Patrick Byrne's New Job: Editing Wikipedia
Overstock.com's dipsy doodle CEO Patrick Byrne, obviously tiring of his hobby--the dull task of running a money-losing, SEC-investigated retailer--is working overtime at his new full-time occupation: editing Wikipedia and providing unsolicited advice to Wiki founder Jimbo Wales.
Yup, Byrne has just joined Wikipedia as an editor, and received a cheerful "welcome" from the online encyclopedia, giving him tips on how to be a good Wikipedia editor. (And yes, according to posts on that page, his identity as Byrne has been confirmed.) So far he has mainly devoted his energies to criticizing Wales for failing to allow full vent to his conspiracy theories and personal vendettas in the pages of Wikipedia.
Anyway, perhaps Byrne can put those "how to write an article" recommendations to good use at his hobby, Overstock.com. OMuse, the Wikipedia wanna-be that Byrne created to provide a feeble excuse for hiring a full-time cyberstalker, Judd Bagley, has become an even more conspicuous embarrassment than usual recently.
So far this month, enthusiastic OMuse users have created a grand total of two new articles, "Autobiography of a Regular Person" and "How to Grow Books."
Perhaps Byrne could use his experiences at his hobby to write an article entitled, "How to Run Your Company Into the Ground." Judging from his company's recent share price decline--it has dropped 50% since the end of October--he is amply qualified to write such an article and it would be fascinating reading I am sure. He could include a passage on the formal SEC investigation of his company and himself, and perhaps include the full text of his subpoena.
Byrne expounded on his latest conspiracy theory in an interview with a local Utah newspaper, saying:
"The people who run Wikipedia are using Wikipedia to perpetuate a cover-up," he said. "(Wales is) at the top of Wikipedia, and he's either hijacking these articles or has his stooges hijacking these articles."Hey, what more can I say? Patrick Byrne is not a perennial on "Worst CEO" lists for nothing.
© 2007 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.
Wall Street Versus America was published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its Amazon.com listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site, gary-weiss.com.