By Gregory Kohs
If you’ve heard of Jimmy Wales, there’s little doubt that you know him for his 2001 role in helping to set up Wikipedia, a site beloved by common folk trying to settle bar bets, while loathed for its inaccuracy by many in the academic world. However, Wikipedia is in decline — long touted as the world’s 5th or 6th most popular global website — with a 6% drop in American readers in April, it has slipped down to the 16th most popular site among U.S. web users (according to Quantcast). Jimmy Wales’ star was diminishing, so what’s a web celebrity to do? One might say that Jimbo (as he’s affectionately called on Wikipedia) decided to hitch his wagon to another horse, in order to stay in the global spotlight and make a fair bit of cash in the process. Who was this new engine of Jimmy Wales’ resurgance? None other than
…continue reading How Jimmy Wales rode Tony Blair’s coattails
by Gregory Kohs
On Saturday, October 18, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales and his politically-connected third wife, Kate Garvey, were in Dublin, Ireland to deliver separate talks at the prestigious “One Young World” 2014 Summit. The equivalent value for both of them to attend was approximately $5,400, including taxes, but of course for them the conference waived any registration fees. In fact, according to Henny Hamilton, the conference’s PR coordinator, One Young World merely paid for round-trip airfare and one night’s hotel lodging for the duo, and no speaking fee was paid to them.
Considering what the conference got for that airfare and hotel bill, it’s difficult to say whether it was worth it. Garvey, introduced as “a fantastic woman” to a light smattering of applause, was scheduled to speak to the audience about ambitious new objectives of the United Nations. But in actuality, the moment after she
…continue reading Another Day, Another Junket
By Andreas Kolbe
Wikipedia, the crowdsourced online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, has often been credited with “democratising knowledge”. But it’s a strange sort of democracy. Wikipedia has a near-monopoly online: almost any search engine query will return a Wikipedia article as a top result. Most internet users only read the first search result. And in fact, users often do not even have to click through to Wikipedia. More and more material from Wikipedia is displayed on Google’s own search results pages, thanks to the Google Knowledge Graph panel and Google’s new snippet overlay. No wonder that there is such great interest from the most diverse parties to influence Wikipedia’s content.
News from Azerbaijan
A case in point is the government of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is an oil- and gas-rich former Soviet republic that has for more than two decades been ruled by the Aliyev dynasty. Likened in leaked US diplomatic cables to a mafia don,
…continue reading Wikipedia – the new ministry of truth