking points for their firm. However there are also many people that would do this for free, being agent provocateurs for the sake of anonymous sadism. Good luck trying to separate the two.
CONGRATULATIONS TO US!
- "A Great Resource and Brilliant Idea," Eric Umansky.com, December 2, 2005:
- Maybe everybody else already knows about it, but a lefty non-profit called the Center for Media and Democracy has started something called SourceWatch, a wiki devoted cataloging "people, issues, and groups shaping the public agenda," with an emphasis on "public relations firms, front groups, industry-friendly experts and think tanks."
- However much the language might grate you, in practice the pages are fact-centric and full of undernoticed nuggets. For example, check out its comprehensive page on the Lincoln Group.
- It is, in a sense, group journalism, a truly wonderful use of the Web." -- December 02, 2005.
requests for comments regarding RFE-RL's reprint policy
Their own expansive default permissions for republishing web-content other than their Internet-based live and archived broadcasts is:
- RFE/RL welcomes the re-use, republication, and redistribution of text content published on this website. We also welcome the reposting of RFE/RL content to websites, mailing lists, newsgroups, and databases on a regular basis.
- When re-using RFE/RL content, we require that you credit RFE/RL by including the following information with each RFE/RL article:
- Copyright (c) 2006. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
- If choosing excerpts from an article, we require that you note that the material is an excerpt and refrain from altering the meaning, name or integrity of the product. RFE/RL reserves the right to revoke permission for use of its content at any time.
This taken by itself seems to indicate that reposting large unedited blocks of their content is allowable, but the next section of the page adds a bit of grayness:
- RFE/RL welcomes links to its home page, specific articles, and other pages on its website. The site is uniquely designed to present news and information in as simple and impartial a fashion as possible. As a nonprofit dedicated to media objectivity and impartiality, RFE/RL cannot permit third parties to present its content with advertising, logos, mastheads or other content unrelated to RFE/RL.
The subsection is titled "Links", but the last sentence seems to refer to all of their content, but this is contradictory to the previous section, if understood that way, because any "reposting of RFE/RL content to websites" is likely to include "logos, mastheads or other content unrelated to RFE/RL".
Presently, the article I was thinking about using a large unedited block of is
- WEEK AT A GLANCE (2-8 May 2005), RFE/RL Reports - 10 May 2005, Volume 5, Number 17
Specifically, the article:
- "UZBEK POLICE CRUSH PROTEST IN TASHKENT"; By Daniel Kimmage
Maybe publishing the content within a clearly demarcated block (table or division with borders) is suitable?
--Hugh Manatee 19:41, 1 Jan 2006 (EST)
- Hi Hugh, their acknowledgement provisos are entirely appropriate but I don't really follow their links rationale. As you point out all sites have some identifiers if not advertising. It is also worth pointing out that the fair use provisions of copyright allow extracts to be cited with acknowledgement. (Some say a fair use extract can be a max of 200 words, other say the upper limit is 500 words, depending on what proportion it is of the original work). So if you were proposing something that would fit under the fair use provisions I'd say you can go ahead. cheers --Bob Burton 05:44, 2 Jan 2006 (EST)
Notice of ongoing spin: a black rapper from Iraq. As featured on Fox News.
Fixing URLs pointing to Archives of the PRWatch Forum
I just ran across an invalid pointer to the old PRWatch Forum in the MEMRI stub.
There are probably many more on this site.
The differences between the original URL and the new valid archive URL is the following:
Note that "_thread_id_number_" is not a literal, but a variable, and should be a positive whole number.
--hugh_manateee 03:09, 27 Apr 2006 (EDT)
Help Page needs update
Source Watch blows the whistle on all sources ? What about itself ? Who pays SW's bills ? follow the Money....
- SourceWatch is a project of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). Income for CMD comes from indivials contributions, book sakes and foundations. A list of the foundations is at http://www.prwatch.org/finances.html --Bob Burton 21:16, 23 Jun 2006 (EDT)
Note to Bob/John/Sheldon, et al.
I am using the Cologne Blue skin right now and just noticed that there are no visible links here to PR Watch or Congresspedia. Is that an oversight? Artificial Intelligence 08:10, 26 October 2006 (EDT)
SourceWatch is one big smear campaign against conservative views. SourceWatch should be watched!
SourceWatch has been exposed! Can anyone say anti-Christian anti-conservative agenda.. Hello!
I know it was a radical move to rollback your front page; but I wanted your attention; and knew that you could restore it easily enough.
What's the rush on getting off the Crawford vigil which times out in a week anyhow? And, what's the value in echoing the standard party line of removing Chavez? or the value in magnifying Robertson at all? His use of the word "assassinate" may be a little special, but who doesn't know yet that he is totally wacko anyway?
Please take a few breaths and consider just these points:
- the change of front page does diminish the importance of the vigil, while it continues to grow;
- it does echo THE PARTY LINE of removing Chavez, and thereby give that theme prominence and support;
- it does provide an additional microphone and acknowledgement of, and encouragement for, Robertson; undeservingly so;
- the standard bunch of rot-wing wackos will affirm Robertson's view here anyway; so who gains in SourceWatch even noticing this event, no less promoting it on the front page??
--Maynard 23:27, 23 Aug 2005 (EDT)
Sheldon reverted the change before I got back here and had time to reflect on your points. None the less my original thinking was:
- I'm aiming to change the front page each week otherwise it looks too static; as most of the articles highlighted on page 1 are long-running stories, there is no perfect time to drop them;
- I don't see updating the page as reflecting adversely on the vigil as most readers of those pages will arrive via a Google search and last time I looked we were on page 1 of a Google search;
- I'm not persuaded that ignoring Roberston's comments is really appropriate. Even if he is well known within the US, he is little known outside. And to those of us outside the US his comments do say something about debate (sic) within the US. Plus there was a well developed page on him in SW largely compiled by AI and a few others over the last 18 months; I saw now as a good opportunity to showcase their work at a time when it is relevant to those arriving at the front page of SW.
So I have left it stand. Cheers --Bob Burton 07:32, 24 Aug 2005 (EDT)
OK. Thanks, --Maynard 07:45, 24 Aug 2005 (EDT)
Request for comments
Change to Edit Summary Box - Adding a Brief Note Now Compulsory
With agreement from myself and Sheldon, Neoconned has added a small change to SourceWatch so that it is now compulsory for contributors to post some brief note in the "summary" bar after making a change.
From now on, if the edit summary box is blank, or if it just contains the section title, this extension pops up a message box saying "Please give an edit summary" and bounces you back to the editing screen.
There are a couple of reasons for this change:
- As both the number of contributors and contributions per user increases, it becomes harder to follow the changes if users don't add a note in the edit summary box. It will make my job far easier rather than having to try and check each edit;
- It is a courtesy for other contributors and can help with weeding out the more subtle vandalism that occasionally occurs.
Thanks for your help. --Bob Burton 05:34, 16 November 2006 (EST)
- I've now implemented the extension as described above by Bob.
- I've added one significant enhancement: a dropdown box next to the edit summary field which can be used to quickly select a number of common edit summaries. This however is not intended as a licence to use misleading descriptions! The list at the moment is a first stab, if anyone has any suggestions for other common edit summaries to add to the dropdown, please list them here. --Neoconned 13:02, 16 November 2006 (EST)
- Also note that right now there are some fairly trivial ways that one can get around the edit summary enforcement... I'm going to gradually tighten it up over the next few days.--Neoconned 13:44, 16 November 2006 (EST)
- I've now made it so that contributions to SourceWatch pages automatically have "SW" prefixed to their edit summaries, while those to Congresspedia have "CP" prefixed. Hopefully this will be a helpful feature. When time permits I intend to add a SW/CP filter to the Recent Changes page, and then it will be really useful. :=) --Neoconned 06:16, 17 November 2006 (EST)
- There's a minor bug with the SW/CP prefixes to the edit summaries. If you add a message to a talk page using the "+" button, then the automatically generated section title contains the prefix too. This is because it uses the edit summary to generate the section title. So the code is performing as expected, but it's not exactly desirable behaviour. It's not a big deal so i'll leave it for now while i think about what to do. --Neoconned 12:14, 17 November 2006 (EST)
- A note about today's changes to the code. I've overhauled the list of canned summaries, adding several new ones, and making other ones more specific. I also attempted to fix the bug with the "+" button on talk pages (described above) - and then realized that it appears to have already been fixed serverside! So I rolled back my fix. --Neoconned 00:24, 24 November 2006 (EST)
I am new here. Where do I start, what do I do? --jonasdr 21:09, 15 October 2007 (EDT)
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Here, they're helping protects the rights of all Americans... Should be "protect". Esp 19:18, 23 December 2008 (EST)
Register Links Broken
The register link on this front page doesn't work, it takes you to a dead page on the CMD's site I think. Also, the link is broken in other places as well - the only one that works is on the SourceWatch:About page. In particular, when you click "edit this page" & it asks you to log in or register, this link is also broken. - Erland 07:29, 30 March 2009 (EDT)
The frontpage says "a directory of the people, organizations and issues shaping the public agenda." Should one add "in the english speaking countries" or "in anglo-american countries"? Nothing wrong in that, it's just nice to point it out to international readers. (Which I can attest to, also find sourcewatch interesting :-) Briggins 09:37, 23 July 2009 (EDT)
The links for PRWatch and BanksterUSA in the large blue box at the top of the SourceWatch homepage are broken, and editing of the homepage does not appear to be allowed. The incorrect URLs are:
These URLs should not have the vertical bar. The correct versions would be:
Please fix. Sebastos 04:33, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Thank you very very much for catching this formatting problem. I really appreciate it and have fixed it. You are very good to flag this for us!! Lisa Lisa Graves
Front page material: Funding Denial
Graham Readfearn has a great article out today at DeSmogBlog. This sort of corruption and subverting of the public interest is primo SW material, and should be on the front page, IMO. 00:45, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
- Suggested listening: Free the Climate Scientists 02:44, 1 March 2012 (UTC)