Wikipedian death

Norwegian Wikipedian and journalist dies at 59

Jimmy Wales and Tron Øgrim. Bergen, Norway, May 2006

Norwegian Wikimedian, journalist, and author Tron Øgrim (no:User:Togrim) passed away last week. He was 59 years old.

Tron was one of the most influential persons in Norway's Marxist-Leninist movement in the sixties and seventies. He was one of the founders of the Workers' Communist Party, a party which strongly advocated the Chinese branch of communism. Tron was also central in the founding of the newspaper Klassekampen and in the publishing house Oktober.

Tron became a journalist after leaving politics in the eighties, having a technology column in the Norwegian edition of PC World. Tron was known for his distinct writing style, where he rejected standardized Norwegian and wrote just like he talked, in a working class dialect. He also wrote science fiction novels under the pseudonym Eirik Austey.

Tron was an early proponent of the Internet in Norway, traveling around Norway giving lectures. In 1995, Tron tried to get the Norwegian parliament on the Internet, claiming that “without politicians online, there is no such thing as a democratic IT policy!” Tron was also a supporter of the open source movement. In his book KVIKKSØLV!, Tron described Linux as “applied communism.”

Tron became a Wikimedian in December 2005, when libelous statements about a colleague appeared in a Norwegian (bokmål) Wikipedia article. Tron continued as a Wikipedia editor after the issue was resolved, writing about constructed languages through most of 2006. In the fall of 2006, his focus changed to Nepal generally and the history of communism in Nepal specifically (see Nepals kommunistiske parti (maoistisk) for an example of one of his articles.) Tron was known in the Norwegian wikicommunity for writing very long articles about somewhat obscure topics. Tron also cared much about smaller wikis and their progress. He was routinely posting messages about milestones at the Norwegian Village Pump, as well as participating on the Wikimedia News announcements page.

Tron was extremely important for the Norwegian wiki movement, and he was often interviewed by the press about Wikipedia. He gave a lecture about Wikipedia when Wikipedia's founder Jimbo Wales visited Norway in May 2006.

The Norwegian community, in recognition of Tron's work, decided to commemorate Tron by displaying a half-masted flag in front of the WP logo for a day. This was noticed by several Norwegian newspapers.

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