Jimmy Wales Biography | Jimmy Wales
Jimmy Wales (full name: Jimmy Donal “Jimbo” Wales) is an American Internet entrepreneur, best known as the co-founder of the online non-profit encyclopedia Wikipedia and the for-profit web hosting company Wikia.
Wales was born in Huntsville, Alabama, where he attended Randolph School, a university-preparatory school. Later, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in finance from Auburn University and the University of Alabama respectively.
While in graduate school, Wales taught at two universities; however, he departed before completing a Ph.D. to take a job in finance and later worked as the Research Director of a Chicago futures and options firm. In 1996, he and two partners founded Bomis, an adult web portal featuring entertainment and adult content. The company would provide the initial funding for the peer-reviewed free encyclopedia, Nupedia (2000–03), and its successor, Wikipedia.
On January 15, 2001, with Larry Sanger and others, Wales launched Wikipedia—a free, open content encyclopedia that enjoyed rapid growth and popularity; as Wikipedia’s public profile grew, he became the project’s promoter and spokesman. He is historically cited as a co-founder of Wikipedia, though he has disputed the “co-” designation, declaring himself the sole founder.
Wales serves on the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, the non-profit charitable organization that he helped establish to operate Wikipedia, holding its board-appointed “community founder” seat. His role in creating Wikipedia, which has become the world’s largest encyclopedia, prompted Time magazine to name him in their 2006 list of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World”.
Jimmy Wales Age
Jimmy Wales is 52 years old as of 2018. He was born on 7 August 1966, in Huntsville, Alabama, United States
Jimmy Wales Height
There are no pieces of information about wales height, and weight
Who Is Jimmy Wales
Jimmy Wales is an American Internet entrepreneur, best known as the co-founder of the online non-profit encyclopedia Wikipedia and the for-profit web hosting company Wikia. Wales was born in Huntsville, Alabama, where he attended Randolph School, a university-preparatory school.
Jimmy Wales ImageJimmy Wales Photo
Jimmy Wales Wife | Married | Personal Life
Jimmy Wales has been married three times. At the age of twenty, he married Pamela Green, a co-worker at a grocery store in Alabama. They divorced in 1993. He met his second wife, Christine Rohan, through a friend in Chicago while she was working as a steel trader for Mitsubishi. The couple were married in Monroe County, Florida in March 1997, and had a daughter before separating in 2008. Wales moved to San Diego in 1998, and after becoming disillusioned with the housing market there, relocated in 2002 to St. Petersburg, Florida.
Wales had a brief relationship with Canadian conservative columnist Rachel Marsden in 2008 that began after Marsden contacted Wales about her Wikipedia biography. After accusations that Wales’s relationship constituted a conflict of interest, Wales stated that there had been a relationship but that it was over and said that it had not influenced any matters on Wikipedia, a claim which was disputed by Marsden.
Wales married Kate Garvey at Wesley’s Chapel in London on October 6, 2012. She is Tony Blair’s former diary secretary, whom Wales met in Davos, Switzerland. Wales has three daughters: one with Rohan and two with Garvey.
Wales is an atheist. In an interview with Big Think, he said his personal philosophy is firmly rooted in reason and he is a complete non-believer. As of 2012, he lives in London, England.
Jimmy Wales Early life
Jimmy Donal Wales was born in Huntsville, Alabama, shortly before midnight on August 7, 1966; however, his birth certificate lists his date of birth as August 8. His father, Jimmy, worked as a grocery store manager, while his mother, Doris Ann (née Dudley), and his grandmother, Erma, ran the House of Learning, a small private school in the tradition of the one-room schoolhouse, where Wales and his three siblings received their early education.
As a child, he enjoyed reading. When he was three, his mother bought a World Book Encyclopedia from a door-to-door salesman. As he grew up and learned to read, it became an object of reverence.
It put at his fingertips an abundant supply of knowledge complete with maps, illustrations, and a few cellophane layers of transparencies one could lift to explore such things as the muscles, arteries, and digestive system of a dissected frog. But Wales soon discovered that the World Book had shortcomings: no matter how much was in it, there were many more things that were not.
World Book sent out stickers for owners to paste on the pages in order to update the encyclopedia, and Wales was careful to put the stickers to work, stating, “I joke that I started as a kid revising the encyclopedia by stickering the one my mother bought.”
During an interview in 2005 with Brian Lamb, Wales described his childhood private school as a “Montessori influenced the philosophy of education”, where he “spent lots of hours poring over the Britannicas and World Book Encyclopedias”. There were only four other children in Wales’s grade, so the school grouped together with the first through fourth-grade students and the fifth through eighth-grade students.
As an adult, Wales was sharply critical of the government’s treatment of the school, citing the “constant interference and bureaucracy and very sort of snobby inspectors from the state” as a formative influence on his political philosophy.
After eighth grade, Wales attended Randolph School, a university-preparatory school in Huntsville, graduating at sixteen. Wales said that the school was expensive for his family, but that “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.”
He received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Auburn University in 1986. He began his Auburn education when he was 16 years old. Wales then entered the Ph.D. finance program at the University of Alabama before leaving with a master’s degree to enter the Ph.D. finance program at Indiana University.
At the University of Alabama, he played Internet fantasy games and developed his interest in the web. He taught at both universities during his postgraduate studies but did not write the doctoral dissertation required for a Ph.D., something he ascribed to boredom.
Jimmy Wales And Larry Sanger
Who Founded Wikipedia? These Two Need to Get Their Story Straight
It is a question as old as intellectual property ownership itself: You hire a guy to come up with a project idea. He comes up with an idea. Your resources make the project happen. Who founded the project?
Your money, his idea–probably both, right?
Yet one was among Time’s 100 Most Influential People, among Forbes Web Celebs 25, and The Daily Telegraph’s 25 Web Superstars, while the other… Who actually is the other guy?
The talk is about Jimmy Wales, the founder/co-founder of Wikipedia, and Larry Sanger, the co-founder/former employee of Wikipedia.
The story begins with Jimmy Wales as a former options trader and Chief Executive Officer of Bomis, an adult content-oriented search engine provider.
Sanger, a philosophy Ph.D., took a rigorous approach with multiple levels of academic review to ensure quality. In its first year, Nupedia published a meager 12 articles.
Sanger and Wales were trying to figure out a way to rapidly supply content to Nupedia but struggled to find a platform that wouldn’t require an extensive investment or programming.
Then, on Jan. 2, 2001, Sanger met with his friend and computer programmer Ben Kovitz, who introduced him to the concept of “wiki.”
Wiki is a Hawaiian word for “quick” and was used by programmer Ward Cunningham to name his 1995 creation–a website where anybody can make a page or edit a page. The idea was intriguing to Sanger.
“Instantly I was considering whether wiki would work as a more open and simple editorial system for a free, collaborative encyclopedia, and it seemed exactly right,” he wrote in his memoir posted on SlashDot.org in 2005.
Sanger states he returned home and wrote a short proposal to use a wiki to invite people to write encyclopedia content–in short, the idea of Wikipedia. He then sent the proposal to Wales.
Ben Kovitz, the one who incepted the idea, remembers it differently. According to him, they both went to Sanger’s home and Sanger called Wales. After the call, Kovitz stated, Sanger seemed optimistic Wales would back the idea.
At the time, Wales seemed to agree.
“Larry [Sanger] had the idea to use Wiki software for a separate project specifically for people like you (and me!) who are intimidated and bored (sorry, Nupedia!) with the tedium of the process,” he wrote on Oct. 30, 2001, on Wikipedia mailing list.
But several years later Wales changed the story, stating it wasn’t Sanger, but a Bomis employee Jeremy Rosenfeld who came to him with an idea to use the wiki as an encyclopedia platform.
Sanger doubted that Rosenfeld’s suggestion if it happened, had any impact on the creation of Wikipedia.
“He certainly never mentioned the idea to me, and Jimmy [Wales] himself certainly didn’t act on the suggestion somehow independently of me,” Sanger stated on his Wikipedia user page.
Since Sanger couldn’t produce the wiki proposal he claims to have written on that fateful night, we may never know.
What we do know is that Wales had a wiki platform set up almost immediately and Sanger was put in charge of it.
On Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2001, Sanger posted to Nupedia chat board a message titled, “Let’s make a wiki,” inviting the “nudists” to check out the new feature that allows anybody to try to create an encyclopedia entry.
Both Sanger and Wales agree on what happened next: Sanger came up with the name “Wikipedia.” In a week the domain was set up and on Jan. 17 Sanger posted another message: “Wikipedia is up!”
“Humor me. Go there and add a little article. It will take all of five or ten minutes,” the short message read, preceded with a link to Wikipedia.com.
But wait–isn’t it Wikipedia.org?
Wales originally planned to recover his costs (hundreds of thousands of dollars) through ads on Wikipedia. It seemed dishonest to claim the “.org” domain reserved for non-profits if the site would eventually turn into a for-profit, Sanger explained.
And that’s the story. In a month Wikipedia had 1,000 articles. In eight months it was 10,000 and in a year and a half 40,000. As the number of contributors rose, Sanger was credited with formulating first iterations of the basic rules of Wikipedia, such as Neutral Point of View, No Original Research, and Verifiable Sources.
But there’s still a loose end, isn’t there? Why did Wales change his story, to begin with? He even went so far as to attempt to edit out Sanger’s role by rewriting the Wikipedia page about himself–something intrinsically frowned upon in the Wikipedians’ community.
Well, it may have something to do with a difference in opinion the two struggled with soon after Wikipedia took off.
While Wales wanted the volunteer contributors to police themselves, Sanger believed disruptive and trolling contributors were given too much leeway.
In 2002, with the dot-com bubble bursting, Bomis couldn’t support Sanger’s job anymore and Sanger left Wikipedia.
Sanger criticized Wikipedia on multiple occasions and deemed it imperfect and forever doomed to amateurism. In 2006, he founded the Citizendium, an open encyclopedia focusing on increased reliability. Almost all contributors have to sign up with real names, disruptive behavior is strictly moderated, and articles can go through an expert review marking them as “approved” and citable.
Alas, the site today has less than 17,000 articles and less than 200 approved ones.
So, who founded Wikipedia? You be the judge.
Comment from Jimmy Wales was solicited through the Wikimedia Foundation. There was no response by the time of publication.
Our freedoms, our republic, and our constitutional rights have become contested terrain. The Epoch Times, a media committed to truthful, responsible journalism, is a rare bastion of hope and stability in these testing times.
While other media may twist the facts to serve political agendas, we deliver stories while upholding our responsibility to society.
We’ve reported truthfully on the current U.S. administration from the start. We reported on the real possibility of a Trump victory in 2016. We’ve led reporting on the Chinese communist threat since 2000; we have been exposing communist thought in our government, schools, universities, popular culture, and media; and we, like no other media, are rigorously investigating and exposing the unscrupulous agents working to subvert our society.
Stand with us in advancing a truly independent and truthful media—the way a free press was intended to be, as a cornerstone of the Republic. Your contribution allows us to continue piercing through the surface narratives of mainstream media, and provide you with a full picture.
Jimmy Wales Net Worth | Jimmy Wales Salary
It’s barely London money. Wales’s total net worth, by most estimates, is just above $1 million, including stock from his for-profit company Wikia, a wiki-hosting service. His income is a topic of constant fascination. Type “Jimmy Wales” into Google and “net worth” is the first pre-emptive search to pop up.
Jimmy Wales Career
Chicago Options Associates and Bomis
In 1994, Wales took a job with Chicago Options Associates, a futures and options trading firm in Chicago, Illinois. Wales has described himself as having been addicted to the Internet from an early stage and he wrote computer code during his leisure time. During his studies in Alabama, he had become an obsessive player of Multi-User Dungeons (MUDs)—a type of virtual role-playing game—and thereby experienced the potential of computer networks to foster large-scale collaborative projects.
Inspired by the remarkably successful initial public offering of Netscape in 1995, and having accumulated capital through “speculating on interest-rate and foreign-currency fluctuations”, Wales decided to leave the realm of financial trading and became an Internet entrepreneur. In 1996, he and two partners founded Bomis, a web portal featuring user-generated webrings and, for a time, erotic photographs. Wales described it as a “guy-oriented search engine” with a market similar to that of Maxim magazine; the Bomis venture did not ultimately turn out to be successful.
Jimmy Wales Nupedia and the origins of Wikipedia
Though Bomis had at the time struggled to make money, it provided Wales with the funding to pursue his greater passion, an online encyclopedia. While moderating an online discussion group devoted to the philosophy of Objectivism in the early 1990s, Wales had encountered Larry Sanger, a skeptic of the philosophy. The two had engaged in the detailed debate on the subject on Wales’s list and then on Sanger’s, eventually meeting offline to continue the debate and becoming friends.
Years later, after deciding to pursue his encyclopedia project and seeking a credentialed academic to lead it, Wales hired Sanger—who at that time was a doctoral student in philosophy at Ohio State University—to be its editor-in-chief, and in March 2000, Nupedia (“the free encyclopedia”), a peer-reviewed, open-content encyclopedia, was launched. The intent behind Nupedia was to have expert-written entries on a variety of topics and to sell advertising alongside the entries in order to make a profit. The project was characterized by an extensive peer-review process designed to make its articles of a quality comparable to that of professional encyclopedias.
The idea was to have thousands of volunteers writing articles for an online encyclopedia in all languages. Initially, we found ourselves organizing the work in a very top-down, structured, academic, old-fashioned way. It was no fun for the volunteer writers because we had a lot of academic peer review committees who would criticize articles and give feedback. It was like handing in an essay at grad school and basically intimidating to participate in.
— Jimmy Wales on the Nupedia project New Scientist, January 31, 2007
In an October 2009 speech, Wales recollected attempting to write a Nupedia article on Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert C. Merton, but being too intimidated to submit his first draft to the prestigious finance professors who were to peer review it, even though he had published a paper on Option Pricing Theory and was comfortable with the subject matter. Wales characterized this as the moment he realized that the Nupedia model was not going to work.
In January 2001, Sanger was introduced to the concept of a wiki by extreme programming enthusiast Ben Kovitz after explaining to Kovitz the slow pace of growth Nupedia endured as a result of its onerous submission process. Kovitz suggested that adopting the wiki model would allow editors to contribute simultaneously and incrementally throughout the project, thus breaking Nupedia’s bottleneck. Sanger was excited about the idea, and after he proposed it to Wales, they created the first Nupedia wiki on January 10, 2001.
The wiki was initially intended as a collaborative project for the public to write articles that would then be reviewed for publication by Nupedia’s expert volunteers. The majority of Nupedia’s experts, however, wanted nothing to do with this project, fearing that mixing amateur content with professionally researched and edited material would compromise the integrity of Nupedia’s information and damage the credibility of the encyclopedia. Thus, the wiki project, dubbed “Wikipedia” by Sanger, went live at a separate domain five days after its creation.
Jimmy Wales Wikipedia
Originally, Bomis planned to make Wikipedia a profitable business. Sanger initially saw Wikipedia primarily as a tool to aid Nupedia development. Wales feared that, at worst, it might produce “complete rubbish”.To the surprise of Sanger and Wales, within a few days of launching, the number of articles on Wikipedia had outgrown that of Nupedia, and a small collective of editors had formed.
It was Jimmy Wales, along with other people, who came up with the broader idea of an open-source, collaborative encyclopedia that would accept contributions from ordinary people. Initially, neither Sanger nor Wales knew what to expect from the Wikipedia initiative. Many of the early contributors to the site were familiar with the model of the free culture movement, and, like Wales, many of them sympathized with the open-source movement.
Wales has said that he was initially so worried about the concept of open editing, where anyone can edit the encyclopedia, that he would awaken during the night and monitor what was being added. Nonetheless, the cadre of early editors helped create a robust, self-regulating community that has proven conducive to the growth of the project. In a talk at SXSW in 2016, he recalled that he wrote the first words on Wikipedia: “Hello world”, phrase computer programmers often use to test new software.
Sanger developed Wikipedia in its early phase and guided the project. The broader idea he originally ascribes to other people, remarking in a 2005 memoir for Slashdot that “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. Of course, other people had had the idea”, adding, “the actual development of this encyclopedia was the task he gave me to work on.”
Sanger worked on and promoted both the Nupedia and Wikipedia projects until Bomis discontinued funding for his position in February 2002; Sanger resigned as editor-in-chief of Nupedia and as “chief organizer” of Wikipedia on March 1 of that year. Early on, Bomis supplied the financial backing for Wikipedia and entertained the notion of placing advertisements on Wikipedia before costs were reduced with Sanger’s departure and plans for a non-profit foundation were advanced instead.
Controversy regarding Wales’s status as co-founder
Wales has asserted that he is the sole founder of Wikipedia, and has publicly disputed Sanger’s designation as a co-founder. Sanger and Wales were identified as co-founders at least as early as September 2001 by The New York Times and as founders in Wikipedia’s first press release in January 2002. In August of that year, Wales identified himself as “co-founder” of Wikipedia.
Sanger assembled on his personal webpage an assortment of links that appear to confirm the status of Sanger and Wales as co-founders. For example, Sanger and Wales are historically cited or described in early news citations and press releases as co-founders. Wales was quoted by The Boston Globe as calling Sanger’s claim “preposterous” in February 2006 and called “the whole debate” “silly” in an April 2009 interview.
In late 2005, Wales edited his own biographical entry on the English Wikipedia. Writer Rogers Cadenhead drew attention to logs showing that in his edits to the page, Wales had removed references to Sanger as the co-founder of Wikipedia. Sanger commented that “having seen edits like this, it does seem that Jimmy is attempting to rewrite history. But this is a futile process because, in our brave new world of transparent activity and maximum communication, the truth will out.” Wales 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. Though Wales argued that his modifications were solely intended to improve the accuracy of the content, he apologized for editing his own biography, a practice generally discouraged on Wikipedia.
Jimmy Wales Role
In a 2004 interview with Slashdot, Wales outlined his vision for Wikipedia: “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.” Although his formal designation is a board member and chairman emeritus of the Wikimedia Foundation, Wales’s social capital within the Wikipedia community has accorded him a status that has been characterized as a benevolent dictator, constitutional monarch and spiritual leader.
In two interviews with the Guardian in 2014, Wales elaborated on his role on Wikipedia. In the first interview, he said that while he “has always rejected” the term “benevolent dictator”, he does refer to himself as the “constitutional monarch”. In the second, he elaborated on his “constitutional monarch” designation, saying that, like the Queen of England, he has no real power. He was also the closest the project had to a spokesperson in its early years. The growth and prominence of Wikipedia made Wales an Internet celebrity. Although he had never traveled outside North America prior to the site’s founding, his participation in the Wikipedia project has seen him flying internationally on a near-constant basis as its public face.
When Larry Sanger left Wikipedia, Wales’s approach was different from Sanger’s. Wales was fairly hands-off. Despite involvement in other projects, Wales has denied intending to reduce his role within Wikipedia, telling The New York Times in 2008 that “Dialing down is not an option for me … Not to be too dramatic about it, but, ‘to create and distribute a free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality to every single person on the planet in their own language,’ that’s who I am. That’s what I am doing.
That’s my life goal.” In May 2010, the BBC reported that Wales had relinquished many of his technical privileges on Wikimedia Commons (a Wikipedia sister project that hosts much of its multimedia content) after criticism by the project’s volunteer community over what they saw as Wales’s hasty and undemocratic approach to deleting sexually explicit images he believed “appeal solely to prurient interests”.
Jimmy Wales Wikimedia Foundation
In mid-2003, Wales set up the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), a non-profit organization founded in St. Petersburg, Florida and later headquartered in San Francisco, California. All intellectual property rights and domain names pertaining to Wikipedia were moved to the new foundation, whose purpose is to support the encyclopedia and its sister projects. Wales has been a member of the Wikimedia Foundation’s Board of Trustees since it was formed and was its official chairman from 2003 through 2006.
Since 2006 he has been accorded the honorary title of chairman emeritus and holds the board-appointed “community founder’s seat” that was installed in 2008.
His work for the foundation, including his appearances to promote it at a computer and educational conferences, has always been unpaid.
Wales has often joked that donating Wikipedia to the foundation was both the “dumbest and the smartest” thing he had done. On one hand, he estimated that Wikipedia was worth US$3 billion; on the other, he weighed his belief that the donation made its success possible.
Wales gives an annual “State of the Wiki” address at the Wikimania conference.
Jimmy Wales Controversies
Wales’s association with the foundation has led to controversy. In March 2008, Wales was accused by former Wikimedia Foundation employee Danny Wool of misusing the foundation’s funds for recreational purposes.
Wool also stated that Wales had his Wikimedia credit card taken away in part because of his spending habits, a claim Wales denied.
Then-chairperson of the foundation Florence Devouard and former foundation interim Executive Director Brad Patrick denied any wrongdoing by Wales or the foundation, saying that Wales accounted for every expense and that, for items for which he lacked receipts, he paid out of his own pocket; in private, Devouard upbraided Wales for “constantly trying to rewrite the past”.
Later in March 2008, it was claimed by Jeffrey Vernon Merkey that Wales had edited Merkey’s Wikipedia entry to make it more favorable in return for donations to the Wikimedia Foundation, an allegation Wales dismissed as “nonsense”.In early 2016, Wikipedia editors perceived the WMF’s Knowledge Engine project as a conflict of interest for Wales, whose business Wikia might benefit from having the WMF spend a lot of money on research in respect to search. Wikia attempted to develop a search engine but it was closed in 2009.
Wikia and later pursuits
In 2004, Wales and then-fellow member of the WMF Board of Trustees Angela Beesley founded the for-profit company Wikia. Wikia is a wiki farm—a collection of individual wikis on different subjects, all hosted on the same website. It hosts some of the largest wikis outside Wikipedia, including Memory Alpha (devoted to Star Trek) and Wookieepedia (Star Wars). Another service offered by Wikia was Wikia Search, an open source search engine intended to challenge Google and introduce transparency and public dialogue about how it is created into the search engine’s operations, but the project was abandoned in March 2009.
Wales stepped down as Wikia CEO to be replaced by angel investor Gil Penchina, a former vice president and general manager at eBay, on June 5, 2006. Penchina declared Wikia to have reached profitability in September 2009. In addition to his role at Wikia, Wales is a public speaker represented by the Harry Walker Agency. He has also participated in a celebrity endorsement campaign for the Swiss watch maker Maurice Lacroix.
On November 4, 2011, Wales delivered an hour-long address at The Sage Gateshead in the United Kingdom to launch the 2011 Free Thinking Festival on BBC Radio Three. His speech, which was entitled “The Future of the Internet”, was largely devoted to Wikipedia. Twenty days later, on November 24, Wales appeared on the British topical debate television program Question Time.
In May 2012, it was reported that Wales was advising the UK government on how to make taxpayer-funded academic research available on the internet at no cost. His role reportedly involved working as “an unpaid advisor on crowdsourcing and opening up policymaking”, and advising the Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills and the UK research councils on distributing research.
In January 2014, it was announced that Wales had joined The People’s Operator as co-chair of the mobile phone network.
On March 21, 2014, Wales spoke on a panel at a Clinton Global Initiative University conference held at Arizona State University, along with John McCain, Saudi Arabian women’s rights activist Manal al-Sharif and Harvard University student Shree Bose. The topic of discussion was “the age of participation” and the ability of an increasingly large number of citizens to “express their own opinions, pursue their own educations, and launch their own enterprises.” Wales exhorted young people to use social media to try to bring about societal change, and compared government suppression of the Internet to a human rights violation.
On May 26, 2014, Google appointed Wales to serve on a seven-member committee on privacy in response to Google v. Gonzalez, which led to Google’s being inundated with requests to remove websites from their search results. Wales said he wanted the committee to be viewed as “a blue-ribbon panel” by lawmakers and for the committee to advise the lawmakers as well as Google.
In 2017, Wales announced that he is launching an online publication called WikiTribune, with a goal to fight fake news through a combination of professional journalists and volunteer contributors. Wales described it as “news by the people and for the people”, and that it will be the “first time that professional journalists and citizen journalists will work side-by-side as equals writing stories as they happen, editing them live as they develop, and at all times backed by a community checking and rechecking all facts”.