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 Andreas Kolbe, with input from Eric Barbour
Wikipedia is the encyclopedia anyone can edit – anonymously, under an assumed name. Credentials are unnecessary. The Wikimedia Foundation does not even make any provision to verify the credentials of actual subject matter experts who are happy to edit under their real names. As a result, such experts have no more standing in Wikipedia than any other anonymous contributor. At the same time, contributors are free to claim qualifications they do not have – sometimes with amusing (or terrifying, depending on your point of view) results.
Wikipedia is also one of the top Google links for almost any topic under the sun. Enter anything at all in Google, and a Wikipedia article is usually found near the top of the search listing – a reflection of the site’s top-10 Alexa ranking. This visibility, combined with the ease with which anyone can change content at any time, makes
…continue reading Wikipedia’s Balkanisation
For an overview of this story, please see last week’s post, Jimmy Wales in: The Dictator and I.
The following timeline, compiled by a group of Wikipediocracy site trustees, chronicles some less-well-known facts about the development of the Kazakh-language Wikipedia, its ties to the Kazakhstan government, the Wikimedia Foundation, Jimmy Wales, Tony Blair, and other related persons and entities. We hope that this raw data will aid further discussion of this topic in the New Year. To view or participate in a forum discussion on this topic, please click here. If you have additional relevant information not included here, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2007 16 January 2007 – Jimmy Wales is named a Young Global Leader by The World Economic Forum in Davos, as is his eventual wife, Kate Garvey, formerly Tony Blair’s diary secretary. Tony Blair also speaks at the event, his third consecutive annual visit. (Blair will become co-chairman of the World
…continue reading Jimmy Wales, Kazakhstan, Tony Blair and Wikipedia: A Timeline