Learn more about Jimmy Wales</div>
Huntsville, Alabama, USA
|Occupation:|| President of Wikia, Inc.; Board member and Chairman Emeritus of the Wikimedia Foundation
<tr><th style="text-align: right;">Spouse:</th><td>Christine<ref>Wikimedia Foundation, Board, Jimmy Wales article, 27 October 2006.</ref></td></tr><tr><th style="text-align: right;">Children:</th><td>1</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align: right;">Website:</th><td>User page on Wikipedia</td></tr>
Jimmy Donal "Jimbo" Wales (born 1966 in Huntsville, Alabama) is the founder, board member and Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation,<ref name="wmfbylaws"> Template:Cite web</ref> <ref> Wikimedia Foundation Florence Devouard replaces Mr. Wales as chair of the board of trustees for a one year term.</ref> a non-profit corporation that operates the Wikipedia project, and several other wiki projects, including Wiktionary and Wikinews. He is also the co-founder, along with Angela Beesley, of the for-profit company Wikia, Inc.
Wales' father worked as a grocery store manager while his mother, Doris, and his grandmother, Erma, ran a small private school "in the tradition of the one-room schoolhouse"<ref name="qanda">Template:Cite web</ref> where Wales received his education. Most of the time there were four children in his grade so the school grouped the first, second, third and fourth grade students and the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students.
Currently, Wales works and lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.<ref> LaMonica, Martin. "Newsmaker:Open-Sourcing the News." CNET.com News January 7, 2005. Retrieved August 21, 2006 from http://news.com.com/Open-sourcing+the+news/2008-1025_3-5515166.html. </ref>
After eighth grade, Wales attended Randolph School, a university-preparatory school, which was an early supporter of computer labs and other technology for student use. Wales has said that the school was expensive for his family, but that education was regarded as important. "Education was always a passion in my household … you know, the very traditional approach to knowledge and learning and establishing that as a base for a good life."<ref name="qanda"/> He received his Bachelor's degree in finance from Auburn University and started with the Ph.D. finance program at the University of Alabama, where he left with a Master's in finance.<ref name="qanda"/> After that, he took courses offered in the Ph.D. finance program at Indiana University. He taught at both universities during his postgraduate studies, but did not write the doctoral dissertation required to earn a Ph.D.<ref name="qanda"/>
From 1994-2000, Wales served as research director at Chicago Options Associates, a futures and options trader in Chicago.<ref name="qanda"/> By "betting on interest rate and foreign-currency fluctuations" he had soon earned enough to "support himself and his wife for the rest of their lives", according to Daniel Pink of Wired Magazine.<ref name=bookstopshere>Template:Cite web</ref>
Bomis and Nupedia
In 1996, Wales founded a search portal called Bomis, which also sold erotic materials until mid-2005. He was asked in a September 2005 C-SPAN interview about his previous involvement with what the interviewer, Brian Lamb, called "dirty pictures." In response, Wales described Bomis as a "guy-oriented search engine", with a market similar to Maxim magazine.<ref name="qanda"/> In an interview with Wired News, he also explained that he disputed the categorization of Bomis content as "soft-core pornography": "If R-rated movies are porn, it was porn. In other words, no, it was not."<ref name="wirednews">Template:Cite web</ref> Wales is no longer actively involved in the company.
Using a wiki to create an encyclopedia was publicly proposed by Larry Sanger on January 10, 2001, and Wales worked on setting one up, starting it on January 15, 2001. Wikipedia was at that point a wiki-based site intended for collaboration on early encyclopedic content for submission to Nupedia for peer review, but Wikipedia's rapid growth soon made it the dominant project and Nupedia was mothballed. Sanger resigned from the project in 2002.<ref>My resignation--Larry Sanger: retrieved on October 19, 2006</ref>
In mid-2003, Wales set up the Wikimedia Foundation, a St. Petersburg-based non-profit organization, to support Wikipedia and its younger sibling projects. He appointed himself and two business partners who are not active Wikipedians to the five-member board; the remaining two members are elected community representatives.
According to Daniel H. Pink from Wired magazine, by 2004, Wales had spent around US$500,000 on the establishment and operation of his Wiki projects, most of it his own funds.<ref name="bookstopshere"/> By the end of its February 2005 fund drive, the Wikimedia Foundation was supported entirely by grants and donations. Wales has become increasingly involved with promoting and speaking about its projects, and to this end, he travels to conferences and Wikimedia functions, such as "Wikimeets" and Wikimania.
Wales has explained his motivations about Wikipedia. In an interview with Slashdot, he said, "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing."<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
In late 2005, Wales was criticised for editing his own biography in a way some characterized as "revisionist history." <ref name="wirednews"/><ref name="timesonline">Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="cadenhead">Template:Cite web</ref> In particular, Rogers Cadenhead drew attention to logs showing that Mr. Wales had removed references to Sanger as the co-founder of Wikipedia.<ref name="cadenhead"/><ref>Template:Cite web</ref> He 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.<ref name="wirednews"/> <ref>An article in the July 31, 2006 issue of the New Yorker magazine expanded on this topic:
- Even Wales has been caught airbrushing his Wikipedia entry—eighteen times in the past year. He is particularly sensitive about references to the porn traffic on his Web portal. “Adult content” or “glamour photography” are the terms that he prefers, though, as one user pointed out on the site, they are perhaps not the most precise way to describe lesbian strip-poker threesomes. (In January, Wales agreed to a compromise: “erotic photography.”)</ref>
In both cases, Wales argued that his modifications were solely intended to improve the accuracy of the content.<ref name="wirednews"/> Wales explained that Sanger had been his employee<ref name="uniontribune">Jonathan Sidener. "Everyone's Encyclopedia", San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved on 2006-10-15.</ref>, and that he had always considered himself to be the sole founder of Wikipedia. In 2006, Wales told the Boston Globe that "it's preposterous" to call Sanger the co-founder.<ref name="preposterous">Knott, Janet. "Bias, sabotage haunt Wikipedia's free world", The Boston Globe, 2006-02-12. Retrieved on 2006-04-12.</ref> However, Sanger strongly contests that description. He was identified as a co-founder of Wikipedia at least as early as September 2001<ref name="sanger-NYTimes">Peter Meyers. "Fact-Driven? Collegial? This Site Wants You", New York Times, 2001-09-20. Retrieved on 2006-10-15.</ref> and referred to himself that way as early as January 2002.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> <ref>In addition to developing Wikipedia in its early phase, Sanger claims he is also responsible for the idea of applying the wiki concept to the building of a free encyclopedia. It is undisputed that he also coined the name of the project. He nevertheless ascribed the broader idea to Wales: "To be clear, the idea of an open source, collaborative encyclopedia, open to contribution by ordinary people, was entirely Jimmy's, not mine, and the funding was entirely by Bomis. (…) The actual development of this encyclopedia was the task he gave me to work on." </ref> <ref>Sanger, Larry. "The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia: A Memoir", Slashdot, 2005-04-18. Retrieved on 2005-04-18.</ref>
Following this incident, Wales apologized for editing his own biography, which is practice generally frowned upon at Wikipedia. Wales said in the Wired interview, "People shouldn't do it, including me. I wish I hadn't done it."<ref name="wirednews"/> However, he continues to assert that he is the sole founder of Wikipedia.<ref name="preposterous"/>
Wikia (formerly known as Wikicities) is a wiki hosting service created in October 2004 by Jimmy Wales and Angela Beesley, according to a Wikia press release.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> It is a collection of wikis running on MediaWiki software and operated by Wikia, Inc. that target different communities. It is free of charge for readers and editors, and gets its income from advertisements. Following the change in name, Wikia announced that it had received US$4 million in venture capital from a group of investors. "'We've had a lot of interest from investors, and it was really a matter of sorting through the investors to be sure that people who are investing were people who were believers in our mission,' said Wales, who operates Wikipedia and Wikia separately from his St. Petersburg offices" reports the Tampa Bay Business Journal.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
He was appointed a fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School in 2005. On October 3, 2005, according to a press release,<ref>"Wikipedia Founder Joins Socialtext Board", Socialtext, 3 October 2005.</ref> Wales joined the Board of Directors of Socialtext, a provider of wiki technology to businesses. In 2006, he joined the Board of Directors of the non-profit organization Creative Commons.<ref>"Creative Commons Adds Two New Board Members", Creative Commons, 30 March 2006.</ref>
Wales was the first person listed in the "Scientists & Thinkers" section of the May 8, 2006 special edition of Time ("The lives and ideas of the world's most influential people"), listing 100 influential people.<ref name=influence>Anderson, Chris. "Jimmy Wales: The (Proud) Amateur Who Created Wikipedia", Time, 2006-05-08. Retrieved on 2006-04-30.</ref>
- Wales appeared in the "Not My Job" segment of the November 4, 2006, episode of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, a weekly news-quiz show on National Public Radio. The topic was "It must be True, I read it on Wikipedia". He got none of the three questions right. <ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
Published works by Wales
- Robert Brooks, Jon Corson, and J. Donal Wales. "The Pricing of Index Options When the Underlying Assets All Follow a Lognormal Diffusion", in Advances in Futures and Options Research, volume 7, 1994. See also Log-normal distribution.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to:|
- Wales's Wikipedia user page
- Larry Sanger about the origins of Wikipedia</div>
- Jimmy Wales Official Blog
- News media
- "It's a Wiki world out there for the Web's groupmind", USA Today, 2003-07-01.
- Mark Hurst. "Interview: Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales", Good Experience, 2005-03-10.
- Michael Hinman. "St. Petersburg tech brain creates 'wiki' world with online encyclopedia", Tampa Bay Business Journal, 2005-09-23.
- Andrew Orlowski. "Wikipedia founder admits serious quality problems", The Register, 2005-10-18.
- Nathan C. Kaiser. "Interview with Jimmy Wales, WikiPedia Founder", nPost.com, 2005-11-01.
- Brad Stone. "It's Like a Blog, But It's a Wiki", Newsweek, 2005-11-01.
- Joseph D. Bryant. "Alabamian is brain behind Wikipedia", The Birmingham News, 2005-12-31.
- Rhys Blakely. "Wikipedia Chief considers taking ads", Times Online, 2005-12-30.
- David Colman. "Industrial Art Illuminates Life", New York Times, 2006-08-13.</div>
- Video of Jimmy Wales speaking at Gel 2005 conference April 29, 2005
- Open Source - The Wikipedia May 19, 2005 - hosted by Christopher Lydon
- “The Intelligence of Wikipedia" Talk Video of Jimmy Wales talk given at the Oxford Internet Institute - recorded 11 July 2005
- Video of Jimmy Wales speaking at TED Global Conference (July 12-15, 2005) Oxford, UK
- Video of Jimmy Wales discussing Wikipedia 40 minutes from a talk Jimmy held at Stanford on 2 September 2005 available as an avi in torrent form and licensed under the Creative Commons (QuickTime: 200 MB, 70 MB)
- IT Conversations interview with Jimbo - recorded 3 September 2005
- Speech on Wednesday, October 5, 2005
- Video of Jimmy Wales interview by Irene McGee of NoOne's Listening 9 minutes, from Media Alliance event held in San Francisco on 10 October 2005
- Talk of the Nation - Wikipedia, Open Source and the Future of the Web, November 2, 2005
- Audio of Jimmy Wales talk at the iSchool, UC Berkeley about Community & politics & future plans & other things, November 3, 2005
- Jimmy Wales Talks Wikipedia on The Writing Show recorded 5 December2005, posted 1 January2006
- Jimmy Wales Keynote Speech on Wikipedia, Mass Tech Leadership Council meeting, February 8, 2006. Podcast by Dan Bricklin Podcast description.
- "Vision: Wikipedia and the Future of Free Culture" for The Long Now Foundation in San Francisco, April 14 2006
- Video of "Vision: Wikipedia and the Future of Free Culture" for The Long Now Foundation in San Francisco, April 14 2006
- Audio interview on FLOSS Weekly, May 26, 2006
- Audio interview on On Point, August 2, 2006</div>
- No One's Listening interview of Jimmy Wales
Sources and notes
|NAME||Wales, Jimmy Donal|
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Wales, Jimbo|
|SHORT DESCRIPTION||American Internet entrepreneur, wiki pioneer; founder of Wikipedia|
|DATE OF BIRTH||7 August 1966|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Huntsville, Alabama|
|DATE OF DEATH|
|PLACE OF DEATH|
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