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Interview: Ask Jimmy Wales What You Will 161

Posted by samzenpus
from the question-and-answer-time dept.
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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Interview: Ask Jimmy Wales What You Will

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  • When will Wikipedia accept Bitcoin donations?

    • by i kan reed (749298) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @12:41PM (#44123195) Homepage Journal

      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?

      • 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]."

      • by Anonymous Coward

        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 lo

    • Flamebait? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Thursday June 27, 2013 @12:54PM (#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.

  • by peter303 (12292) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @12:28PM (#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?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 27, 2013 @12:29PM (#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?

    • by spintriae (958955) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @01:23PM (#44123759)
      Who's Eric Snowdon?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      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)

    • by jwales (97533)

      I thought this worthy of just popping in to comment even before the real interview because the question is so ludicrously misinformed.

      I am a strong supporter of personal privacy and freedom of speech. Based on everything that I have seen so far, Eric Snowden will go down in history as a hero. I have been reading lots about him, including his youthful posts to Ars Technica. I think it really interesting to think about the process by which the young man who made those posts became the man we see before us

  • 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?

    • by cupantae (1304123) <maroneill AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday June 27, 2013 @12:48PM (#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.

    • 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 a

  • Deletionists (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 27, 2013 @12:32PM (#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

    • 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.

      • by neminem (561346)

        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 i

        • 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 reall

          • by neminem (561346)

            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 e

            • On wikipedia, the criteria for both are identical. Published sources.

              • by amaurea (2900163)

                Well, the original philosophy of wikipedia was that if somebody made an inaccurate article about a subject, then among the thousands of eyes reading the article, there would eventually be somebody knowledgable enough to improve it. That model seemed to work pretty well, and lead to wikipedia growing rapidly while still being pretty high quality, if I recall correctly. This was the big surprise about wikipedia - most people I knew (and myself included) were too cynical to believe something like that could wo

    • by Degrees (220395)

      I feel they are a problem.

      I have seen two articles that I think should have been kept; but some asshole that Mr. Wales trusts decided that they should be deleted. Seems like deleting articles is a power trip to me.

      So whenever Mr. Wales asks for money, I am reminded to say no because he allows power tripping editors to ruin Wikipedia. Why would I donate money to these people?

  • by robcfg (1005359) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @12:32PM (#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.
  • by sylivin (2964093) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @12:37PM (#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?
    • 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.

      • by Elbereth (58257)

        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.

        • by iggymanz (596061) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @01:50PM (#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.

          • by evilviper (135110)

            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.

            Speaking on behalf of the lazy, with so much data online, there's very little bang for the buck in visiting a library (you're likely to find 90% of the same info you already got online). In addition, my loca

  • SPOF (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 27, 2013 @12:41PM (#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 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by spintriae (958955) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @01:32PM (#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.
    • by Elbereth (58257)

      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.

    • 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).

    • It is not difficult to imagine various Alexandria Library scenarios in which Humanity looses crucial information.

      Ok, let's imagine wikipedia going down like the Alexandria Library did.

      So what? People will have kept snapshots of Wikipedia (at the very least). Wikipedia's content is not constrained by its physical medium, nor is it constrained by a copyright license that prevents republishing. Barring the end of the world, wikipedia content will live on just fine.

  • How's Rachel doing?

  • Certified articles? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rjlouro (651989) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @12:43PM (#44123233) Homepage
    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?
  • openly rather than using ghosts? I suggest that your ban on PR people is counter-productive and works against transparency.
  • Just get the government involved.

  • Abusive admins (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TopSpin (753) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @12:53PM (#44123361) Journal

    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.

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

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

  • Game of Articles (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@@@world3...net> on Thursday June 27, 2013 @01:11PM (#44123595) Homepage

    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?

    • Have you got any?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        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.

        • 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?

        • by tnk1 (899206)

          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

    • by evilviper (135110) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @02:59PM (#44124839) Journal

      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.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        The article on nuclear power is pretty bad. Half the material is sourced from the industry and its shill sites.

    • by Iniamyen (2440798)
      Citation Needed
    • by jdavidb (449077)
      It took something like eight years to get the yoghurt article renamed to yogurt. Tons of people wanted to do it, but some guy owned the article, so it couldn't be done.
      • by kpmlrtx (2965719)

        ... some guy owned the article ...

        *25 threads about spelling on the talk page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Yogurt/Archive_index)

        *One move discussion with about 25 votes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Yogurt/Archive_2#Requested_move)

        *Another with about 50 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Yogurt/Archive_6#Move_page_to_yogurt)

        Obviously this one guy who owned the article -- probably an admin -- was a real lamer (but the tons of people who wanted to move the article were not lamers).

  • by Anonymous Coward
    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 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 27, 2013 @01:21PM (#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

    • by amaurea (2900163)

      I think the lack of immediate result when editing would greatly decrease the interest in editing Wikipedia for new people, and hence harm recruitment and in the long term retard the growth of the encyclopedia. For fringe articles, there might not be any established editors with knowledge on the subject, but plenty of people outside wikipedia who could start a page. But since nobody would be qualified to review that page, it would hang in limbo indefinitely, and the potential new editor would probably give u

  • by MassiveForces (991813) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @01:29PM (#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).
    • ...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.

  • 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 a

  • Dear mr. Wales, Has Wikipedia considered the possibility of accepting donations via Flattr [flatter.com]?
  • Editors Dwindling (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kagato (116051) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @01:40PM (#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?

    • by amaurea (2900163)

      Good question! I would be intersted to hear the answer to this myself. I think the decline could be due to a combination of so many articles already existing, and too much deletionism.

      • by Richy_T (111409)

        Many of the editors (not all) are a-holes. Unfortunately, the bad tends to drive out the good. Who wants to be associated with that?

        Ideally, some editor reeducation would occur but unfortunately, I think it's gone a bit systemic.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The tool you describe exists; it's called WikiBlame. [ramselehof.de]

  • Jimmy, please have some good photos of you taken.

    Most photos of you are ugly, for example, the photo in this N.Y. Times article: Jimmy Wales Is Not an Internet Billionaire. [nytimes.com]
  • Data (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JMJimmy (2036122) on Thursday June 27, 2013 @02:35PM (#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!

    • by oodaloop (1229816)

      I would like to know 2 things:

      Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms. Oh, I'll come in again.

      Seriously though, 1 question per post, dude.

      • by JMJimmy (2036122)

        If he answers one, great, if he answers two all the better, if he answers them all - awesome!

    • by Iniamyen (2440798)
      Thoughtful questions... It's a witch!!
      /Throws rocks
  • Deletion (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

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

    • by tnk1 (899206)

      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.

  • Do you find yourself searching the web with -wikipedia as a parameter, so that you can actually find sources of information and not endless repeats of what people copied from your site?

  • What do you think Wikipedia is going to need to do to keep up with content maintenance in the long term? Is editor decline inevitable, and thus the focus should be on making vandalism harder, or do you think current trends can be reversed with the right tools or policy?
  • Will you make the disclaimer a bit more in the face of readers?

  • If anyone wants to see evidence of Wikipedia's many, many (many!) problems, try Wikipediocracy [wikipediocracy.com]. There is a blog with regular posts full of horror and madness, plus a forum where you can be lectured at length about the failings of Wikipedia, and Jimbo. And all nonprofit too.
  • You are a board member of the Wikimedia Foundation. One of the highest-priority projects for the Wikimedia Foundation is the VisualEditor. I wanted to ask something a bit surprising about it. It is essentially a word processor. It's web-based and it's targeted at a particular task, but it's still a word processor. So I want to ask: What is your favorite word processor? It can be one from the past - I actually met a lot of people whose favorite word processor was discontinued. What was your favorite word p
  • When can we see this be developed? I know there is a start with Wikitextbooks. But they seem sporadic. I think we could create an entire curriculum and support library (textbooks) to accompany said curriculum. And have it freely available for all...

  • You are aware that homeopathy is nothing but a hoax ( source [quora.com]), and try to enforce the neutral point of view [wikipedia.org] of Wikipedia. However, in some of the editions of wikipedia, such as the spanish one, it's quite common to find entries that give a positive spin to hoaxes such as homeopathy [wikipedia.org] or acupuncture [wikipedia.org]; even the spanish entry on the neutral point of view [wikipedia.org] is constantly edited and "interpreted" to make room to "all opinions" no matter their reliability. How feasibile is to truly enforce the NPOV in all the editions
  • Could you add the words "DON'T PANIC" in large, friendly letters to the homepage? It would be really helpful.

  • Do you reckon it's possible to create a tool to gather news from the crowd on a reliable way using a mode similar to Wikipedia's?
  • My Master's paper for my academic specialty is a proposal for a computer system that would allow a common activity in this field to happen on a sort of centralized website. I think my idea is fairly detailed and good, but a lot of the people and institutions in my field aren't very computer-savvy. I don't think I am a good enough programmer to build the entire thing myself -- it doesn't have to ultimately be Wikipedia-size, but if successful, it would have several tens of thousands of users, and things like

  • by speedplane (552872) on Friday June 28, 2013 @02:50AM (#44129905) Homepage
    Does Wikipedia Make People Smarter? It seems that wikipedia is developing a very clicky culuture; you read the first few sentences of an article before clicking on to the next. It repudiates hard study and concentration in exchange for instant gratification. Is this a good thing? Shouldn't our culture strive to make incredible objects of beauty and knowledge rather than a shallow understanding of everything?
  • Email exchanges (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Inda (580031)
    Jimmy,

    You and I had a very nice, very short email exchange many, many years ago. You ended it with thanking me, in case you've forgotten (ha!). I like to mention it when people bring up your name in connection to Wikipedia. I suppose it's my way of thanking you back.

    Are there any email exchanges you remember fondly?
  • I noticed today that a very well known motivational speaker/salesman (Tom Hopkins) is not in wikipedia. How do you decide who gets entry into Wikipedia?

In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from handbooks) are to be treated as variables.

Working...