Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales and the press

Many of you have probably noticed the charity appeal that has been appearing on Wikipedia for the last few weeks. Tech-crunch aptly notes that the ads ironically highlight their no-ad policy. If you have a chance I certainly recommend donating to this most useful cause here, as I did last year.

This year though, they started using a picture of Jimmy Wales
in some of the ads with a link to his personal appeal. Instead of reading what he wrote I decided to read his appeal straight from the picture. I've posted the appeal as I read it so you guys can read it too:
"Hi I'm Jimmy Wales, I'm really upset that you don't recognize my face even though I created one of the biggest websites in the word. Really I should be a humongous celebrity by now so I'm going to post my picture up here so that I can become as famous as I deserve to be."

Anyway, its obvious that putting a picture of a pretty girl or some babies up there, would be a much more effective way to convince people to donate.

Supposedly "Jimmy was a bit uncomfortable with having his face on Wikipedia for millions of people to see and ridicule" (source). But I highly doubt that statement is true given that he he has no problem getting paid to have his face other places, like in this watch advert.

Now for the ridicule from the uncyclopedia. Amongst the many, my favorite are the divine appeal from Wikia Adam, and the Open Contemplations from Wikia Maiden with the great photoshop-jobs below.

Anyway, other than this intresting personality quirk, he does a good job talking about wikipedia with journalists. This interviewer was particularly ignorant its pretty funny how he kind of blinks like he can't believe what he's hearing.

The news is generally misunderstanding "Pending changes" which is actually a large improvement over the previous method of locking contested pages.

"People used to have to register to make these sort of changes to high profile Wikipedia pages and then wait a few days. Now they can upload the changes without registering and wait to see if they are uploaded.” --J. Wales

About wikipedia losing users:
To hear about the guy himself who did the research. It wasn't really a mistake on his part, but on the part of the press who misinterpreted the results (surprise!) you can go here.

He links the wikipedia page on it here:


  1. They've tried babies and pretty women, too. See the full list of banners here.

    I personally also like this image (text NSFW) and this Chrome extension.

  2. Yeah, they even tried African orphans in one banner. It's kind of sad.