Interviewed Jimmy Wales, Co-Founder of Wikipedia

I have to say, one of the coolest things I’ve gotten to do so far in journalism was this interview. Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, was in Israel last month for Wikipedia’s annual conference. He had a lot of interesting things to say about Wikipedia, journalism, and the tent protests going on in Israel. Check it out!

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Photo by Andrew Lih via Wikimedia Commons

5 thoughts on “Interviewed Jimmy Wales, Co-Founder of Wikipedia

  1. Laura, I think you meant to say “co-founder of Wikipedia”. Dr. Larry Sanger is the one who spearheaded the idea of an openly-edited wiki encyclopedia; Sanger named it “Wikipedia”; Sanger issued the first public call for participation; and Sanger championed many of the early guidelines and policies that still govern the Wikipedia community today. Wales found some wiki freeware and installed it on a server that his company owned. The idea of Wales as “the founder” is rather preposterous, in light of the factual history.

    • This sheds some light on what you are mentioning. In fact, it’s within Jimmy Wales’ own Wikipedia definition:
      “Controversy
      Further information: History of Wikipedia#Early roles of Wales and Sanger
      Wales has asserted that he is the sole founder of Wikipedia,[6] and has publicly disputed Sanger’s designation as a co-founder. Sanger and Wales were identified as co-founders at least as early as September 2001 by The New York Times and as founders in Wikipedia’s first press release in January 2002.[39][40] In August of that year, Wales identified himself as “co-founder” of Wikipedia.[41] Sanger assembled on his personal webpage an assortment of links that appear to confirm the status of Sanger and Wales as co-founders.[5][42] For example, Sanger and Wales are historically cited or described in early news citations and press releases as co-founders.[5] Wales was quoted by The Boston Globe as calling Sanger’s claim “preposterous” in February 2006,[43] and called “the whole debate silly” in an April 2009 interview.[44]
      In late 2005, Wales edited his own biographical entry on the English Wikipedia. Writer Rogers Cadenhead drew attention to logs showing that in his edits to the page, Wales had removed references to Sanger as the co-founder of Wikipedia.[45][46] Sanger commented that “having seen edits like this, it does seem that Jimmy is attempting to rewrite history. But this is a futile process because in our brave new world of transparent activity and maximum communication, the truth will out.”[20][47] Wales was also observed to have modified references to Bomis in a way that was characterized as downplaying the sexual nature of some of his former company’s products.[15][20] Though Wales argued that his modifications were solely intended to improve the accuracy of the content,[20] he apologized for editing his own biography, a practice generally discouraged on Wikipedia.[20][47]”

  2. That’s pretty awesome that you’d actually change the title, Laura! Meanwhile, did Jerusalem Post Lite get permission from either Maurice Lacroix or the original photographer for the promotional photo of Jimbo in the charcoal gray jacket?

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