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Interview: Ask Jimmy Wales What You Will

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the question-and-answer-time dept.

Wikipedia 161

The last time we talked to Jimmy Wales Wikipedia had just reached the 300,000 article mark, and there was some question about whether it would be a viable competitor to World Book or Encyclopedia Britannica. Things have changed a little since then. Wikipedia now includes over 26 million articles in 285 languages, and Wales is advising the UK government on making taxpayer-funded academic research available for free online. Jimmy has agreed to answer your questions about internet freedom and the enormous growth of Wikipedia. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post.

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161 comments

Jimmy.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122941)

Do you like being named after a country?

Re:Jimmy.. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44125259)

Does the complete corruption infesting Wikipedia's administrative structure bother you yet?

Honest question!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122945)

How frequently do you masturbate?

When will Wikipedia accept Bitcoin donations? (1)

ribuck (943217) | about 10 months ago | (#44122987)

When will Wikipedia accept Bitcoin donations?

Re:When will Wikipedia accept Bitcoin donations? (4, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | about 10 months ago | (#44123195)

On a more serious note, Wikipedia, quite clearly knocked off Encarta and Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedias themselves evolved out of a need to catalog the immense amount of knowledge that existed.

What do you imagine to be the technology or concept that will eventually push Wikipedia(as it currently exists) off the throne of general knowledge?

Re:When will Wikipedia accept Bitcoin donations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123269)

When will Wikipedia accept Bitcoin donations?

On a more serious note[...]

I see what you did there. Well-played.

Re:When will Wikipedia accept Bitcoin donations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123449)

Perhaps it will be ever increasing storage capacity. Right now huge and powerful servers are required to store and distribute all this information. The average cell phone of today is more powerful than the most powerful computers used only a few decades ago and used while sending man to the moon. The computer of tomorrow maybe able to easily store and manage most general, well established, knowledge and allow users to quickly search through it without the need for an Internet connection. Periodic updates might be available or perhaps an Internet connection for more details or for cutting edge, more controversial, information, to sorta introduce or explain the controversy.

Or maybe if we ever develop a method of brain communication (or improve what we already have) the information might have to be transcoded in a way that supports the machine to brain interface so that the brain can more directly look up information? Text might not be the best way to store it for direct brain retrieval, there might be some compatibility issues.

Re:When will Wikipedia accept Bitcoin donations? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 10 months ago | (#44124041)

What do you imagine to be the technology or concept that will eventually push Wikipedia(as it currently exists) off the throne of general knowledge?

Knowlege in pill form. Or so it will go according to the lore and mythology of that hallowed paragon of entertainment "The Jetsons [wikipedia.org] ."

Re:When will Wikipedia accept Bitcoin donations? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44124531)

Honestly? Probably the same system made less messy and easier to browse, and likely caused by frustration over the elitist admins that control many areas of Wikipedia like dictators, no technological upgrade or concepts needed.

The way Wikipedia is now, you either need to know the things you need to find, or know words to get there.
That is a pretty big-ass fault in design. It needs to be bookified more to actually be really useful for even more people.
To be able to just skim through the entire Wiki in a logical way would be very useful.
The Portals list page is pretty useful, but also pretty enormous.
And it isn't 100% coverage of interest topics either, just the major parts of human culture, media, science, etc. Lesser interests and niche are just not there.
The Portals [wikipedia.org] are a pretty good place to get a good solid view of formal media and culture, but that isn't the only defining things of a contemporary society, or even long-lost one.

It has a long way to go to being as useful as it could be without either pissing off large numbers of people on either sides.
But I think everyone can agree that Deletionists can fuck off.

Re:When will Wikipedia accept Bitcoin donations? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44124599)

Wikipedia hasn't knocked off anything. When you look something up in Encarta or Britannica, you can be sure that it's accurate. With Wikipedia, you can't believe a single word.

Re:When will Wikipedia accept Bitcoin donations? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 10 months ago | (#44124681)

If you honestly believe the name makes everything in Britannica true, you've made a serious mistake. There was a study a couple years ago that suggested for major topics wikipedia is both more in depth, and has approximately the same factual error/word rate.

  You can't simply make a claim from personal incredulity anymore about Wikipedia. Society has moved past that.

Flamebait? (5, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 10 months ago | (#44123365)

On a more serious note, I'd like to ask Mr. Wales why most Wikipedia "editors" are "Class A" douchbags. Especially the "Admins".

This will be modded "flamebait" but it's a serious question.

We need your money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44122991)

Is it better to see giant Jimmy Wales harassing your mercilessly for money when you're the actual Jimmy Wales, or worse?

I'd rather have google ads than those donation campaigns.

Re:We need your money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123219)

Why don't you have your own advertising network and sell off advertising on pages, this way you could have a much higher quality of related adverts, not have to deal with google/middle man, and you'd improve the value of all of the pages by having links to things that were at least relative (rather than donation pleas which I must admit I ignore like a lot).

It's free for me to click on an advert, and the people getting the traffic/high visibility/related traffic are much more likely to benefit from clicks. This way you get sponsored, and the general riff-raff can be helping do so without even really realising they are.

The major benefit of doing it this way is that you can make sure the adverts all fit in much better to the page content/design of Wikipedia, and so you'll get higher click throughs than Google do on their network.

Sounds like a win all round.

Re:We need your money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123249)

I sure wouldn't. It takes one click to dismiss Jimbo's appeal for the rest of the pledge drive.
But I donate too.

Re:We need your money (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 10 months ago | (#44124061)

I'd rather have google ads than those donation campaigns.

Don't be drammatic, they come along once in a blue moon.

Re:We need your money (0)

mmcxii (1707574) | about 10 months ago | (#44124251)

they come along once in a blue moon.

Care to cite that? I do a fair amount of astronomical observations and to date I haven't noticed any correlations between lunar cycles and the pledge campaigns.

NY Times magazine article (4, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | about 10 months ago | (#44123013)

A NY Times Sunday Magazine article [nytimes.com] was published about you today. I thought it was reasonably balnced telling good and bad things happening in your life recently. Would you like correct any misconceptions in this article?

Re:NY Times magazine article (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123495)

You clearly want to have sex with Mr. Wale. Your comment is so clearly a "cum-on". You seem to assume that Mr. Wale is homosexual like you. Mr. Wale is not a homosexual, though he does regularly engage in anal sex, most notably with pubecent boys (he requires "grass on the field"). Mr. Wale likes to unload his ample supply of semen on a young boy's face. Sometimes he spews on a boy's "privates" and than masturbates them to climax. It is the Wikipedia way.

Really the creator? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123019)

Don't you feel ashamed for getting all the credit of "inventing Wikipedia" when in fact you didn't really create it?

Re:Really the creator? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123295)

Sanger left before Wikipedia got good.
Check out the Wikipedia articles on Wikipedia and Larry Sanger--he gets the credit he deserves.

Why are you a vigilante? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123029)

Why did you try to find Eric Snowdon's editor account [examiner.com] , a clear violation of Wikipedia rules?

Why do you assume he is guilty, and thus worthy of outing, when you have not been privy to all of the evidence pro- or con- his actions (and whether they constitute a crime), since you are not sitting on the Jury at his trial?

Re:Why are you a vigilante? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123257)

wow.

Thanks for posting this. I hope some of the folks with accounts will mod this up so it is asked.

Re:Why are you a vigilante? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123839)

Why do you assume he is guilty

I personally think in general Snowden is an "innocent party" - a hero, in fact. Discussion of questions surrounding identity, famous people in the news, editing of Wikipedia, and so on are all well within the scope of discussions about how to improve the encyclopedia. One of the important roles that we play in the world is to encourage and emphasize openness, honesty, and transparency.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:21, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Re:Why are you a vigilante? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44124283)

Appeal to authority.

Re:Why are you a vigilante? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44124861)

That makes no sense.

Full disclosure where due (0)

trifish (826353) | about 10 months ago | (#44123081)

Every user has the full right to know that the content may have been written by a 6-year-old child, an insane person, troll, or the subject's competitor or another kind of enemy.

On the homepage you boldly say "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit".

Why then, on the individual article pages, you keep that fact a secret? The tagline is merely: "The free encyclopedia."

There was a change made to rectify that, but some "admins" quickly reverted the change. Can you explain why?

Re:Full disclosure where due (3, Interesting)

cupantae (1304123) | about 10 months ago | (#44123297)

This question is such nonsense. Who's keeping it a secret? There's an [edit] link above every section of every article. A tagline isn't a full description of an object.

Also, the fact that people track changes on articles, with lots of people tracking popular and worthwhile pages, means that the quality is high on most pages that matter. They're also locked when necessary. It is very easy to tell roughly how reliable a given page is, and starred pages are always good. If I only heard a description of Wikipedia, I would guess that it's open to serious abuse and misinformation, but in fact, the system works.

Re:Full disclosure where due (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 10 months ago | (#44123305)

I think I can answer that one.
1. Free means free as in speech. It's not necessary to clarify that detail in a title. Anyone interested can read more about wikipedia on wikipedia.
2. Brevity is crucial. Since the title of individual pages is incorporated, it's natural to sacrifice some of the text to squeeze it in.

As an adendum, I think Jimmy Wales has more or less sworn off the work of actually managing wikipedia and its content, and has instead relegated himself as a neutral final arbiter of disputes among people managing the site.

Re:Full disclosure where due (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123341)

how tired are you of Stephen Colbert's shennanigans [wikipedia.org] ?!

Re:Full disclosure where due (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44124561)

Try the uncyclopedia [wikia.com] if you want an intellectual Somalia.

Trajan was born in Hispania which meant he should have been good at salsa , bullfighting and football. However Trajan was always keener to spend more time in the gymnasium where he would go for sweaty naked work outs with like-minded men. This lead to Trajan being called 'Toro Rosso' as he would always emerge from the local Roman baths looking very red and would charge around china shops singing "I am beautiful, no matter what you say". Trajan's father thought it was about time 'Traj' got into the local legion and went off to do some fighting.

Deletionists (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123085)

Do you feel they are a problem? If so, what should be done?

http://milowent.blogspot.com/2011/03/wikipedia-deletionists-delete-article.html

Re:Deletionists (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 10 months ago | (#44123337)

Do you feel they are a problem? If so, what should be done?

http://milowent.blogspot.com/2011/03/wikipedia-deletionists-delete-article.html

{{subst:prod|This comment duplicates thousands of other comments all over the internet}}

But seriously, what constitutes signal, and what constitutes noise is a very complex question that can't really be answered by arbitrarily categorizing people into "deletionists" and "completionists". Some things, like hoaxes, ads, and self-promotion, hinder informed-ness, and some things are really boring and minute, but informative.

Re:Deletionists (1)

neminem (561346) | about 10 months ago | (#44124219)

I don't think anyone, even the most rabid inclusionist, would argue that statement. *Anyone* (other than the troll that put it up) would agree that hoaxes and ads should be deleted, speedily if possible. Inclusionists (and yes, I know it's a range, not a binary, but most people generally categorize themselves as one or the other to some extent) just feel that legitimate, accurate articles deserve to exist mostly regardless of notability. Even they would generally agree that a "band" consisting of two guys in their garage who had never played a real concert for anyone but their moms doesn't deserve to continue to exist on wikipedia, but many, myself included, would argue that there's no need to delete a page for a band that has a few hundred followers in their home town, even if they've never made it big, changed the nature of anything, or released any cds.

Re:Deletionists (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 10 months ago | (#44124613)

Ah, but the secret is, what reason to we have to believe that what's in that article is true? When the knowledge becomes so esoteric as to have not a single published source describing it, is it really knowledge(that is to say a substantiated belief) and not data? No matter what criteria you use to separate the helpful from the helpful, something will fall into a gray area.

Suppose we have an article on, say, "i kan reed" that suggests he is the legitimate heir to the throne of England. Since no one really knows shit about me, who can contest that fact? Notability from published sources doesn't just establish existence, it provides a means of verification.

Re:Deletionists (1)

neminem (561346) | about 10 months ago | (#44124715)

I just lost the game. I'm amazed I didn't lose it previously, as the article about the game is the quintessential example of something notable that kept getting deleted for non-notability and/or nonverifiability. I'd argue personally that if a bunch of people are talking about a band on the internet, that's probably good enough evidence that the band isn't a fake, unless someone offers proof that it is. But that's not wikipedia's way, and whatever, I can live with it. It does, however, make me far happier editing tvtropes (where "There Is No Such Thing As Notability" is an official rule) than wikipedia.

In any case, I would also argue that notability and verifiability, while related, are not the same. There are lot of things that are completely verifiable, that deletionists would still argue shouldn't be on wikipedia.

Collaboration with National Libraries (3, Interesting)

robcfg (1005359) | about 10 months ago | (#44123087)

I'd like to ask if there's the possibility of collaborating with National Libraries in scanning material (specially +25 year books) and let people access them. I know there's a lot of material just gathering dust and I see a potential for collaboration.

I got a good one (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123093)

Hey Jimmy, can you spare a tenner?

Editing of Information (4, Interesting)

sylivin (2964093) | about 10 months ago | (#44123149)

Wikipedia has become so large that students and youth in particular deem it the official truth. As such governments, companies, and individuals will constantly try to spin that to their own advantage.

Do you believe you will ever be able to reconcile with governments in regards to information they deem classified showing up on Wikipedia and private citizens that consider articles about them to be libel? Or, perhaps, is that just a fight you will need to struggle against for all eternity?

distortion and censoring of information (2)

iggymanz (596061) | about 10 months ago | (#44123217)

There have been several worthwhile articles that were removed just because people are under the mistaken impression that most human knowledge is on the internet, and that if they couldn't find a linkable source sometime didn't exist.

This foolishness has crippled wikipedia's usefulness and credibility.

Re:distortion and censoring of information (0)

Elbereth (58257) | about 10 months ago | (#44123857)

Oh, please. Wikipedia doesn't discriminate against offline sources; in fact, it encourages their use. The problem that you're coming up against is notability. Notability is established by adding sources -- online or offline -- to an article. Completely unsourced articles are essentially useless, because there's no verifiability, only original research. If you want to publish original research, put it on your blog. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia; does not publish original research.

Re:distortion and censoring of information (3)

iggymanz (596061) | about 10 months ago | (#44124087)

Oh please, you actually bring up the third problem, the cry of "not notable" in the minds of a culturally ignorant young person who only relies on search engine counts to determine notability.

I was of course referring to articles with offline sources!

"Notability" in the minds of most of the young internet users means they find all kinds of information on the net, but they are too lazy to get off their rear end and research and discover just how notable subjects were in past decades. They only take the view of their own culture in the "reality" created on the net and mass media.

this disgusting attitude harms wikipedia, important topics have been deleted.

Re:distortion and censoring of information (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44124113)

whiiiiiiine, whiiiiiine, my favorite article was deleeeeeeeted!

yeah, yeah, cry some more.

Re:distortion and censoring of information (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 10 months ago | (#44124985)

no one is whining, but the need for "real" standard encyclopedia maintained by professional researchers will stand as long as projects like wikipedia have this juvenile problem

Re:distortion and censoring of information (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44124721)

Keep making changes. Use Tor if they try to ban your IP.

SPOF (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123189)

Currently, Wikipedia Foundation is a single point of failure. It is not difficult to imagine various Alexandria Library scenarios in which Humanity looses crucial information.
Instead of begging people for monetary donations to Wikimedia Foundation, wouldn't it be better to ask for donations of storage and bandwidth to keep the whole thing reduntant and de-centralized? Are there any ongoing efforts to change Wikipedia's model in this direction?

Re:SPOF (3, Insightful)

spintriae (958955) | about 10 months ago | (#44123881)

You can download and host it if you want: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Database_download [wikipedia.org] . Keeping it in sync is a different story, but I think enough people fetch it that there's no risk of an Alexandria Library senario.

Re:SPOF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44124181)

Thanks for the link. I find it interesting that the compressed version of the articles at a little over 9GB is smaller than a download of a single 1080p MKV movie, and would almost fit on a single DVD.

Re:SPOF (1)

Elbereth (58257) | about 10 months ago | (#44123901)

Wikipedia is mirrored by several sites. Additionally, anyone can download the entirety of the site, if they wish.

If the WMF pulled the plug tomorrow, there'd still be mirrors, hardcopy versions (check out the number of published books on Amazon that are nothing but printed Wikipedia articles), the official Wikipedia 1.0 hardcopy version, and numerous partial mirrors that were reconstructed through browser caches.

I'm not worried.

Re:SPOF (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 10 months ago | (#44124135)

Currently, Wikipedia Foundation is a single point of failure.

Its actually not, unless you belive digital media itself is a "single point of failure" (its not).

Re:SPOF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44124177)

Since Wikipedia doesn't allow any information that doesn't come from an external source, even if we somehow magically lost all copies of Wikipedia, no knowledge would actually be lost.

Re:SPOF (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about 10 months ago | (#44124943)

An interesting point, but not necessarily accurate, unless you consider metadata to be worthless. Knowing where to find other knowledge is unique information. While Wikipedia does not host original research, it does present that information in a manner which is useful for specific purposes, providing a different, but very real value.

Saucy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123213)

What is your favorite brand of Worcestershire sauce?

Certified articles? (5, Interesting)

rjlouro (651989) | about 10 months ago | (#44123233)

There's the notion that the information on wikipedia can be editted for anyone, and referencing wikipedia sometimes brings a smile.

I always wondered why Wikipedia does not ask known experts for article certification. For example, you as the co-founder of wikipedia could certify that a section of the wikipedia wiki article (or the entire wiki article for wikipedia) was correct. Maybe you could even pay in some cases.

Has this ever been considered, or do you have any other ideas on how to get wikipedia to be received as a irrefutable source of information?

Boxers or Briefs? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123261)

I'd like to know more about your underwear. Do you ever go commando?

Wouldn't it be better to have PR people posting (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about 10 months ago | (#44123267)

openly rather than using ghosts? I suggest that your ban on PR people is counter-productive and works against transparency.

Abusive admins (5, Interesting)

TopSpin (753) | about 10 months ago | (#44123361)

Make a legitimate edit on a controversial article that fails to indulge the bias of an admin and you'll learn all about the ways admins have to ostracize non-admin contributors. Are you aware of this and if so, what has been done recently or what is planned to moderate abuse by admins? How frequently are admin privileges revoked for abuse? I hope this is frequent because I know for fact the abuse is frequent.

Re:Abusive admins (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44124333)

Here's an idea: instead of making a nebulous, non-specific claim, why not give an example? It's not like Wikipedia is missing diff tools.

Which articles should we give aliens? (2)

crablar (1975720) | about 10 months ago | (#44123441)

Imagine aliens with Internet access have appeared on the edge of the solar system and are headed for earth. At the rate the are approaching, they will reach our planet in eight hours. We do not know if they are hostile, but they have set up a server for accepting incoming messages. What are the top three Wikipedia articles we should link them to?

Re:Which articles should we give aliens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123555)

What language do these aliens speak?

Re:Which articles should we give aliens? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 10 months ago | (#44123781)

How are we tracking them, given that they're apparently traveling faster than light (for most definitions of "edge of our solar system")?

favorites? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123521)

Jimmy, I'm sure you get all kinds of ass. So, what's your favorite position, entry orifice, etc?

Has WikiLeaks harmed WikiPedia? (1)

david.emery (127135) | about 10 months ago | (#44123535)

Or even helped its reputation? And more generally, what's the impact of WikiXXX on WikiPedia?

Game of Articles (5, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 10 months ago | (#44123595)

It seems like most major articles are "owned" by some editors who want to impose their own views and opinions on them. The rules of Wikipedia seem to be designed to facilitate this. The only solution seems to be for other editors to sit on the article constantly undoing the other editors edits.

It's a war of attrition and it seems like the bad guys mostly win. A lot of good editors have given up. I gave up, tried it again a few years later and gave up again. Many previously good articles are now full of industry shill references and obviously biased rubbish. The quality of Wikipedia is degrading steadily over time.

What is being done to reverse this trend? Can anything be done, or is this as good as a wiki gets?

Evidence (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 10 months ago | (#44124381)

Have you got any?

Re:Evidence (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44124565)

Have you got any?

Sorry, it's not AmiMoJo's job to make up for your own stunning lack of what amounts to common knowledge and inability to look at the numerous examples of Wikipedia bias that have had articles on this very site.

Re:Evidence (0)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 10 months ago | (#44124641)

Someone makes an allegation, they can't expect Jimmy to respond unless they substantiate it in the process. I don't think it's unreasonable, and in fact by providing said substantiation the odds of the question being answered increase immeasurably. Is that stunning too? Are you stunned?

Re:Evidence (0)

tnk1 (899206) | about 10 months ago | (#44124883)

Perhaps it is not a poster's "job" to do so, but if AmiMoJo actually wants the problem fixed, as opposed to simply bitching about it, then s/he should try and provide some examples while s/he has the ear of Mr. Wales.

It would be one thing if you actually believed that Wales hasn't heard this all before, but chances are, he gets some variation of the same question in interviews, in his inbox, and on talk pages all the time.

Additionally, by providing examples, other people can replicate his/her experience and add their voices to the complaint.

In either of those ways, providing examples pushes AmiMoJo's point forward. Not doing so will likely lead to a shrug and a well-rehearsed stock response.

Note: I would love to provide the examples myself, but I am not aware of any because I rarely try and edit Wikipedia. If this poster has examples, he will be giving everyone more information.

Re:Game of Articles (4, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | about 10 months ago | (#44124839)

It's a war of attrition and it seems like the bad guys mostly win. A lot of good editors have given up. I gave up, tried it again a few years later and gave up again. Many previously good articles are now full of industry shill references and obviously biased rubbish. The quality of Wikipedia is degrading steadily over time.

As one of my favorite ongoing examples, check out Fractal Antennas:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal_antenna [wikipedia.org]

See the Talk page for all the back and forth about the corporate involvement, meat puppets being used, links to competitors being removed (fractus.com), and all other manner of wonderful stuff. There's a history temporary protection when the occasional admin wanders by, but then that expires, and the paid shills come back, and continue.

It's a very important subject, and yet there's not a bunch of editors willing to sit on the article and continue to revert the info for years and years, as Nathan Cohen continues to corrupt it into fluffy advertising for his (and ONLY his) company.

Re:Game of Articles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44124951)

The quality of Wikipedia is degrading steadily over time.

[citation needed]

Government funding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123617)

Do you think that governments should fund the creation of other information projects as well as science? And make the information available in the public domain and free of copyright?
For example: Software, books, entertainment, and design blueprints.

Banners (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123689)

Why on Earth did you think it was a good idea to put pictures of your smugly smirking face on the banners begging for donations?

Flagged Revisions (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123729)

Mr. Wales, what are your views on introducing a system-wide flagged revisions implementation that requires the first 500 edits by new editors (both IP and regular) to be reviewed and flagged before these revisions are shown to readers?

In my opinion this would make vandalism on Wikipedia an extremely rare occurrence, and semi-protecting articles would no longer be necessary anywhere.

New editors (both IP and regular) get away with so much, so much slips through, unfortunately.
Some examples of vandalism by new editors; on the History pages you can see it takes months before their edits are being reverted.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Getdownwithspencer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/2602:306:CFC8:9F70:A40D:A9E4:55FB:3252
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Mustaqim.221815
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/58.164.63.41
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/77.248.13.242

Internet Hall of fame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44123731)

You've recently been honored by acceptance into the Internet Hall of Fame, meanwhile your co-founder remains unnamed. Do you still keep contact with him? How did he take the news?

Interactive tours and applications (4, Interesting)

MassiveForces (991813) | about 10 months ago | (#44123843)

Some of my fondest memories as a child was firing up the old 486 and playing through the interactive quests and games in Encarta. Some of them were timelines and guided learning experiences, others were programs that simulated things like gravity and orbits, and I liked playing with some software that could model particle behavior based on your parameters to describe gas diffusion and so on.

My question is, will Wikipedia ever be able to flex any interactive multimedia muscle, and create a more interactive and guided experience for young learners? People may be willing to devote their time writing out separate articles in the pages of an encyclopedia, but I imagine attracting multimedia development would be difficult (unless you can find whoever has been wasting their time writing a plethora of useless apps for browsers and mobiles).

Re:Interactive tours and applications (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 10 months ago | (#44124243)

...will Wikipedia ever be able to flex any interactive multimedia muscle, and create a more interactive and guided experience for young learners?

Not to answer for Jimmy but NO! That would be a TERRIBLE idea. Wikimedia needs to concentrate on Wikipedia. But there's nothing to prevent some entrepreneur from copying the content and creating such a thing themselves. I'm sure they'd love to license up some one who wanted to do that.

Why not make Wikipedia self-sustaining? (1, Interesting)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about 10 months ago | (#44123871)

Aside from a few snarky comments about begging, I just do not understand why Wikipedia cannot be self-sustaining?

While I know you do not like ads on Wikipedia, by now you should have created an infrastructure and solutions to problems that could be used by other companies. So why not sell the SDK or API or solutions so that you can sustain Wikipedia without begging for donations?

Sure if you do not want to be rich off of Wikipedia, that is fine. I don't consider it noble by any means, but its your choice after all.

There is no reason however why Wikipedia could not be a non-profit entity that is self-sustaining by generating revenue in some way. Non-profit does not mean "no revenue" btw.

What I feel is a shame is that even if Wikipedia was a money making enterprise with obscene profits you could have put 100% of the proceeds BACK into the community, whether through educational programs, creating new solutions for education that builds off the Wikipedia platform, or otherwise have done more then be a one trick pony.

Wikipedia has not changed much over the years, it could be more interactive, dynamic, fresh. Its a shame that products like Encarta had to demise in favour of a collection of static boring web-pages. By begging for money to barely exist means you have ignored real opportunities to grow the platform and make it awesome, instead of just mediocre.

Editors Dwindling (5, Interesting)

Kagato (116051) | about 10 months ago | (#44123967)

Back in 2011 the AP reported that you commented that the ranks of Editors was slowly dwindling. "We are not replenishing our ranks...it is not a crisis, but I consider it to be important." What's have you and Wikipedia done to address that? Do you see problems do you think need to be addressed with the editor population? What do you think is working well with Editors? How hands on are you with the editor population?

Can I have $5? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44124319)

Dear Jimmy,

Can I have $5?

Please?

Yo, Jimbo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44124397)

Does it amuse you when latent homosexuals on sites such as this try to virtually suck you off by asking you fawning questions? Can you add any insight into this behavior of theirs... where they treat you as if you were some kind of demi-god when in fact you are rather much an asshole?

Blame (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44124497)

Would there be a blame function to find which revision introduced a particular wording? It would be useful as most editions don't have any helpful summary.

Data (5, Interesting)

JMJimmy (2036122) | about 10 months ago | (#44124607)

I would like to know 2 things:

1) What and when is Wiki going to do something about data sets? By this I mean having easy to access, modular data sets which can be used across articles in a user understandable format (ie: a format users can interact with while maintaining the underlying structure needed for templates)

2) What is being done to simplify Wiki code? Here's an example of what a mess it can be:

http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Template:Approval?action=edit [wikia.com] I created this template to do this: http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Template:Approval [wikia.com] which should be simple but due to the convoluted mess that is wiki code it ballooned into something virtually unreadable.

3) Will citations ever evolve beyond "here's a generic link to a page on the subject"?

4) Is there an effort underway to clarify complex topic pages such as maths & chemistry which use abstract, unlinkable, symbols?

5) Will we ever see summary previews for links? ie: hover over a wiki link to get the summary of the topic instead of the tooltip.

6) Are their any plans for article perspectives? ie:

Instead of having the following articles:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Canada [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_years_in_Canada [wikipedia.org]
etc
etc

That you have a single article with tabbed perspectives?

Thanks for your answers!

Deletion (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44124609)

Jimmy: Have anything you ever written on Wikipedia been deleted for no good reason?

Re:Deletion (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about 10 months ago | (#44125167)

He added his own correct birthday, which was then reverted to an incorrect one that happened to be on his license. And according to the rules, the reverting editor had a good point in doing so because Wales did it himself without documentation.

Of course, Wales could have just put up his own web page, added the correct birth date and linked to his own site as a source.

Just Curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44124767)

Do the Japanese stalk you much ???

Dumpy eyes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44124789)

How come all your pictures look like you're squeezing out a turd?

Grattitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44125105)

Dear Mr. Wales. Do you understand how grateful I am to you? Do you really???

Classes on Wiki use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44125151)

My university (University of Washington) required people to take some writing classes, and the engineers also had to take some technical writing classes. It really seemed to me like having an option that covered how to effectively use and contribute to Wikipedia would have been a fantastic option. Most students don't know how to evaluate the quality of a page, look at the cited sources, check the history and talk etc.

I also had a case where my my quantum mechanics TA (a graduate student) and a couple of post-docs managed to prove an equation on a Wikipedia page was incorrect in basically all cases (It was a typo I suspect) after it causes several students to get the wrong answers. Their reaction: email the class about it. This is bad: they should have also fixed it (as I did). When I asked them to fix such issues when they find them, they objected they didn't have time for that kind of thing. Our most educated people don't know how to fix a typo on Wikipedia: this makes me sad.

What do you think about universities offering seminars, of even technical writing classes that cover use of Wikipedia (and other similar sites)? It seems like it could really improve the attitude toward wikis in the academic communities, and produce drastically more editors, while providing very useful skills to the students.

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