|Headquarters||St. Petersburg, Florida, United States|
|Key people||Jimmy Wales
|Website||bomis.com archived at the Internet Archive|
|Type of site||Internet portal
|Current status||Defunct, no IP address.|
Bomis (// to rhyme with "promise") was a dot-com company founded in 1996 by Jimmy Wales and Tim Shell. Its primary business was the sale of advertising on the Bomis.com search portal, and to provide support for the free encyclopedia projects Nupedia and Wikipedia. As of 2006, Tim Shell was the CEO of Bomis, but it seems to have disappeared from the Internet around 2010 (the last date it was captured by the Internet Archive). The name was an acronym of Bitter Old Men in Suits.
Bomis created and hosted web rings around search terms popular among male users. The rings were categorized broadly as "Babe", "Entertainment", "Sports", "Adult", "Science fiction", and "Other". The "Adult", "Babe", and "Entertainment" categories were the most frequently updated and the most popular. In addition, Bomis hosted a copy of the Open Directory Project search directory. These search-related pages generated revenue from advertising and affiliate marketing.
Bomis ran a website called Bomis Premium at premium.bomis.com until 2005, offering customers access to premium, X-rated pornographic content. The site earned the nickname "Playboy of the internet".
Until mid-2005, Bomis also featured the Bomis Babe Report, a free blog, publishing news and reviews about celebrities, models, and the adult entertainment industry. The Babe Report prominently linked to Bomis Premium and frequently posted updates about new models joining Bomis. Bomis has also operated nekkid.info, a free repository of selected erotic photographs, and also hosted The Babe Engine, "a precision babe search engine", which indexes photos ranging from glamour photography to pornography.
In addition, Bomis has provided hosting to websites supporting Objectivist and other libertarian political views, including the "Freedom's Nest",[not in citation given] a database of books and quotes, and "We the Living", a large objectivist community website which is now defunct.
Role in the creation of Nupedia and Wikipedia
Originally, Bomis was planning to make Wikipedia a profitable business. Bomis is best known for having supported the creation of the free-content online encyclopedia projects Nupedia and Wikipedia. Bomis hosted Nupedia in 2000, and Larry Sanger was hired to manage and edit that project. A year into the development of Nupedia, Bomis decided the project was too expensive, and a so-called "wiki" was set up as a way to solicit free new drafts for Nupedia.
Wiki as a word, as a concept, and as a software technology for websites that allows multiple users to edit and update a text or program quickly and easily, was an invention of and created and developed by Ward Cunningham in 1994. The new online-encyclopedia based on Ward's wiki-technology, was named Wikipedia and it looked exactly the same as Cunningham's websites. While originally intended as a "feeder" project for Nupedia, Wikipedia—with its much lower barriers to contribution, and its much lower costs for Bomis—rapidly outgrew its parent in size and attention.
For a while, Bomis provided web servers and bandwidth for these projects, paid Sanger in his role as project editor-in-chief (until he left the projects in 2002), and owned key items such as the associated domain names. However, as the costs of Wikipedia rose with its popularity, Bomis' revenues declined as result of the dot-com crash. Wales thought advertising was a possibility, but the Wikipedia community was against any business development. Since Wikipedia became a drain on Bomis' resources, Wales and Sanger, thought of different way to fund the project - charity.
The Wikimedia Foundation was formally announced on June 20, 2003. All intellectual property and domain name assets, including "Wikipedia", were transferred or donated over to the foundation, which was registered as a non-profit organization, but the server hardware was not transferred. Bomis CEO Tim Shell became the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the foundation, with Jimmy Wales as another board member.
- Stöcker, Christian (August 31, 2010). "Eine Weltmacht im Netz" (in German). Der Spiegel. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- "Bomis FAQ". Bomis. Archived from the original on July 24, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- A snapshot of Bomis in the Internet Archive
- Bramhall, Stuart. "The Wikipedia Revolution – Part I (review)". Retrieved December 14, 2011.
- "Bomis What's New". Archived from the original on January 18, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
- Kuchinskas, Susan (March 26, 2009). "Jimmy Wales: Why the recession will not kill digital media". iMedia Connection. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- Neate, Rupert (October 7, 2008). "Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales goes bananas". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved October 01, 2013.
- See domain name registration information and archived copies
- The site is advertised on Bomis.com; as of March 2006, it resolved to the same IP address as premium.bomis.com, and it uses bomis.com as its nameservers.
- "Freedom's Nest". Archived from the original on March 23, 2006. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
- Finkelstein, Seth (2008-09-25). "Read me first: Wikipedia isn't about human potential, whatever Wales says". London: The Guardian.
- Poe, Marshall (September 2006). "The Hive". The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved 2013-10-01.
- Wales, Jimmy (June 20, 2003). "[Wikipedia-l] Announcing Wikimedia Foundation". Retrieved April 7, 2007.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bomis.|
- Jimmy Wales on the Wikipedia-L mailing list about Bomis October 28, 2001
- Jimmy Wales and Bomis - Times Online
- Jimmy Wales and Bomis - Wired
- Bomis at the Internet Archive