Talk:Jimmy Wales/Archive 12

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Archive 11 Archive 12 Archive 13


Requesting lead expansion

I think the lead is too short. The lead should properly summarize the article. For example, the Jimmy Wales#Early life and education can be summarized in the lead in order to comply with the WP:LEAD policy. QuackGuru (talk) 22:15, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

This is worth a comment at the Good article reassessment of this article, as it is a GA criterion. Geometry guy 22:21, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
The lead is too short and poorly written. I do not know where to begin. QuackGuru (talk) 22:27, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
This BLP has too many problems. I suggest a RFC or other procedure to get more Wikipedians involved. QuackGuru (talk) 20:53, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Citation tags

Proposal: Because this is a high-profile page, I propose that citation tags not be displayed in the lead of this page in cases where only one editor has expressed support for that particular use of a citation tag ("citation needed", "verification needed", etc.)

Rationale: This page is probably frequently viewed, especially the lead. Having citation tags in the lead of an article so high-profile as well as closely connected to the project gives the impression that Wikipedia is much more unfinished than it is. I don't think the general reader is all that interested in the fine details such as the difference between "Since 2001" or "As early as 2001", etc. Changes can still take place via talk page discussion and editing. One of the functions of citation tags is to bring in new editors: an expert is reading some obscure topic, sees a citation tag, and thinks "I can supply a reference for that!" I don't think this particular function of the tags would apply so much to this page because anyone who is an expert on Jimmy Wales probably already knows how to edit Wikipedia. Since this is a frequently-edited page, if there's really a good reason for a citation tag it shouldn't be that hard to find a seconder. I just don't think the citation tags look good, for example the three tags in the second paragraph of the lead in this version. Coppertwig (talk) 22:22, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
There is a proposal in another thread that would eliminate two tags. See Talk:Jimmy Wales/Archive 11#Wikipedia seeks consensus and not truth. QuackGuru (talk) 20:59, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, QuackGuru. I followed that link and found a whole thread; I'm not sure which comment in it contains the proposal you're referring to, and since some time has passed I'm not sure whether it applies to tags that are still present; if it does, I would appreciate it if you would point me to where exactly the proposal is.
There are currently two tags I'm aware of in the lead: a box stating that the lead may need to be expanded (and I've just made that box smaller), and a "citation needed" tag. I would like to have all tags removed from the lead of this article if possible, in order to make the article look better. I ask that anyone who supports the tags please explain what needs to be done to have them removed, and preferably supply suggested text for any changes required. Thanks. Coppertwig (talk) 16:14, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for removing the tags, QuackGuru. If you want the lead to be expanded and you tell me what parts of the article you think are not adequately covered, and if you let me know that you think it might be useful, I might try summarizing those parts of the article. Re the citation-needed tag: Do you think the section of the article on the same subtopic is adequately supported by references? Can you think of a different way to summarize that section that you would consider acceptable? Coppertwig (talk) 14:13, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
The Early life and education section is not properly summarized in the lead. See the top of Talk:Jimmy Wales/Archive 12. QuackGuru (talk) 22:03, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
I see the lead have been expanded. Good work! QuackGuru (talk) 18:24, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks!! Coppertwig (talk) 21:26, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
I think a summary of the Jimmy Wales#Philosophy section in the lead after the During his graduate studies he taught at two universities sentence might improve the article. QuackGuru (talk) 21:34, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Digital evangelist

Resolved: It's been over a week now, I think it's safe to assume "digital evangelist" is just a buzzword used once in a Time magazine profile. Deleted. Ottre 00:09, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

This supposed title has been in the article (diff) since it was reported in The New York Times last year. Are we sure Cohen didn't just make it up? The only references to "digital evangelism" I can find on-line concern some church in Chicago which wants to literally use computers to pray. Ottre 23:23, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

UPDATE: he may be misquoting the Big Ideas interview (06 May 2007), where Wales is introduced as a "savvy techno evangelist". Ottre 23:45, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
There's this use of the phrase in a "Time" article - "The digital evangelist has recently come under attack ..." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 17:35, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
If that is the source, then I don't think it's a meaningful title, much less a fair description of his "position on the project". Is there a policy on removing buzzwords? Ottre 18:33, 3 April 2009 (UTC)


Jimmy Wales speaking at FOSDEM 2005.
Jimmy Wales (far left) at a session on Open Source, Open Access, at the Owning the Future conference held in New Delhi, India, August 24 2006.
Wales being interviewed on the red carpet of the 2006 Time 100, by Amanda Congdon for Rocketboom, a daily Internet vidcast.

Lead versus body

As Wikipedia expanded and its public profile grew, Wales took on the role of the project's spokesman and promoter through speaking engagements and media appearances.

This sentence is in the lead but not mentioned in the body of the article. The lead is supposed to be a reflection of the body of the article. QuackGuru (talk) 20:57, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Here is a reference that mentioned Wales as a spokesman of Wikipedia. QuackGuru (talk) 05:46, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
I made this change to improve the lead. QuackGuru (talk) 20:41, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

August 2002

Jimmy Wales identified himself in August 2002 as "co-founder" of Wikipedia.[1]

  1. ^ Wales, Jimmy (August 06, 2002). "3apes open content web directory". Yahoo! Tech Groups forum post. WebCite. Archived from the original on 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2009-04-03. I'm Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Nupedia and Wikipedia, the open content encyclopedias.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

See WP:SELFPUB. QuackGuru (talk) 19:53, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Interesting! Thanks for the link, QuackGuru! Can we verify that it's him? Coppertwig (talk) 14:15, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
Please e-mail Wales if you think he did not write it. QuackGuru (talk) 21:40, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
Why is everyone so bent on email? What happened to transparency? لennavecia 04:01, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Do you think this is transparency? QuackGuru (talk) 04:28, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
According to Wales it was a typo. I think this recent comment verifies that Wales wrote it at the forum in August 2002. QuackGuru (talk) 00:24, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

"And these are your reasons, my lord?" "Do you think I have others?" said Lord Vetinari. "My motives, as ever, are entirely transparent." Hughnon reflected that "entirely transparent" meant either that you could see right through them or that you couldn't see them at all. (Terry Pratchett) -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 04:52, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

I think Seth sums it up well. We now have some additional evidence that contradicts Jimmy's flouting. We, of course, had an abundance to begin with, so that diff never meant much. The question needs to be answered, this time honestly, because people want to know why this blatant rewriting of history is being attempted. Or, shall we take it from the opposite view, we want to know why he "mistakenly" introduced himself as co-founder, when he so adamantly claims to be sole-founder now. لennavecia 12:29, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Searching for The Truth, assembling evidence, holding the mighty to account, and investigative journalism generally are not part of Wikipedia's mission. As a community and as individual editors, we might be interested in any of these things for other reasons, but not for the purpose of improving this article. It was nice to sort out the birthdate issue recently, but the article remains entirely based on factual sourced information and lets the reader decide. It is contrary to WP:BLP for this article to seek answers as to why JW has apparently changed his view until there a reliable secondary sources which present them.
The view we take in the article is, quite simply, the neutral point of view. "(Co-)founder" is a word that labels. This article cannot answer the question as to whether JW was "the founder" of Wikipedia or "a co-founder" of Wikipedia. What does that mean? Different people come to different conclusions based on different agendas and different understandings of what it means to "found" something. My best guess is that JW wasn't too bothered about LS briefing the press when he had many irons in the fire; once Wikipedia's success outstripped the rest and LS left, it was a different story. But what do I know? We can only report what the reliable sources have to say, representing viewpoints fairly and without bias. Geometry guy 19:43, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Which view? According to Wales' view, as late as August 2002 he introduced himself as the "co-founder" of Wikipedia. QuackGuru (talk) 20:39, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
There's no such thing as someone's view. All viewpoints change over time and in response to events. "If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain." is one famous quote on my island. Whatever. WP:NPOV is always worth rereading: the neutral point of view is a viewpoint, and it is the viewpoint in which we write our articles, not our own. Geometry guy 21:29, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
This is a "wiki" and all view points change over time. For example, this edit rewrote history. QuackGuru (talk) 02:12, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't think the "NPOV" presented in the article is an accurate one. We're putting early press releases up against confused journalists and those repeating Jimmy's claims. When looking only at the hard facts, the co-foundership should not be in question. لennavecia 04:39, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Do you have anything specific in mind. Is the "NPOV" presented not accurate in the lead or the body of the article or can we live with the article as presented. QuackGuru (talk) 03:39, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
I tried a compromise. This might work. QuackGuru (talk) 21:47, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
I prefer the original. It is more factual and encyclopedic. If you want to get the "found" word in, I suggest using "his role in the founding of Wikipedia", which is neutral regarding what that role was, or what "founding" is. Geometry guy 21:53, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm in favor of straight "co-found(er|ing)". Anything else strikes me as weasel words. At this point, the evidence is overwhelming. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 22:02, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
"History Version of the 'Jimmy Wales' Article". Wikipedia. September 2004. Retrieved 2009-04-08. Wales became famous after he co-founded Wikipedia on January 15, 2001. 
The original Wikipedia version asserted Wales co-founded Wikipedia. Geometry guy prefers the original version. Okay. QuackGuru (talk) 22:10, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
I hope you are not playing games here, as this would disappoint me greatly. By "original" I meant the version prior to your edit, not some version from 2004! Geometry guy 22:43, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
You stated you prefer the "original" version and I provided a link to inform you about a historical/original version. The version prior to my edit was not the original version. 2004 Wikipedia articles described or asserted Wales as the co-founder. Facts don't change over time. I attempted a compromise. I prefer the compromise or we can assert Wales co-founded Wikipedia without adding weasel words. QuackGuru (talk) 23:11, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
I made this change to assert "co-founder" of Wikipedia without weasel words. QuackGuru (talk) 20:01, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

An open letter to Jimmy Wales (Moved from Jimbo Wales' talk page)

It seems clear that Jimmy and his assistants will not permit my open letter to him to appear here. While I think this violates my rights, and the transparency and freedom of speech that ought to be part of an open project, I can recognize a lost cause when I see one. Therefore, I'll simply link to a copy of the letter. I can only hope that will be acceptable to those in authority here. --Larry Sanger (talk) 18:21, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Note: the following letter has been deleted, restored, and then deleted again. Let me clarify something. Jimmy's participation in a public debate is not necessary. But I do want to assert a right to place this open letter on his user talk page--he is, after all, the project's leading light. Besides, it is unseemly to delete an earnest, legitimate, and justified complaint. Openness to this sort of public criticism seems to be a requirement of any leader of such an open project devoted to freedom of speech and transparency. I have some very legitimate complaints about how Jimmy has treated me and my role in Wikipedia, and I wish to be heard--even if no response is offered. --Larry Sanger (talk) 17:40, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Jimmy, I don't know a better place than this for an open letter to you. I recently read the Hot Press interview with you. The lies and distortions it contains are, for me, the last straw, especially after this came to light, in which you described yourself as "co-founder" in 2002.

I've reached out to you on a couple of occasions to coordinate our "versions"--well, my version and your fanciful inventions--about how Wikipedia got started. Last year I read about a speech in which you represented me as being more or less opposed to Wikipedia from the start--despite it being my own baby, really--and I wrote to you saying that if you keep this up, I will speak out. Well, I'm finally speaking out.

In Wikipedia's first three years, it was clear to everyone working on it that not only had I named the project, I came up with and promoted the idea of making a wiki encyclopedia, wrote the first policy pages and many more policy pages in the following year, led the project, and enforced many rules that are now taken for granted. I came up with a lot of stuff that is regarded as standard operating procedure. For instance, I argued that talk should go on talk pages and got people into that habit. Similarly, after meta-discussion started taking up so much of Wikipedia's time and energy, I shepherded talk about the project to after that, to Wikipedia-L and WikiEN-L. I insisted that we were working on an encyclopedia, not on the many other things one can use a wiki for. I came up with the name "Wikipedian" and other Wikipedia jargon. I had devised a neutrality policy for Nupedia, and I elaborated it in a form that stood for several years on Wikipedia. I did a lot of explaining and evangelizing for Wikipedia--what it is about, why we are here, and so forth--for example, in Wikipedia:Our Replies to Our Critics and a couple of well-known posts on like this one and this. I also recall introducing many specific policy details, the evidence for which is in archives (such as on and no doubt in the memories of some of the more active early Wikipedians.

These are only some examples of ways in which I led the project in its first 14 months; after I left, there was a lot of soul-searching in the project about what would happen now that it was "leaderless" (see the quotations linked from this page). When I was involved in the project, I was regarded as its chief organizer. As you can still see in the archives, I called myself "Chief Instigator" and "Chief Organizer" and the like (not editor).

I also want to correct you on something that tends to harm me: your repeated insinuations that I was "fired." In the Hot Press interview, you said I left Wikipedia because you "didn't want to pay him any more." You know--and so does everyone else who worked at Bomis, Inc., around a dozen people--that at the end of 2001, you had to go back to Bomis' original 4-5 employees, because of the tech market bust, when Bomis suddenly lost a million-dollar ad deal. Tim Shell told me I was the last person to be laid off. He told me--the day I arrived back from my honeymoon, as I recall--that I should probably start looking for new work, because of the market. I was made to believe, and always did until a few years ago when you started implying otherwise, that I had been laid off just like all the other Bomis employees.

In those first three years, Wikipedia did three press releases, in which we are both given credit as founders of the project. I drafted the first press release in January 2002; you read and approved it before posting it on the wires. Moreover, you must have read the many early news articles that called us both founders. You could have complained then--when you were CEO of the company that paid my paycheck. But you didn't. In fact, you called yourself "co-founder" from time to time. Evidence of this has surfaced in the form of this post to xodp in which you begin, "Hello, let me introduce myself. I'm Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Nupedia and Wikipedia, the open content encyclopedias." While your company supplied the funding and you supplied some guidance, I supplied the main leadership of the early project. This is why Wikipedia's second press release also called me "founder," in 2003--just after I broke permanently with you and the Wikipedia community--and the Wikimedia Foundation's first press release described me the same way, in early 2004.

I had nothing to do with the second and third press releases, and, as Bomis CEO and Wikimedia Chair, you approved all three. But now read what you told Hot Press recently. The interviewer asked: "Sanger said that proof of his being co-founder is on the initial press releases. Are you saying that he basically just put himself down as co-founder on these press releases?" You answered "Yes." How could I "put myself down as co-founder" in 2003 and 2004, when I wasn't even part of the organization? This is an attempt to buff your reputation while making me look like a liar--but your simple "Yes" answer can be refuted with a few URLs; you were a contact on all three press releases.

Beginning in 2004, you began leaving me out of the story of Wikipedia's origin. You began implying, to reporters, that you had done a lot of the sort of work that, in fact, you hired me to do. You have even implied that I was opposed to various ideas that were crucial to Wikipedia's popular success--when those were, for all intents and purposes, my own ideas. A good example is Daniel Pink's article for Wired Magazine--in which you implied that I had little or nothing to do with Wikipedia.

You still do this. You told the Hot Press interviewer, "Larry was never comfortable with the open-editing model of Wikipedia and he very early on wanted to start locking things down and giving certain people special authority--you know, recruit experts to supervise certain areas of the encyclopaedia and things like that." This is a lie. I was perfectly comfortable with the "open-editing model of Wikipedia." After all, that was my idea. I did not want to "start locking things down"----or to "recruit experts to supervise certain areas of the encyclopaedia." I challenge anyone to find any evidence in the archive that I did any such thing. For my early attitude toward expert involvement, see this column, written a year after the project started. Besides, your claim doesn't make sense. Even after a year, I was hoping that a revitalized Nupedia would work in tandem with Wikipedia as its vetting service. Though you increasingly disliked Nupedia as Wikipedia's star rose, it was always my assumption that you felt the same way about at least the potential of the two projects working together.

It was one thing, in 2004, to leave me out of the story of Wikipedia. It was another to assert in 2005, (1) for the very first time, that somebody else had the idea for the project, contrary to what had been on the books since 2001, or (2) that I am not co-founder of the project. But in both cases, people scanning the Wikipedia-L mailing list archives found old mails in which you contradicted yourself. One embarrassing mail has you giving me credit--as, of course, I always had been given credit--for the idea of Wikipedia, and another embarrassing mail surfaced just a few days ago in which you called yourself "co-founder" of Wikipedia.

I find your behavior since 2004 transparently self-serving, considering that this rewriting of history began in 2004, just as was getting started, and you started promoting your reputation as the brains behind Wikipedia. There is a long "paper trail" establishing virtually all of my claims about Wikipedia, and which refute your various attempts to rewrite history.

I have not publicly confronted you about this before, to this extent. Public controversies are emotionally wrenching and time-consuming. I know I might be (verbally) attacked more viciously than ever by your fans and Wikipedia's. (To them, I just point out that Wikipedia is bigger than Jimmy Wales.) I have mainly limited myself to answering reporters' questions--keeping my more harshly-worded statements off the record--and to this page on my personal site. Occasionally I couldn't help objecting to some particularly outrageous claim, but I never went all out.

I thought that the evidence against your claims about me would shame you into changing your behavior. But, five years since you started misrepresenting my role in the founding of Wikipedia, you're still at it.

I have been content to watch you reap the rewards of the project I started for you, largely without comment. You (with Tim Shell and Michael Davis, the Bomis partners) did, after all, sponsor the project. After leaving Wikipedia, I went back to academia and, after that, worked for a succession of nonprofit projects--these days, and now also I have not tried to cash in on my own reputation. I have been approached by a number of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and publishers and have always told them that I have my own plans. If I had wanted to cash in myself, I wouldn't have moved away from Silicon Valley back to Ohio, as I did, in order to lower my costs in supporting the non-profit projects which I've made my life's work.

The Hot Press interview is the straw that broke this camel's back. I resent being the victim of another person's self-serving lies. Besides, I don't want to set a poor example in my failure to defend myself.

Please don't say I'm making mountains out of molehills. When you go out of your way to edit Wikipedia articles to remove the fact that I am a co-founder, or ask others to do so, I don't call that correcting "very simple errors," as you told Hot Press. What angers me is not any one error, but the accumulated weight of your lies about me--I've mentioned only a few of them here.

Finally, you might protest that you have said, several times, that I am not credited enough. For example, you told Hot Press:

I feel that Larry's work is often under-appreciated. He really did a lot in the first year to think through editorial policy. ... I would actually love to have it on the record that I said: I think Larry's work should be more appreciated. He's a really brilliant guy.

This sounds like a fine sentiment. But how could it be sincere? What better way to ensure that I am "under-appreciated" than to contradict your own first three press releases and tell the Boston Globe, just two years later, that it's "preposterous" that I am called co-founder?

I have two further requests, not of you, but of those who deal with you: the Wikimedia Foundation and reporters.

First, I ask the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation to reiterate the Foundation's original position (as expressed in its first press release) that we are both, in fact, founders of Wikipedia. (I note that the author of the recent history of Wikipedia, Andrew "fuzheado" Lih, was among the authors and contacts for this press release.) If the Foundation is unwilling, I request an explanation why its corporate view has changed. Is it simply because Jimmy Wales has made his wishes known and you enforce them?

Second, I request any reporter who interviews you about the early history of Wikipedia and Nupedia to interview me as well, so I can correct anything misleading. They should know that there are many details in my 2005 memoir of Nupedia and Wikipedia, and my story has never varied. I would also appreciate it if a reporter were to inquire about my request, above, to the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation.

--Larry Sanger (talk) 15:38, 8 April 2009 (UTC) (

Archived comments

I un-archived this, perfectly reasonable to keep discussion open if anyone cares to... RxS (talk) 00:15, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Relevant comments

Why is this here? I deleted this from Jimbo's talk page and LS agreed to link to Citizendium from his JW's user talk page. Griffinofwales (talk) 20:50, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
See my comments at User talk:Jimmy Wales. We can tolerate the digression, and discussion of it, in the hope that it will help us to improve this and other related articles. Geometry guy 21:02, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
It's relevant here, and there's no policy to support removing it. لennavecia 21:12, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
How is it relevant here? It has nothing to do with the article. Griffinofwales (talk) 22:20, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
It's perfectly relevant. There's ongoing discussion on this talk page about how to word the "founder" versus "co-founder" stuff in this article; this letter is part of that discussion. Coppertwig (talk) 22:28, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
We don't repeat entire letters on Talk pages, particularly when we have a link, especially when it seems WP:POINTY and is in the midst of drama. Better judgment to incite the situation should be used. I replaced the letter with the note left on Jimmy's page. It has a link anyone is welcome to click. --David Shankbone 22:35, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
This is relevant and there is no consensus to delete it. QuackGuru (talk) 22:42, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't really care, but I don't see how it's relevent. They have a personal disagreement? Fine but they (or anyone else having some disagreement) can't fight it out here. If this is about content, the letter goes well beyond the co-founder issue, this page isn't about Larry or Wikipedia. [1] Either way, seems like Larry is using Wikipedia as a battleground. Silly either way, this is not the place to decide these issues. RxS (talk) 22:57, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

A "personal disagreement"? What? It's not a "personal" anything. It's a public disagreement that is directly related to the project and relevant to this article as there is a whole section devoted to this particular dispute. Don't edit other people's posts. There's a guide about this somewhere. You don't like what it says? Get over it. He's detailing a history with relevant links as evidence. So, unless you've got constructive comments regarding the information and how it affects the article, if at all, get back to doing whatever it is you do. لennavecia 23:03, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Who are you talking to? I didn't edit anyones posts and you really need to get over yourself. This isn't a battle ground for participants in a disagreement to fight it out. This is an encyclopedia, not a forum for primary sources. RxS (talk) 23:15, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, if my words don't apply to you, I'm probably not talking to you. لennavecia 03:13, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
They don't apply to me even though you responded to something I wrote, quoted it even....the you in your reply must have been the "royal" you 'eh? Gotcha... RxS (talk) 03:25, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I'd say it's deeply relevant due to addressing both the facts of the matter, and the surrounding politics (which is a proper topic for the Talk page of an article). I keep making the point, it's a critical test for Wikipedia as to whether it sticks to the encyclopedic record (overwhelmingly in Sanger's favor, imho), or bends to the obvious PR campaign being waged by The Funder. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 23:07, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
The link is enough. Please do not restore the letter once I delete it. Griffinofwales (talk) 23:18, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
In this specific case, under these particular circumstances, I disagree. Something like 90% of people don't click on links. I'm not inclined to edit-war over it myself, but as a factual matter, there's not equivalence. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 23:22, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
I am convinced this is relevant. QuackGuru (talk) 23:26, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
What would be the point in keeping the letter though? I could be totally wrong about this but since Wikipedia can't use itself as a source including the letter wouldn't advance the issue at all. And if that's the case then it's just a matter of using Wikipedia as a battleground. Don't get me wrong, I think Larry is more right than wrong in his assetions about co-founding Wikipedia. RxS (talk) 23:32, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia is already a battleground, whenever Jimmy Wales uses his position or status in it to advance his history rewrite. That horse has already left the barn, gone to the Kentucky Derby, and ran several races in the national media. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 23:39, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
No doubt true, but doesn't that mean he should be stopped instead of widening the battle? Naive? maybe. But I think it's pretty clear that a letter like this would be removed instantly on any other article here. RxS (talk) 23:53, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Can we attempt to get a larger consensus here, first? With no disrespect intended, I think an injection of fresh and uninvolved opinions is needed. I personally think it is relevant and should stay in some form (the details to be hashed out), but thus far I see a pretty strongly split set of opinions and no consensus to delete. Bullzeye contribs 23:37, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Griffinofwales, you're not one to determine the appropriateness of the letter and unilaterally remove it. In fact, as you've weighed in, you have no authority to determine the consensus here. And obviously there is none at this point. Larry's comments are directly relevant to the article. It contains links both used in the article now and some that could potentially be added. Rightly noted, it can't be used (yet) as a source, but give it a day or two. It's going to be in the media soon enough, as all the major journalists who cover Wikipedia are now aware of it. لennavecia 23:51, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
  • The point you all want to make is to re-publish the letter here. Let's not be disingenuous, especially since nobody is discussing the letter in relation to the article. In effect, it's a backdoor to publishing the letter on Wikipedia, on Wales's article, which is why we have Seth saying "I disagree. Something like 90% of people don't click on links." They certainly would if the purpose was to actually discuss the letter in relation to the article we are using to backdoor publish it. --David Shankbone 00:07, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I think a link to the letter would be more appropriate than "publishing" it here on the talk page. Posting it in its entirety seems me to be tantamount to a kind of soapboxing. If there are relevant qutoes or bits that need to be discussed in relation to the article, that would be fine to include. It's pretty unusual to post an entire article, oped, or letter of this kind in a discussion. I recognize that others may feel differently, but those are my 2 cents. ChildofMidnight (talk) 00:17, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

It also violates WP:TALK:

The policies that apply to articles apply also (if not to the same extent) to talk pages, including Wikipedia's verification, neutral point of view and no original research policies. There is of course some reasonable allowance for speculation, suggestion and personal knowledge on talk pages, with a view to prompting further investigation, but it is usually a misuse of a talk page to continue to argue any point that has not met policy requirements.

This is Larry's personal side of the story, in his words, in an open letter to "the world" or whatever. --David Shankbone 00:24, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Regarding "They certainly would ..." - no, they wouldn't. That's wishful thinking. People (the vast majority) do as little effort as possible. Too many would work just from the comments rather than reading the material themselves. I wouldn't endorse having such material directly if it were libelous, or even if I thought it were harmfully untrue. But in this case, given the entire context this is taking place, under this set of facts, I believe it's directly pertinent to the article and ongoing discussion of the "co-founder" terminology. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 01:52, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

There are a few flaws in the above. First, why is it being stated as if we are reprinting an article? The author put it here. Also, the quote above doesn't indicate how this fails to meet policy, whatever that means. What policy does it violate? My reading of that policy quote seems to support the letter being here. For example, "reasonable allowance for ... personal knowledge ... with a view to prompting further investigation". Larry provided links to verify his claims, so OR isn't an issue. Clearly, Larry wants further investigation into the matter, as he's being publicly marginalized and the credit for his work given to others. If this is not the place for him to present his facts, then where should he? Remember, too, this isn't just some random guy. In addition to being a co-founder of the project, he's also an editor, albeit retired. لennavecia 03:13, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

The letter is extremely relevant to the article talk because editors are clearly going to try and verify the information provided, and decide if it merits inclusion. In essence, this information is posted as a sticky, as would a reference or external link that was scrutinized in an effort to see what, if any, part is applicable to improving this article. the_undertow talk 03:21, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Keep the letter here. One of the elements establishing Wales' notability is his role in creating Wikipedia. Whether he is the sole founder or co-founder is important information as part of that. Think of this letter as a primary source. Cla68 (talk) 04:11, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Keep It belongs here, if for no other reason that Larry Sanger is an editor in good standing, making a comment on another user's talk page about that user's behavior. Fred Talk 17:17, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Keep the letter here (sorry if this is redundant with my comment above). Please treat Larry with the respect due to all Wikipedian editors. If you think Larry's letter is inappropriate here in some way, please ask Larry to refactor or delete it. Larry's letter is definitely relevant to improving this article, as it contains discussion directly addressing the question of "founder" versus "co-founder", extensively discussed here. Whether anyone is replying to Larry is irrelevant: Larry is, in effect, (as I see it) replying to the many previous comments and article edits on this issue at this article. If some parts of the letter are not relevant here, you can ask Larry to delete those parts, explaining why. Deleting the whole letter would be deleting relevant material. Lots of people include some irrelevant stuff in their comments; we don't usually delete it. I think it's least disruptive to just leave the whole letter here. I don't see that it's doing any harm. See Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines#Others' comments: "Editing others' comments is sometimes allowed, but you should exercise caution in doing so." Coppertwig (talk) 21:49, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Linking of WP userpage twice in the main space

See here. I've removed them for two reasons:

  1. We don't do cross-space redirects; so linking Jimmy Wales directly to User:Jimbo Wales is out.
  2. His user page is already linked in the External Links section.

Thanks. rootology (C)(T) 20:25, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Ref names

I made this change to improve the name of the reference. There are a lot more ref names that could be renamed. QuackGuru (talk) 20:55, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

It's actually not a good change as it is multiple references for the birthday and you're naming after the first reference in the bunch. "Birthdate" would probably be a better title. لennavecia 21:29, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I changed it to Birthdate as suggested. QuackGuru (talk) 22:24, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

More sources on the co-founder status, some yearly trend info, and the duty of NPOV

For what it's worth, sources that are very reliable for years have been calling Wales co-founder with Sanger.

See: New York Times, Rediff, Dallas Morning News, Dallas Morning News, The BBC, St. Petersburg Times, Contra Costa Times, Nature, CNET News, National Public Radio, The Guardian.

I'd always believed, "Whatever, conspiracy theory," to all the talk of history on this point being gradually re-written year by year after Sanger left Wikipedia. The media is lazy and repeats what is said often enough. In the modern Now-Now-Now nature of the Internet of today, this is obvious and exposed all over the place for when errors from lazy reporting occur. If you search for Wales, founder, co-founder, and Wikipedia on various search tools and in various formats, year-by-year, start in 2001. Each year Wales is a co-founder in the overwhelming majority of cases until around later in 2004/sometime in 2005, and then it begins to swing the other way.

So all the early reporting is simply wrong, for years until Wikipedia got big? And Jimmy never made a fuss over it until Wikipedia became the Next Big Thing and Larry was gone? Highly unlikely, and here are ample early sources which would be more reliable for terms of reporting on co-founder/founder status, as reported and undisputed at the time of their publication and for several years afterwards in other reliable sources "per Jimmy". Where are the similar RS from the same 2001-2004 time frame--a very long period of time--where Jimmy Wales is quoted as saying, "I was the sole founder, not co-founder"? Does the weight of those RS that are not self-published (comments from Wales on Wikipedia, e-mails, or anything issued by the WMF are not independent for this) contradict all this other early reporting that listed him as co-founder? Please demonstrate how, if so, with sources of equal weight from the same 2001-2004ish time period. Wales' own reported words later nor his status to us carry zero extra weight on this. We have to treat him exactly like any random Joe Schmoe Citizen With An Article or the NPOV we die by is a joke.

Jimmy's personal view on the matter, circa 2005-2009, has no impact on NPOV reporting of "Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia." Especially as Sanger now is very adamant in public on this matter, for NPOV we have to go back to all the early reporting that existed in the early years of Wikipedia. Anything else is electronic "he said, she said," and deserves a footnote. For purposes of the lead, we have to go by what consensus is, and the consensus of the media until a year or two or three after Sanger's departure was that he and Jimmy were co-founders. Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in both their leads must be credited as co-founder. No one can rewrite history, and anyone that attempts to do so on-wiki should be shown the door, up to and including either User:Larry Sanger or User:Jimbo Wales. Honor NPOV, or get out. No one is above that rule.

What I've posted here is just a handful of the early reporting listing "co-founder, Jimmy Wales," it would be of principle interest if Jimmy ever went back--at or immediately after--the time of their publication to get them to correct this information. If not, I think this pretty solid at this point in time that for the early years of Wikipedia, before Sanger's departure, that Jimmy was considered by reliable sources, the authority we have to bow to for NPOV, as the co-founder rather than sole-founder of Wikipedia. rootology (C)(T) 05:28, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

I am convinced Wales is the (co-)founder of Wikipedia. QuackGuru (talk) 19:42, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
It doesn't matter what you are convinced of. What matters is what reliable sources call/label Wales. Co-founder seems to be reliable sourced. Anyways, --Tom (talk) 20:21, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
As per WP:V and WP:RS policies, co-founder of Wikipedia is NPOV. QuackGuru (talk) 22:22, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Without expanation or any valid reason, editors are rewriting history. Wales wrote in his own words that he is the "co-founder" of Wikipedia as late as August 2002. QuackGuru (talk) 03:56, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
A yahoo group cannot be used as a reliable source, so stop using it as one.— dαlus Contribs 04:50, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Please read the other sources at the top of this thread. QuackGuru (talk) 04:54, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but if Jimmy Wales stated in public that he was co-founder, that is absolutely relevant as a primary source. rootology (C)(T) 05:05, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

It's all a moot point anyway, given the massive weight of pre-2005/2005 sources, and the official WP and WMF press releases that were dug up. If the WP of the early days in official literature and the WMF itself call Jimmy a co-founder, whatever he says cannot ever change that. The genie has left the bottle, killed the horse, and Barbara Streisand sang about it. rootology (C)(T) 05:08, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Earlier versions of Wikipedia pages describe Wales or Sanger as the co-founder of Wikipedia.
"History Version of the 'Wikipedia' Article". Wikipedia. June 2004. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
"History Version of the 'History of Wikipedia' Article". Wikipedia. August 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
"History Version of the 'Larry Sanger' Article". Wikipedia. August 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
"History Version of the 'Jimmy Wales' Article". Wikipedia. September 2004. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
Press releases from Wikipedia in the years of 2002 - 2004 describe Wales and Sanger as the co-founder.
"Free Encyclopedia Project, Wikipedia, Creates 20,000 Articles in a Year (Wikipedia 2002 Press release)". describing Sanger and Wales as "co-founders". Wikipedia. January 15, 2002. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
"Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, reaches its 100,000th article (Wikipedia 2003 Press release)". stating Sanger and Wales founded the site. Wikipedia. January 21, 2003. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
"Wikipedia publishes 500,000 articles in 50 languages (Wikipedia 2004 Press release)". describes Sanger as a founder. Wikipedia. February 25, 2004. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
Early media coverage articles described Wales and Sanger as the co-founders.
Meyers, Peter (September 20, 2001). "Fact-Driven? Collegial? This Site Wants You". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-10. "I can start an article that will consist of one paragraph, and then a real expert will come along and add three paragraphs and clean up my one paragraph," said Larry Sanger of Las Vegas, who founded Wikipedia with Mr. Wales.
Heim, Judy (September 4, 2001). "Free the Encyclopedias!". Technology Review. Retrieved 2009-04-10. "Wikipedia's really taken off," marvels cofounder Jimmy Wales. Started in January, the free online encyclopedia has packed in over 8,000 entries.
Mayfield, Kendra (January 28, 2003). "Not Your Father's Encyclopedia". Wired. Wired News. Retrieved 2009-04-10. "People from very diverse backgrounds can agree on what can be in an encyclopedia article, even if they can't agree on something else," said Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales.
QuackGuru (talk) 05:45, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Two final sources on the co-founding issue, which are definitive there is no way that Jimmy didn't see these, as he ran the show back then:

A January 21, 2003 press release, which was written after Larry Sanger left Wikipedia officially. It stated:

"The Wikipedia project was founded in January 2001 by Internet entrepreneur Jimmy Wales and philosopher Larry Sanger."

And The first ever press release by the Wikimedia Foundation, published on February 25, 2004, also long after Larry was gone. It states (and still does):

"The Wikipedia project was founded in January 2001 by Internet entrepreneur Jimmy Wales and philosopher Larry Sanger."

Add in this email by Jimmy here (I can buy the typo claim once, but two press releases and now another email?)... Can we move on, now, that the co-founding question has been definitively answered?

The WMF and an official press release about WP (written and/or clearly known about by Jimmy) is the definitive authority on this matter. rootology (C)(T) 04:05, 10 April 2009 (UTC)


This article is disputed. To claim otherwise while edit warring is both sad and unacceptable, there is a dispute and we need to deal with that. Thanks, SqueakBox 15:36, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

What is disputed about the first sentence of the article? rootology (C)(T) 15:43, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
It's disputed in the same way that, e.g. Barack Obama is a US citizen is disputed - i.e WP:FRINGE to the evidentiary record -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 15:44, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

This is baffling to me. This article is as bound to WP:RS, WP:V, and WP:NPOV as any other article. See these edits. The WMF itself calls Wales "co-founder" in it's first ever press release, plus in earlier press releases that precede the WMF forming, and after Larry left, with the exact same language. What is the dispute now then? Did the WP/WMF leadership in 2003-2004 put out two major press releases with matching typos and duplicate language a year apart? rootology (C)(T) 15:54, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Tend to agree with Rootology. The sourcing is clear. I supose techincally anyone can dispute anything, but if I threw a disputed tag on George Washington saying he wasn't president I wouldn't expect it would stick around too long.--Cube lurker (talk) 20:14, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

April 2009

This recent change was added to the end of a sentence that is from 2006. It is a bit out of place to jump from a 2006 statement to an interview in 2009 quoting from a blog. QuackGuru (talk) 19:42, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Citation needed

Will somebody please remove the {{fact}} tags in the introduction next to the sentences about his degrees and teaching? These issues seem to be covered in reference 13 and 17 in the current version. It is also confirmed in the New Yorker's Annals of Information: Know It All and's Building a Wiki World. (talk) 00:32, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

BLP check

I would like this article to be checked for any BLP concerns. We could have this article reviewed by starting a thread at the BLP noticeboard. QuackGuru (talk) 19:27, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Sounds good, and the recent GAR might contain comments of interest. Skomorokh 19:44, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Excellent idea, and a good way toget others interested in working on the article. Thanks, SqueakBox 20:40, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Text failed verification

Wales' work developing Wikipedia, which has become the world's largest encyclopedia, prompted Time magazine to name him in its 2006 list of the world's most influential people.

Anderson, Chris (April 30, 2006). "Jimmy Wales: The (Proud) Amateur Who Created Wikipedia". Time. Retrieved February 17, 2008. 

This text in the lead failed verification and failed to meet WP:LEAD policy. The text is not a summary of the body of article. QuackGuru (talk) 19:53, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the lead should summarize text in the body, but I'm not sure the statement is unsupported. Which specific point do you see a problem with? (I've put the quotation from the article in a quote template, hope you don't mind). Skomorokh 20:26, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
The first part of the sentence. QuackGuru (talk) 20:52, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
The article doesn't spell out one specific reason for the accolade, but puts Wales in three roles: creator of the encyclopedia, "champion of Internet-enabled egalitarianism", and the "prophet" of Wikipedia. I think the first one is most relevant, so let's use that instead of "developing". Skomorokh 21:05, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. QuackGuru (talk) 21:27, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Education or philosophy

This text seems out of place. QuackGuru (talk) 19:07, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

It could go in the philosophy section, but that might have readers scrolling back up to get re-acquainted with Wales' education. Skomorokh 19:09, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
"Wikipedia Founder Discourages Academic Use of His Creation". The Chronicle of Higher Education. June 12, 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-18. 
This reference seems like it could go in the education section too but it could also go in another section. QuackGuru (talk) 19:12, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
It does not tell us anything about Wales' education, but could perhaps find a place in one of the articles about Wikipedia. Skomorokh 19:18, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

There's more on Wales' philosophy of education in this profile:

Wales, whose wife Christine teaches their 5-year-old daughter Kira at home, says he is disappointed by the "factory nature" of American education: "There's something significantly broken about the whole concept of school." A longtime opponent of mandatory public school attendance, Wales says that part of the allure of Florida, where his Wikimedia Foundation is based, is its relatively laissez-faire attitude toward homeschoolers. This makes it easier for Wales and his wife to let Kira (a tiny genius in her father's eyes) follow her own interests and travel with her parents when Wales gives one of his many speeches abroad.

It seems as the leader of an educational project, his view on this might be worth mentioning. If we combine this material with that added in the diff at the beginning of this thread, we might have a nice little paragraph. The only question is where it belongs: after the paragraph on his primary education (disrupts chronology), at the end of the education section after postgrad studies (disrupts chronology) or in the philosophy section (perhaps a little undue weight vs. other views). Thoughts? Skomorokh 17:34, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Rohan ethnicity

This is a minor issue, but I was skimming through the article and noticed we refer to Jimmy's second wife Christine Rohan as "half-Japanese." While it's sourced and true per Jimmy himself, it strikes me as an odd thing to mention. I'm guessing perhaps she is "half-American" as well (or maybe not, anyhow she has some other ethnic heritage besides Japanese) but obviously we don't mention that, presumably because we don't have a source for it. I'm not certain but I imagine that, as a rule, we don't make reference to the ethnicity (or other similar characteristics) of non-notable spouses/companions of biographical subjects unless there is something particularly relevant about said fact (for example to point out an interracial marriage at a time when such unions were still outlawed in certain states). That doesn't seem to be the situation here, and as such I'm wondering if anyone objects to removing the ethnic description of Rohan? To me at least it sort of sticks out like a sore thumb, little different from saying "the very tall Christine Rohan" or "the Pittsburgh-born Christine Rohan" (obviously I'm making these up). As I said not a huge deal, but it seems like something we could/should do without. Any thoughts? --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 10:15, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

I just stuck it in because the article is light on biographical details, and Wales thought it was worth mentioning. I don't know what the significance if any is. Skomorokh 17:04, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
That's understandable, but at this point would you object to removing it? If not I might just take it out. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 18:47, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Bigtimepeace, I'm with you. That's not standard for references to spouses in other articles, save where it's an integral part of someone's public persona. +sj +
No worries; I'm not at all au fait with American cultural norms and thought it might part of the ancestry fetish you chaps have going on. Skomorokh 09:51, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
We Yanks are nearly impossible to please (not to mention fickle) when it comes to terminological matters relating to ethnic heritage, so don't even bother trying! Thanks for the removal (though it briefly said "the Christine Rohan" - which I rather liked, very vague and important sounding - but I fixed that).--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 12:23, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Hahaha cheers; it's never a good idea to be one's own copyeditor! Skomorokh 17:18, 20 April 2009 (UTC)


In this interview, Wales mentions having lived in San Diego, and moving to Florida from California. Would this be after he retired as a trader to focus on Bomis? I'm not sure, as he describes doing things in San Diego on the "way home from work". Anyone got any insight on this? Skomorokh 17:22, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

According to The Atlantic, Sanger moved to San Diego when starting work on the project. 19:57, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Co-founder of Bomis

Tim Shell is one of the founding partners of Bomis.[2]. In 1996, Wales and two partners founded a Web directory called Bomis.[3] "Also, to the best of my knowledge, the "thousands of his own dollars" invested in these projects were, if I am not very mistaken, the dollars of, which is jointly owned by three partners, Jimmy, Tim Shell, and Michael Davis. (The money for Wikipedia now comes from donations.)"[4] QuackGuru (talk) 19:32, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Money quotes

I'm trying to track down statements about Wales' wealth. If anyone knows of any or would care to help, your contributions would be most appreciated. Skomorokh 16:39, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Well, I made enough money – I used to be a futures and options trader and I‘m not a wealthy person but I‘m a person who lives within my means. So I have enough money to live and I can‘t think of anything cooler to be doing so this is what I do.

— Wales, Interview with C-Span
"The only available estimate of Wales' net worth comes from a now-removed section of his own Wikipedia entry, pinning his fortune at less than $1 million." - . That's a July 2006 statement: "I do not have millions of dollars. I do not even have one million dollars." 16:27, 11 July 2006 (UTC) -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 18:18, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Seth, that's helpful. I'm trying to figure out if there's anything worth including about the "Wales made enough money to live off from trading" image, but nothing reliable is showing up so far. Skomorokh 18:26, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Found this from Reason, June 2007:

Wales moved to Chicago and became a futures and options trader. After six years of betting on interest rates and currency fluctuations, he made enough money to pay the mortgage for the rest of his life.

— Reason, June 2007
Perhaps it's an American thing, but I'm not sure whether this is to be read literally or figuratively – does this mean he had enough to live off or enough to pay off a home loan? Skomorokh 19:08, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
You're welcome. It's figurative. Note, that's the same article with the quote I cited above - "The only available estimate of Wales' net worth comes from a now-removed section of his own Wikipedia entry, pinning his fortune at less than $1 million.". Basically, sources are in conflict on this point. Some imply he's very rich, but offer no evidence, some say not, tracing it ultimately to his own statement. Note also it's possible that prior wealth has deteriorated over time (i.e. he could have been wealthier in 1996 than in 2006 - that has happened to many people due to the tech bust). It's also possible to read it all to say he's moderately well-off but not super-rich - i.e. he could own a house outright and have say $900,000 in investments, which would be enough to say one could live very frugally without working, but not at rock-star levels. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 21:02, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Ah, that clarifies the situation, thank you. Skomorokh 19:15, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Here's some more information, from Trader Daily, June/July 2008:

Just how much money those savings comprised is something of a mystery. News stories that appeared after Wikipedia had begun garnering attention suggest that his trading career had earned him enough cash -- in the millions of dollars, these articles seem to hint, though figures are never provided -- that he could have retired at 34 and never worked another day. Wales calls this "a wild exaggeration" and "a quote that gets mangled a lot."

— Trader Daily, June/July 2008

-- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 18:52, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Should Trader Daily be considered a reliable source? I'm not familiar with it. We need to address this issue in the article one way or another, and I'm not sure tacitly endorsing the Daniel Pink quote in favour of the claim is better than using this one. Skomorokh 19:15, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
I would say it's a reliable source for these purposes. It's the business press, so it has that sort of orientation. Certainly it would seem as good as Wired if not better. And that description does seem to be the most comprehensive found on the topic so far. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 03:39, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Sanger led the project

"Wales installed wiki software on a server and authorized Sanger to pursue the project under his supervision." According to Sanger, Wales was "very hands-off". QuackGuru (talk) 20:22, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Sanger can hardly be considered a reliable source in this instance. Do the majority of independent sources concur? If not, no deal. Skomorokh 20:24, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
The only source I could find disputes the text currently in the article. QuackGuru (talk) 20:34, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
The Newsweek quote that we cite (JW: "Yes, when I first started I would actually wake up at night to go down and check what was being posted.") suggests a less hands-off approach. Furthermore, the "hands-off" quote (both here and in The Hive article) is in the context of Sanger's initial appointment to build Nupedia. The installation of the wiki software is a later development. Geometry guy 19:38, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
When Wikipedia got started it was a Nupedia Wiki. The installation of the wiki software was Sanger's proposal. QuackGuru (talk) 20:06, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
But it was completely separate from Nupedia, which continued to exist. The quote refers to Nupedia, not Nupedia Wiki. Geometry guy 20:12, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Sanger established a set of Wikipedia guidelines

Sanger dubbed the project "Wikipedia"[11] and, with Wales, laid down the founding principles and content,[original research?] establishing an Internet-based community of contributors during that year.[citation needed]

Schiff, Stacy (July 31, 2006). "Know It All". Can Wikipedia conquer expertise?. The New Yorker. Retrieved 2009-04-21. At the beginning, there were no formal rules, though Sanger eventually posted a set of guidelines on the site. The first was “Ignore all the rules.” Two of the others have become central tenets: articles must reflect a neutral point of view (N.P.O.V., in Wikipedia lingo), and their content must be both verifiable and previously published. 

The text currently in the article fails N.P.O.V. QuackGuru (talk) 01:07, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

If you already have the reference, what's stopping you? Though your fact-checking is very rigourous, I find your contribution style a little odd – it looks like it's just you and I editing this for the time being, so unless I complain about something (or other editors show up), go ahead and make what improvements you think best as long as you're confident they're in keeping with our policies and guidelines. I know it's an important article, but still, be bold! Skomorokh 02:21, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Singer, Michael (January 16, 2002). "Free Encyclopedia Project Celebrates Year One". Jupitermedia. Retrieved 2009-04-21. The two attribute Wikipedia's success so far to the presence of a strong core group of contributors who together maintain community standards of quality and neutrality.  |archive-url= is malformed: timestamp (help)
Here is a reference for the community of contributors bit. Is there any references for what Wales did during the early development of Wikipedia. Below is a draft for a rewrite.
Sanger dubbed the project "Wikipedia"[11] and formulated a number of guidelines and rules,[Stacy Schiff citation] establishing an Internet-based community of contributors during that year.[Michael Singer citation] QuackGuru (talk) 05:12, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Are you sure the Singer reference is a reliable source? Skomorokh 22:37, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Discrepancies in the references


CNN says Wales was research director at the options firm in Chicago from 1994 to 2000. The New Yorker agrees that he began trading in 1994, but claims that "Four years later, he moved to San Diego, where he used his savings to found an Internet portal". This suggests he quit his job as a trader circa 1998, contra CNN. Anyone got any insight on this? Skomorokh 21:12, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

CNN is probably wrong, unless it's a case of holding a title while on a leave of absence or consulting arrangement, which is possible. There's a Bomis press release in March 1999, so he was doing Bomis extensively by then. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 21:47, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, that's enough reasonable doubt to drop the 2000 date, I think. Thanks again, Seth. Skomorokh 22:59, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Did Wales fund Wikipedia in the early days or did Bomis?

According to The Telegraph, "Revenue from Bomis supported the web servers and bandwidth for Wikipedia and its predecessor, Nupedia." According to, "Wales has supplied the financial backing and other support for the project". The precision of the former seems more re-assuring. Skomorokh 23:19, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

The former is correct. The funding came from Bomis's corporate account, not Wales's personal money - though to be fair it was Wales's decision to spend that business money on Wikipedia. In his own words "So long as wikipedia is part of Bomis, Inc., my costs are tax deductible as ordinary business expenses, with no paperwork and no complicated justifications to the IRS. I just spend money, the company is that much less profitable, and that's that. Any benefit to Bomis is highly intangible, but that's fine." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 07:31, 22 April 2009 (UTC)


I know that Jimmy Wales has a userpage on Wikipedia which is located here. Why isn't this mentioned in his article? If it is, I haven't noticed it. I think it should be put at the bottom of the box thing at the top right of the page. Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 15:13, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

It's in the external links section at the foot of the page, and is also mentioned in the Personal life section. Generally biographical infoboxes link to the website of the individual, not their profiles on other websites. What do you think needs to be changed? Skomorokh 15:26, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

First sentence

The first sentence ends with promoter of Wikipedia. But he may be more notable for creating the WMF. QuackGuru (talk) 18:45, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Can you source that? Can you source he is notableas as a co-founder? If so please make the relevant changes. Thanks, SqueakBox 18:49, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
I'd say most readers will never have heard of the Wikimedia Foundation before reading this article, let alone primarily associate Wales with it; they will all have heard of – and associate Wales with Wikipedia – however. Skomorokh 18:54, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
I think the lead sentence should be what he is most notable for, not personal preference. We have an entire section about the Wikimedia Foundation in this article but finding references that specifically state Wales is a promoter of Wikipedia is hard to find. See Wikipedia:Lead section#First sentence. QuackGuru (talk) 19:38, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Jimmy Donal "Jimbo" Wales (born August 7, 1966[2]) is an American Internet entrepreneur, co-founder of Wikipedia, and creator of the Wikimedia Foundation.[3][4][5][6]
If editors prefer we could go with this text. QuackGuru (talk) 19:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Co-founder discussion rumbles on

SqueakBox, if you have any concerns about the co-founder of Wikipedia text then please be specific and provide your reasoning. QuackGuru (talk) 19:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't believe we should mention co-founder in the opening, we should use the more generic founder thus giving equal non-weight to Sanger's co- claim and Wales's sole claim, both of which are slanted to a POV. We discuss the issue in the article already but we don't need this injection in the opening of a POV when the term founder which neither implies he founded it alone or with others is so much more NPOV. Thanks, SqueakBox 20:47, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
You have not given any good reason for not including co-founder in the lead. According to a number of sources, co-founder is correct. QuackGuru (talk) 20:56, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
The only possible compromise was like this, (co-)founder. But it seemed editors preferred "co-founder" spelled out in the lead. QuackGuru (talk) 21:13, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Except Sanger's claim is supported by a raft of evidence, meaning its not POV, its fact and therefore should stay where it is. ViridaeTalk 21:20, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
There is not and has never been any evidence that what Sanger alleges is other than a claim, and to promote it as fact is intellectually dishonest and exactly what POV is. Thanks, SqueakBox 00:40, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Really? Official WMF documents[5][6] and press releases written and signed off on AFTER Larry left Wikipedia, with Jimmy listed as a contact, aren't enough for you? rootology (C)(T) 05:50, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Very strong evidence has been provided (From the WMF, from Jimmy himself, from Sanger - multiple sources), as you well know. Just because you don;t like it doesn't make it incorrect. You and Wales are the only ones who still believe that fanciful story. ViridaeTalk 05:07, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Squeakbox, your logic for continuing this debate is very unclear. As far as i can tell your only argument is "if jimmy says he is sole founder then it must be true". This flies in the face of all the relevant sources. David D. (Talk) 03:09, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Squeakbox, why do you keep rehashing this every few months? We have more sources now than we did the last time this came up. Co-founder is an accurate and verifiable fact. لennavecia 05:40, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Wales did not dispute the fact that he is the co-founder when Sanger was part of the project. Wales would have had to seen the Wikipedia press releases, early versions of Wikipedia articles, and several media coverage articles, all describinbg Wales and Sanger as the co-founders. He never publicly objected to being called the co-founder until at least late 2004 or early 2005. Sanger became critical of Wikipedia after he left the project. That's when Wales began to claim that he is the "sole founder" of Wikipedia. Wales did not dispute the co-foundership of Wikipedia until Sanger left the project. What did Wales actually do at Wikipedia in the early years. He was busy with Bomis. He hired Sanger because he needed someone to run Nupedia. When Wikipedia got started, Wales mainly paid the bills while Sanger was doing a lot of the work building and promoting Wikipedia. Wales provided the "financial backing" while Sanger "led the project". Jimmy Wales had a minor role in the early development of Wikipedia in terms of building the project. Sanger named the project, thought of using wiki software, conceived of Wikipedia, was an early community leader, and established Wikipedia's most basic policies including Ignore all rules and NPOV. QuackGuru (talk) 06:17, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

"Wales would have had to seen the Wikipedia press releases," - there's even a message from him for that, from January 2002 - "But yes, since I'm paying for it to be sent out, I'll have to approve the final version.  :-)" -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 03:53, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
"An article in the April 23, 2009 Online Media Daily "Wikipedia Founder: How To Save The Newspaper Industry" should have stated that Jimmy Wales was the co-founder of Wikipedia with Larry Sanger." لennavecia 12:34, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Sanger built Wikipedia, not Wales

Singer, Michael (January 16, 2002). "Free Encyclopedia Project Celebrates Year One". Jupitermedia. Retrieved 2009-04-21. Wales has supplied the financial backing and other support for the project, and Sanger, who earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Ohio State in 2000, has led the project.  |archive-url= is malformed: timestamp (help)

Poe, Marshall (2006). "The Hive". The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved April 21, 2009. Sanger made two great contributions to Wikipedia: he built it, and he left it.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)

Sanger built Wikipedia. Wales paid the bills via Bomis (along with two partners). I made this change because the text failed verification. QuackGuru (talk) 17:54, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Together with Larry Sanger and others, Wales helped lay the foundation for Wikipedia, This text failed verification. QuackGuru (talk) 20:30, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

No it didn't. Financial backing is required to build a project. You participated in the discussion that resulted in the consensus to use this wording. If you want to change it, bring it up on the talk page first. لennavecia 20:44, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
"Built" and "led" are quite vague. I'd prefer if we could stick to the facts, where they can be verified. Who had the idea to use a wiki format? (Kovitz, Sanger) Who installed the wiki software? (Wales?) Who came up with the idea of open editing? (Wales?) Who came up with the underlying open-source-influenced philosophy? (Wales, via Raymond) Who came up with the basic policies/guidelines such as NPOV, no personal attacks or original research? (Wales?) And so on. Skomorokh 20:48, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
According to the edit summary Financial backing and initial building of content, among other things, are all part of the initial laying of the foundation. The sources being used does not back up the claim made in the edit summary. Wales provided financial backing but the sources do not claim Wales initially built Wikipedia's content. QuackGuru (talk) 20:53, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
I've removed the offending sections pending verifiable information one way or the other. Skomorokh 22:36, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
"Wikipedia: 50 languages, 1/2 million articles". Wikimedia Foundation Press Release. Wikimedia Foundation. 2004-04-25. Retrieved 2009-04-21. The Wikipedia project was founded in January 2001 by Internet entrepreneur Jimmy Wales and philosopher Larry Sanger. Bomis (, an Internet web portal owned by Wales, supplied the financial backing and other support, while Sanger led the Wikipedia project during its first year, as a full-time paid editor. 
Here is a primary source that states Sanger led the project while Wales provided financial backing. The text in the lead fails verification. The sources do not claim Wales laid the foundation for Wikipedia. However, there is a source stating Sanger set up guidelines for Wikipedia.
Schiff, Stacy (July 31, 2006). "Know It All". Can Wikipedia conquer expertise?. The New Yorker. Retrieved 2009-04-21. At the beginning, there were no formal rules, though Sanger eventually posted a set of guidelines on the site. The first was “Ignore all the rules.” Two of the others have become central tenets: articles must reflect a neutral point of view (N.P.O.V., in Wikipedia lingo), and their content must be both verifiable and previously published. 
According to the sources presented, Sanger led the project and laid down the foundation for Wikipedia. But Wales is receiving credit for what Sanger did. QuackGuru (talk) 23:43, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
More accurately, according to your interpretation of the sources. They don't appear to say Wales "laid the foundation" or "helped to lay the foundation", I will grant you that. I think we should try to get the body of the text in order first, as writing a summary for the lede will be much easier then. Skomorokh 00:00, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
The text in the lead fails verification. Now that the body has been expanded the lead should be fixed. QuackGuru (talk) 02:30, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Here's a line we could use: "Wales’s benign rule has allowed Wikipedia to do what it does best: grow. " Marshall Poe, The Atlantic. Skomorokh 00:47, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

This is a pretty straightforward summation of at least some of their respective roles: "Although it was Sanger who brought the wiki concept to the online encyclopedia, it was Wales who had the original vision of a free, online dictionary and the money to back it up." The San Diego Tribune, December 6, 2004. Any reason not to run with it? Skomorokh 15:07, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

This could work. The word dictionary is a typo. While Sanger conceived of the wiki concept to the online encyclopedia, Wales had the idea of a free online encyclopedia with the funds to support the project. QuackGuru (talk) 18:43, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
The word "vision" is probably not the best description - that makes it sound like Wales was the first person to come up with the idea, whereas there were plenty of earlier efforts (I happen to think the true founder of Wikipedia's success was Google). Maybe something like "championed" or "desire to fund" would be better (if a good source can be found for it). -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 03:08, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I made this change to summarize the body of the article. QuackGuru (talk) 20:43, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

This is a distraction

This Wales-Sanger crap is a complete distraction.
I just read The Hive article, just one source, and it is full of interesting things we could add to this biography. Wales' experience of MUDs for example: very interesting background. Then there is
  • Neither Sanger nor Wales looked on Wikipedia as anything more than a lark. This is evident in Sanger’s flip announcement of Wikipedia to the Nupedia discussion list. “Humor me,” he wrote. “Go there and add a little article. It will take all of five or ten minutes.”
which makes something of a mockery of the "who had the grand idea" founding dispute. Then there's the Cunc story and:
  • [JW] weighed in with an unusually forceful posting that warned against a “culture of conflict.” Wikipedia, he implied, was about building an encyclopedia, not about debating how to build or govern an encyclopedia.
followed by
  • Wales saw that Sanger was having trouble managing the project. Indeed, he seems to have sensed that Wikipedia really needed no manager. In mid-December 2001, citing financial shortfalls, he told Sanger that Bomis would be cutting its staff and that he should look for a new job.
These provide fascinating context, and insight into the topic of this article (Jimmy Wales, in case that isn't clear).
There's great material in even one of the sources we cite. Why not use it to write a fascinating biography, instead of concentrating and prolonging a pointless and ultimately sterile argument? Geometry guy 20:10, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
As a third-party to this article and having read much of the distracting POV pushing arguments on this page (and on Talk:Larry Sanger and User:Jimbo Wales), I am inclined to agree completely with Geometry Guy. -- Levine2112 discuss 20:24, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
According to Levine2112 Wales is the founder of Wikipedia and Sanger is alleged to be the co-founder? QuackGuru (talk) 20:40, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Yawn. Discuss the subject, not the editor. Geometry guy 21:02, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Could you be a little more specific on what is "crap", G-guy? Your interesting tidbits (which I agree would make a great part of a comprehensive biography) all seem to relate to Wales-Sanger. Thanks, Skomorokh 00:08, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes: concentrating efforts on who was a "(co-)founder", who had "the idea", who "built" Wikipedia etc. is a distraction. JW's experience with MUDs has nothing to do with Sanger, and I raised the other "tidbits" partly to demonstrate how much of a distraction the distraction is. The second quote, however, has a purely Wales context, which you picked up above in the quote "Wales’s benign rule has allowed Wikipedia to do what it does best: grow". In this article we need to use the source material to write a biography. Geometry guy 21:23, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

References needed in lead

Wales took a job in finance, and worked as the research director of a Chicago futures and options firm before retiring from the industry in 2000.[citation needed] In 1996, along with two partners, he founded Bomis, a web portal targeted at males, which hosted and provided the initial funding for the Nupedia peer-reviewed encyclopedia (2000 – 2003), and for its successor, Wikipedia.[citation needed]

Me thinks it is appropriate to add references to the lead. QuackGuru (talk) 21:25, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Problematic issue

In the External links section we have a link to the Jimbo Wales' page. The problem is when Wales is using his user page to promote Wikia for profit. It may be best to remove the link to the user page as long as the user page is being used for business. QuackGuru (talk) 18:40, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

We would link to an official website promoting a business, so why would we not link to his userpage? لennavecia 19:34, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Promotion wouldn't be the only issue here. The most significant one would be to set a precendent for something we don't currently allow -- connecting articlespace and userspace. That separation should be maintained. Userspace is not a RS, and we allow nothing but RS in articlespace. -- Brangifer (talk) 22:58, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Promotion (a for profit user page) is the main issue. Using Wikipedia for promotion is not part of the Wikipedia process.
We would not link to an official user page promoting a business, so why would we link to his user page? QuackGuru (talk) 00:31, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Promotion is definitely one issue, but even in the absence of promotion, we wouldn't link to anything in userspace from articlespace. That's a big no no, and is thus the most basic issue here. "Promotion or no, it won't go." -- Brangifer (talk) 00:36, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Wait a minute. Is an editor allowed to use their user page for profit and business. The bigger issue here is that we have a link to a user page being used for business. QuackGuru (talk) 01:42, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Whether or not the page is a reliable source is irrelevant, because it's not being cited as one. We ought to treat Wikipedia no differently than any other website of its class. The question – narrowly – is whether it contains "further research that is accurate and on-topic; information that could not be added to the article for reasons such as copyright or amount of detail; or other meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article for reasons unrelated to its accuracy". More broadly the question is if it were some website other than Wikipedia that Wales had been involved with, would we link his userpage there? I think we would. The way the Wales' page is presented in the external links makes it clear that our article is not endorsing it in any way; it is merely saying "this is one of the important public presentations of the topic, Jimmy Wales". I thoroughly agree that internal links ought to be dealt with very carefully within the body of articles, but in the external links there is little cause for concern. Skomorokh 02:44, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
It is a concern when the external link is to a user page that is being used for profit. I thought a user page on Wikipedia is not to be used for business or profit. QuackGuru (talk) 03:47, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't think we should link to his article as it sets a bad precedent. Thanks, SqueakBox 03:44, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
It sets a potentially deadly precedent, as links to user pages could then be used for outing Wikipedia editors. Their activities as editors here should not be connected to their real life activities outside of Wikipedia. It shouldn't be dangerous to edit here. They should be allowed to edit here without fearing it will have real life consequences for them. Trolls and psychos frequent this place and will use such information to connect the dots in a manner they might not have done on their own. We shouldn't be doing it for them. (The issue of using a user page for profit is another matter entirely, and I'm not commenting on that. I see this as a matter of principle regarding RS.) -- Brangifer (talk) 13:45, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
That seems a bit extreme, but there is a fundamental difference here. He is the co-founder of Wikipedia, which is his claim to notability, so his Wikipedia userpage is relevant, whereas it would not be for most others. It is no different than any other self-published business website, as far as we should be concerned for the matter of this article. If we would link to the official website of a company CEO or a similar equivalent to what Wales is to Wikipedia, then we should consider this basically the same. Obviously Wikipedia is unique, but I think that's probably the most apt comparison. لennavecia 19:36, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
I see. So we treat Wales differently because he is the (co-)founder of Wikipedia. Would we link to a similar for profit user page for any another article. Does Wales get special treatment. Are editors even allowed to use their user page for business. QuackGuru (talk) 19:43, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Quack, clearly your issue has more to do with the user page itself than with the link to it in this article. This is not the page to be questioning the appropriateness of Jimmy using his user page to advertise himself. As I said, other articles aren't for those whose claim to notability is Wikipedia, so your comparison is a poor one. But, for the one real comparison we have, the answer is yes. We do link Larry Sanger's user page in his biography. لennavecia 22:30, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Regards Jenna's comment re Wales notability coming from his role in wikipedia I propose that instead of his user page we link to Wikipedia:Role of Jimmy Wales, that is closer to a "corporate website" as we will get; another possibility would be to link to the wikipedia main page (not en wikipedia's main page). Thanks, SqueakBox 20:49, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Linking to Wikipedia's main page makes no sense to me whatsoever, and I fail to see how it could be considered a compromise. I definitely think linking to his Role page is a good idea, but I don't necessarily believe it should replace the link to his user page. Readers, I think, would be interested to see his Wikipedia user page, and that's who we're writing for. لennavecia 22:30, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
While I don't support the user page inclusion I don't feel strongly about the issue, and certainly its the appropriateness of including any user page and not what appears on Wales' user page that is the issue. I also think it isn't whether our readers would be interested as it is what it implies for privacy in general in editing wikipedia. Remember Wales is\not notable as a wikipedia editor let alone for having a user page but his role in the project is a part of his notability re the project, along with his founding and promoting it (he's the face). Thanks, SqueakBox 22:48, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Problematic issue unresolved (a for profit user page)

  • The big issue here is that we have a link to a user page being used for business.
  • We would not link to an official user page promoting a business, so why would we link to his user page?
  • Wikia and Wikipedia should remain separate. Wikia is for profit and Wikipedia is not for profit.

QuackGuru (talk) 03:47, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

See my above proposal re alternative pages it would be more appropriate to link to due to his role as founder of the project. Thanks, SqueakBox 20:51, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

External links

I don't understand why this is in the external links section. QuackGuru (talk) 01:24, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

I have removed it. I agree, he isn't a movie star and it is a database of movie stars, while for some reason he is in the database he would need to be a movie personality for us to include the link. Thanks, SqueakBox 21:52, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Maybe because he has a listing there, so it's a quick reference of appearances for readers. Better question is for what reason should it not be there? لennavecia 22:17, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
What do others think? If there is a consensus to have the link that is fine by me, it just seemed odd. Thanks, SqueakBox 22:49, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
If the subject isn't an actual actor, then an imdb link seems a bit odd and out-of-place, IMO, as if it is trying to making them appear more notable in an area that they actually aren't. Bill Gates, FDR, and Linus Torvalds all have entries over at imdb too, but no link from their wiki articles. Tarc (talk) 23:05, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Wales as ad:tech keynote speaker

I'm not very familiar with the San Francisco tech scene. Is this worth mentioning? Skomorokh 05:11, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

So Jimbo, did you get the full $75,000 or did hard times force you to take a cut in pay?--Goodmorningworld (talk) 14:33, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Jimbo doesn't read this page. لennavecia 16:46, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikia search (closed)

Another service offered by Wikia is an open source web search engine named Wikia Search, intended to challenge Google and introduce transparency and public dialogue about how it's created into the search engine's operations.[58]

I thought Wikia search is closed. QuackGuru (talk) 01:39, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikia Search. لennavecia 22:23, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
I think we could update this article to explain Wikia Search is actually closed. QuackGuru (talk) 04:52, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Done. لennavecia 13:32, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Net worth

Has Jimmy released any info on his total earnings from the Wikimedia foundation and other wiki projects? Although they are mostly just donations I'm pretty sure you couldn't just spend your time making these wikia websites and not making a slight profit off of it. I would imagine that some would also come from presentations and speeches. - Nite Owl II 21:01, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

There should be something in the article about his speaking appearances which are $75k+. I just saw a source for this yesterday, I believe posted by Seth Finkelstein in one of the above sections. If it's not in the article, we should work it in there. لennavecia 21:47, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
I think you mean this ref that is currently in the article. Finkelstein, Seth (September 25, 2008). "Wikipedia isn't about human potential, whatever Wales says". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-04-27.  QuackGuru (talk) 23:32, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
That web page with Jimbo's $75k+ speaker's fee was posted by me. Found it via google. And no, I'm not Seth nor do I write for the Gruaniad :-) --Goodmorningworld (talk) 00:16, 5 May 2009 (UTC)--Goodmorningworld (talk) 00:16, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
We don't know how many paid speaking appearances a year Jimbo has, how high above $75k his speaker's fee is, nor do we know what if any discounts the economy has forced him to grant, nor do we know the cut taken by his agents. However, I'll go out on a limb and figure that if he gives four or more paid keynote speeches per year, even after commission and taxes he would be thought of as doing pretty well for himself, at least in most places not called NYC or Silicon Valley.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 00:28, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
(ec, inserted here for readability). And I don't begrudge him one cent. Wales is a truly gifted public speaker, he could charm the bloomers off the statue of Florence Nightingale. Perhaps I'd have a mixed feelings about my trade association shelling out the big bucks to have him tell me that I "should just give up", but I'm not a "member of the working press", LOL. --Goodmorningworld (talk) 00:39, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Doesn't he live in the latter, though? I think we need some hard evidence rather than an assertion by Seth that he commands such a price (though it is far from being unfeasible) and without evidence of how often he speaks etc we must not speculate. Thanks, SqueakBox 00:31, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Here are two sources that provide background into this.[7][8] QuackGuru (talk) 00:45, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, Goodmorningworld. It was you that posted the link. Thank you. لennavecia 02:07, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

many of whom shared Wales' admiration for the open-source movement

This text is unduly selfserving and is taken out of context. The tone is not NPOV. QuackGuru (talk) 02:26, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Why not? Serving who? I think it adds important context to the type of people who were attracted to contributing to Wikipedia in the early days. The surrounding text from the source is:

[Sanger] and Wales decided to separate the wiki project from Nupedia. Sanger named the new project Wikipedia.

Wikipedia quickly took off as netizens embraced the encyclopedia, researching and writing about thousands of topics. Like Wales, many of the Wikipedians sympathized with the open-source software movement, best known for the free operating system Linux.

Two years after its launch, the English version of Wikipedia contained 100,000 articles. The pace accelerated from there. In February, Wikipedians surpassed the 200,000-article mark. In July, the project reached 300,000 published topics.

Its use in our article is as follows:

Neither Sanger nor Wales expected very much from the initiative.[23][9] Wales, anticipating "complete rubbish", hoped that if they were lucky, Wikipedia might yield a couple of rough draft entries for Nupedia.[23] 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 community of editors – many of whom shared Wales' admiration for the open-source movement – had gathered.[9][29][14] Sanger developed Wikipedia in its early phase and guided the project.

The term "sympathized" is changed to "admiration" to avoid plagiarism. Otherwise it's lifted straight from the source, no alteration in tone. How is it out of context? Skomorokh 02:33, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
At the beginning of Wikipedia, editors did not sympathize with Wales' movement. At that time, there was not any specific movement. You added text that is out of context. Within a few days of the launching of Wikipedia, editors did not admire Wales' open-source movement. QuackGuru (talk) 02:46, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
You are misreading the text, I think. It's not Wales' movement, it's the pre-existing open source software movement that began in the 1980s. Both the ref and our article are claiming that Wales and many early Wikipedians thought favourably of that movement, not that the early Wikipedians were flocking to some sort of Wales fan club. Skomorokh 02:52, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
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 community of editors – many of whom shared Wales' admiration for the open-source movement – had gathered.[9][29][14]
After three days, editors did not shared Wales' admiration for the open-source movement. Anyhow, the tone is not NPOV. QuackGuru (talk) 02:58, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
What is wrong with the tone? Do you take issue with the Tribune's journalistic objectivity or with the substitution of "admiration" for "sympathized"? The line is put where it is because that is where the early contributors are discussed; if the conflation of "early contributors" and "the editors who showed up after a few days" is uncomfortable for you we can put them in separate sentences. Skomorokh 03:03, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
This is puffery and the source does not claim within a few days, many of whom shared Wales' admiration for the open-source movement gathered. This was added out of context. That is why it is WP:SYN. This was adding different sources to come to a new conclusion. QuackGuru (talk) 03:13, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I've already suggested we could separate the "few days" and "early contributors" claims. You're just asserting a lack of neutrality and context, not making any argument. Skomorokh 03:16, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I have provided evidence that the text was taken out of context. The text fails NPOV. I think it should be deleted. QuackGuru (talk) 03:22, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I don't see any evidence in this thread to support the claims you're making. The only specific problem you seem to identified is the application of the timeframe "few days" to the category of individuals who sympathise with the open-source movement. Skomorokh 03:26, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't see any point to including text on how Wikipedians shared Wales' admiration for the open-source movement. This is weird. QuackGuru (talk) 03:31, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
It tells us what type of people the early adopters were, which is part of the explanation of why it took off, contrary to expectations. But if consensus is that it's not relevant, it's not essential. Skomorokh 03:37, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Not that weird, it's a form of adulation. David D. (Talk) 03:38, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I would include text about Wales' role in the community, not Wikipedians view. It looks silly to include it. QuackGuru (talk) 03:44, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree it is strange to write but given that Wales' fans are probably most active on the page it is to be expected. David D. (Talk) 03:49, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
In my time watchlisting this page, I've seen approximately zero evidence that Wales fans have been active here. If you have seen otherwise, please enlighten me. Geometry guy 22:01, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
I see squeakbox is back. David D. (Talk) 19:42, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) My first look at this whole aspect of Wikipedia history -- and, yeah, it is going offtopic regardless of how much coverage the website's philosophy received in the business world -- suggests that QuackGuru may be right about the wording. It is a bit of a stretch to say that "many" slashdot users shared Wales' "admiration" for the open source movement. They were formally associated with Linux prior to Wikipedia coming on the scene, but obviously still had some reservations about the movement as a whole back in 2001/2002. Ottre 16:05, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

I tagged the disputed text. QuackGuru (talk) 20:47, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
– many of whom shared Wales' admiration for the open-source movement[original research?] – The synthesis/adulation bit remains in the article. I think it should be deleted. QuackGuru (talk) 20:24, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Bump. Ottre 01:35, 4 May 2009 (UTC) Bump. Ottre 02:06, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Although the controversial statement was reworded it is still in the article. For now I tagged the disputed text. QuackGuru (talk) 06:08, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Founder vs co-founder

We've been over this and over this and over this. Squeakbox, stop trying to change co-founder to founder. لennavecia 04:50, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

I tried a compromise. QuackGuru (talk) 04:57, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
The effort is appreciated, but squeakbox's edit has no basis in reality, as we have quite concretely established already. If he persists in editing against consensus, then there are places to report such tendentious behavior. Tarc (talk) 05:05, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
According to Larry Sanger consensus is impractical. According to Wales he is the founder of Wikipedia. The same IP made an edit to the Jimmy Wales page. Then a minute later Jimmy Wales edited the Jimmy Wales page but did not revert the change the IP made to his birthdate. Another editor reverted the change. But then Jimmy Wales reverted back to the edit made by the IP. The IP signed in as Jimbo Wales. Is Jimbo right. Is he the "sole founder" of Wikipedia? QuackGuru (talk) 05:20, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Of course not. We're not reopening this debate. He's the co-founder. There is no compromise. We have the sources to back it up. This topic needs to be let go. لennavecia 05:22, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
But all over Wikipedia pages Jimmy Wales is asserted as the founder of Wikipedia. For now I tagged the disputed text. QuackGuru (talk) 05:28, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Founder does not negate co-founder. And Jenna it looks as if we are re-opening the debate, as we need to for the sake of creating a fair article and not the POV pushing its suffered from in recent months from a tiny clique of biased editors; if you want to take this alleged tendentiousness (what a bad faith comment but never mind) I suggest arbcom, they can sort the trolls from the good faith editors,and if it goes anywehere that is where it will end up anyway. Thanks, SqueakBox 05:47, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
I suggest we start a RFC on this. I thought the compromise might work. The compromise was "(co-)founder" of Wikipedia. QuackGuru (talk) 05:51, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
This comment by Tarc alleged tendentious behavior Not too long ago I was accused of tendentious editing for adding co-founder to various articles.
See WP:CON: Consensus develops from agreement of the parties involved. This can happen through discussion, editing, or more often, a combination of the two. Consensus can only work among reasonable editors who make a good faith effort to work together in a civil manner. Developing consensus requires special attention to neutrality – remaining neutral in our actions in an effort to reach a compromise that everyone can agree on. QuackGuru (talk) 06:00, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't think it does but I do appreciate your attempt to create compromise; I agree an Rfc is a good start; I will also say any further attempt to try to ban any editor from the article will result in a quicker route to arbcom. Thanks, SqueakBox 06:02, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
I think a compromise should be given a chance. According to consensus we should try to reach a compromise. QuackGuru (talk) 06:09, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
While that's certainly a laudable sentiment, I believe this is one of the cases where it would be incorrect to take "The Earth is round" vs. "The Earth is flat", and compromise on "The Earth is round(ish)". -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 10:41, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Noting for the record that I neither used the word tendentious or attempted to ban anyone from the article. That said, I say we go ahead and take it to ArbCom, because this discussion has taken place how many times? Something near a dozen. If we're just going to keep recycling the discussion endlessly against sources, we should just send it to ArbCom, because we don't compromise on facts. لennavecia 11:57, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
General statement, since I know people watch my edits (if nothing else, for material to take out of context :-)) - This sort of stuff fascinates me, in terms of the social dynamics of Wikipedia. Can Wikipedia's internal quasi-judicial body, each member of which was personally approved by Jimmy Wales, come up with a ruling which would be contrary to his so evident wishes? Will this be like United States v. Nixon or Bush v Gore ? -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 12:31, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

There is no controversy here; we have a long standing consensus to describe Wales as "co-founder" of the encyclopaedia. ArbCom doesn't rule over content and in any event should only be recoursed to when there are serious behavioural problems. Though I disagree with their changes, I think SqueakBox is contributing in good faith and is not being disruptive. Let's all take Geometryguy's advice and concentrate on improving the substantive content of the article rather than the labels, shall we? Skomorokh 12:49, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

I wasn't suggesting they rule over content. Facts have settled the matter. I think they should rule on the matter of editors incessantly recycling the discussion in desperate search of a new consensus that ignores the facts, and editing the article to make changes that go against established consensus. لennavecia 13:08, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
I was referring specifically to Rootology's attempt to get QuackGuru community banned from this topic, an attempt I certainly opposed. If this were to go to arbcom I would want to include the behaviour of certain editors in the past sticking the co-founder dispute into tens of articles in which it had no place and then edit warring over them; see User:SqueakBox/wikipedia founder. I don't see there being consensus on the co-founder issue. I believe we must fearlessly take Wales' own views into consideration here when talking about consensus as he is a respected editor who has strongly expressed his views on the subject, and although this was a while back I think we can safely say he still holds these views. Its precisely the claim so well expressed by Seth that its like disputing whether the earth is round or flat that is at the core of the problem; the earth evidently is round and there is no such evidence in the (co-)founder issue, just a lot of historical revisionism and debate. Thanks, SqueakBox 19:31, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
WP:FRINGE. لennavecia 21:56, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Sorry but what, other than the belief that Sanger as co-founder is a mathematically demonstrable fact, is fringe about this topic? Thanks, SqueakBox 23:47, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Or perhaps you think Wales' own beliefs about himself are fringe. That would be an interesting perspective albeit clearly WP:OR. Thanks, SqueakBox 23:49, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
No, it is not original research, what an absurd thing to say. We have here a simple many-vs-1 case; the "many" are the numerous reliable sources cites here that list both as co-founders. The "1" is...Wales. It is not a widely-held opinion that he is the sole founder of the Wikipedia. Thus, WP:FRINGE. Tarc (talk) 00:16, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Is it fringe when some newer sources refer to Wales as the founder of Wikipedia. See this new ref for example. QuackGuru (talk) 00:36, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
What does have many sources to back it up is the widespread belief that he is founder of wikipedia, a belief based in reality. Nobody is suggesting putting sole founder in the opening, that would be as provocative and unfounded as the belief that he is solely the co-founder. Thanks, SqueakBox 00:28, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I remember a couple of years ago I was accused of tendentious editing for adding co-founder to various articles. I was indef-blocked shortly after editing Wikipedia articles. Editors tried to get me banned from editing said articles. Now I try a compromise and it does not last an hour. Hmm. QuackGuru (talk) 06:50, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Your compromise was rejected by multiple editors, as we don't compromise on facts. It's unnecessary to keep on with it, much like it is unnecessary to attempt to make a meme out of "typo". Also, what newer sources say are irrelevant, as Wales has been trying for years to push Sanger out of the history. One of the newer sources issued a correction in a matter of hours, stating that they had incorrectly referred to Wales as the founder of Wikipedia when, in fact, he is the co-founder with Sanger. Misinformed news mediums recycling the same misinformation, or putting out whatever Wales says as truth, because they're too lazy to do their research, do not count as reliable sources on the matter. لennavecia 13:21, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and in reply to Squeakbox, you and Jimmy very much do hold a fringe belief. You keep arguing about how it's clearly based in reality that Jimmy's not a co-founder. Look around, sir. You're alone with that here. لennavecia 13:24, 5 May 2009 (UTC)


Or maybe it was a typo. QuackGuru (talk) 05:44, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Consensus is clear that Wales is to be treated as the co-founder, with Larry Sanger, of Wikipedia.  Skomorokh  00:42, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Democracy in action

Righto folks, please place sources in the top and let's graph out who is where and why. Casliber (talk · contribs) 14:59, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

JW founder

JW a founder

  • This is the only neutral version as it balances the counter claims of sole and co founder and the majority of current articles published refer to him as founder as Sanger is below the horizon of most people who have heard of wikipedia. Thanks, SqueakBox 19:20, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

JW co-founder

  • Sources are clear. لennavecia 15:54, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Abundantly clear. Tarc (talk) 19:39, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Rewriting history will make wikipedia a laughing stock. David D. (Talk) 20:12, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
  • If you cannot believe Wikimedia's own press releases, you have a problem. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 21:59, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Per the sources. Anything else is revisionism. ViridaeTalk 02:11, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Co-founder, but that does not address the human-interest story here. For Wales, it's all about money and status. If he could write Sanger out of history, he would. For Sanger, it's all about finding novel ways to shoot himself in the foot. He is not telegenic, he is awkward and shy, and no one wants a four-eyed geek as a keynote speaker at their convention. Sanger was Wales' brain trust and conscience, Wales was Sanger's reality check and dynamo. Without Sanger, WP's eventual demise – as a Ponzi scheme collapsing under its own weight – is hastened. Without Wales, Citizendium is a tiny obscure website that will never go anywhere.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 15:04, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
  • David D. said it best, above. Cirt (talk) 21:34, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
  • The historical record is unequivocal on this point. And the attempt to rewrite that record is a might-makes-right injustice, a basic reason I've publicly opposed it in spite of the cost. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 12:03, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

JW (co)-founder



I'll have to see the sources myself now...Casliber (talk · contribs) 15:00, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Sigh ... there should be a FAQ on this ... start here ... "My role in Wikipedia (" -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 15:08, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Here are the relevant discussions:
There is also an abundance of sources in the article. لennavecia 15:52, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't see any problems with co-founder when the sources back them up. Things are rarely that black and white though, which is why I ask, are there any reliable sources that say he is the sole founder? Jack forbes (talk) 13:33, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
As in the actually wording "Jimmy Wales, sole founder of Wikipedia"? I do not believe so. لennavecia 16:45, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Aye. A Google News search for "jimmy wales" "sole founder" Wikipedia only turns up articles reporting rather than endorsing Wales' claim to be sole founder. Skomorokh 17:01, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
According to the source: "Apart from advertising, Sanger and co-founder Wales also disagree about who actually founded Wikipedia in the first place. Wales has previously claimed to be the sole founder of the online collaborative encyclopedia. Maybe he should check his facts on Wikipedia which says that both men were identified as co-founders in 2001." QuackGuru (talk) 18:58, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Marsden learning of breakup on Wikipedia

I can't find verification of the claim that "Marsden claimed to have learned about the breakup by reading about it on Wikipedia". Can someone point me to the source of this? Thanks,  Skomorokh  03:45, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

“Hi, my name is Rachel and my (now ex) boyfriend, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, just broke up with me via an announcement on Wikipedia,” she wrote. QuackGuru (talk) 17:26, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
The claim in that quote and that of the sentence formerly in the article are not the same; Marsden isn't expecting anyone to believe that she did not know that she and Wales were no longer together until he posted to his user talkpage here.  Skomorokh  17:35, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Marsden isn't expecting anyone to believe that she did not know that she and Wales were no longer together until he posted to his user talkpage here is original research and your personal opinion. The sentence in question is sourced. By your comment, this is a case of you don't believe what Marsden wrote when you know it is sourced in accordance with Wikipedia's WP:V. QuackGuru (talk) 20:14, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
No, it's that the cited sources don't support the claim. Either there is a specific source which supports the claim that Marsden "first learned" of the break-up on Wikipedia or the claim is original research. None of the sources cited support such a claim. I have no personal opinion either way and even less interest, but I will removed poorly referenced content from the article.  Skomorokh  20:27, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Agrell, Siri (March 4, 2008). "Ms. Marsden's cyberspace breakup: tit-for-tat-for-T-shirt". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2008-10-31. Hi, my name is Rachel and my (now ex) boyfriend, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, just broke up with me via an announcement on Wikipedia," she writes in the auction posting. "It was such a classy move that I was inspired to do something equally classy myself. 
Here is another source. QuackGuru (talk) 20:44, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Again, distinct claim. I've used the wording attributed to Marsden so there can be no dispute.  Skomorokh  20:49, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Definitely, she did say that. However, this is one of those things that I believe fails the common-sense test, even if it got repeated extensively in the media because it's a cute story. I'm hardly Jimmy Wales's biggest fan, but I'd say he got a raw deal on that point. If your paramour leaks your sex chats to gossip sites, well, I think the relationship is over then. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 22:43, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

"Sanger worked on and promoted both the Nupedia and Wikipedia projects until Bomis discontinued funding for his position in February 2002"

Can we get an independent source to verify this? It does not seem to be a controversial claim, and I would like to replace the self-published sources in the article.  Skomorokh  21:44, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Are there any archives of the Nupedia website available online? Sanger almost certainly promoted both encyclopedias at the same time, but I suspect he switched back and forth when drafting policy towards the end of his career with Bomis. Ottre 22:17, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

How much did Wales/Bomis spend on Wikipedia?

The Seattle Times says Wales "draws no income from Wikipedia, which cost him $500,000 to launch", while The Independent claims Wales "spent $100,000 (£60,000) of Bomis's money developing Wikipedia before creating a not-for-profit organisation to run the burgeoning encyclopedia". So either Wales invested 400k of his own cash or at least one of these claims is wrong. Anyone got any insight or further sources on this?  Skomorokh  16:29, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

From the Cynthia Barnett article, cited in Rosenzweig:
"Wales estimates he spent $500,000 in Wikipedia's first three years to get it up and running. For the past two years, the project's annual budget of $500,000 has been funded fully with donations and grants, most of them small."
Ottre 17:48, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Also, ProQuest gives the full cite as
Cynthia Barnett. Florida Trend. St. Petersburg, FLA: Sep 01, 2005. Vol. 48, Iss. 5; pg. 62
Ottre 17:51, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, that's helpful.  Skomorokh  20:28, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
You're most welcome. Ottre 20:43, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

So the naive verificationist position here would be to state that Wales (estimates to have) spent 500k, including 100k from Bomis, on Wikipedia before turning it over to the WMF. I'm not entirely confident that is an accurate representation of what actually happened. Should we go with this in the absence of contradicting sources, only quote the sources' claims, or leave out the point entirely?  Skomorokh  21:35, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia was paid for via Bomis with two other parteners. It was not Wales alone. QuackGuru (talk) 21:49, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Can you provide a reference for that? It seems to contradict Wales' statements above and here, as well as The Seattle Times' article above.  Skomorokh  21:54, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
In 1996, Wales and two partners founded a Web directory called Bomis. We know there was two other partners who have been written out of Wikipedia. The other partners spent a lot of money too but Wales takes credit for that. Wales thrust himself into the media spotlight while the other partners did not want the media attention. The two other business partners had to bring money to the table. I find it odd Wales claims to be the sole founder because Wikipedia was part of Bomis when there was two other parteners who have vanished from the history of Wikipedia. Who told the media Wales spent money on Wikipedia while not mentioning the other partners. Hmmm. What you are reading in reliable sources is what they were told and what Wales wants you to believe. QuackGuru (talk) 22:17, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
I've contacted Steven Levy to see if he can shed any light on the matter. Ottre 22:21, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
There is no evidence Wales directly spent any money on Wikipedia. All payments were made by Bomis which had two other partners. QuackGuru (talk) 22:24, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

I would read the above as 100K spent before the Foundation was created, and 500K-100K = 400K afterwards (not sure if that's accurate, just a way to resolve the two claims). Here is a reference about funding coming from Bomis's corporate account, not Wales's personal money - though to be fair it was Wales's decision to spend that business money on Wikipedia. In his own words "So long as wikipedia is part of Bomis, Inc., my costs are tax deductible as ordinary business expenses, with no paperwork and no complicated justifications to the IRS. I just spend money, the company is that much less profitable, and that's that. Any benefit to Bomis is highly intangible, but that's fine." -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 22:28, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

By the way, checking over the Wikimedia Foundation's financial forms, I don't see how he comes up with 500K. I know he's said it, i.e. it's not a misquote. But it's very unclear to me how he reaches that sum, since e.g. the June 30 2004 numbers are 80K of income and 23K of expenses. I'd assume earlier numbers are even less. So how does he get to 500K from that? Someone should ask him, though it probably shouldn't be me (and take care in following-up the answer) -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 00:46, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

UPDATE: Never heard back from Levy. No good reason to believe he is a reliable source on where the money came from, so I'm going with Seth on this. Ottre 21:09, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

References in the lead

WP:LEADCITE indicates that references are needed for controversial or complex claims, and for contentious information about living people. Outside of the co-founder dispute, I really don't see any claims of sufficient acrimony – and outside the birthday there are none complex enough – to require referencing under this understanding. To survey the most recently-promoted featured biographies, it's clear that citations in the lead section are unconventional in the encyclopaedia's best work:

This article, in contrast, has twenty two citations in the lead, with two additional requests for citation – even thought the claims are clearly supported in the body of the article. I propose that this is bad practice, introduces redundancy and makes the the introduction aesthetically unappealing, more difficult to read and more apparently controversial than it in fact is. I propose we restrict citations to claims likely to be contested.  Skomorokh  21:07, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Everything else in the lead is cited except for two sentences. I propose we improve the lead by adding two refs. QuackGuru (talk) 21:47, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

*Support. The main thing is to engage our readers, and having so many references in the lead is preconventional. It's certainly not formal practice for a biography. Ottre 22:04, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Support. Having so many references in the lead is preconventional in terms of style. Perhaps having one or two may be appropriate, any more than that is not formal practice for a biography. Ottre 22:04, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Due to the extreme circumstances of Wales's position within Wikipedia, I believe it is necessary to have as many references as possible to keep down the edit-wars and talk-page debates. Yes, I certainly understand the point that it's a stylistic drag. However, in terms of making trade-offs, I would contend the experience of this article shows it's necessary to be as much as possible on the side of safety and citations. Perhaps some of the articles above are in fact under-referenced, rather than being a norm for emulation. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 22:51, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. Only exceptional claims need to be referenced in the lead. As long as everything else is referenced in the body, it's good to be summarized without citation in the lead. لennavecia 14:21, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose we must reference all controversial claims in the lead. Any unref'd and controversial material in the lead must be removed, and lets face it there are at least 2 highly controversial assertions in the lead. Trying to remove these refs smacks of trying to play down the controversies as if somehow he really was the co-founder instead of this just being opinion, albeit ref'd opinion, ie I am suspicious of the motives of those who want to remove refs to disputed and controversial material in the lead. All it will do is make the article less NPOV than ever, and indeed imply that the article is not controversial. Thanks, SqueakBox 14:23, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
    SqueakBox, my proposal is to reference all controversial claims in the lead section, and the co-founder claim is one I explicitly specified as needing citation. What I don't see as requiring redundant references are claims like "During his graduate studies [Wales] taught at two universities", "In 2004, [Wales] co-founded Wikia, a privately-owned, free Web-hosting service, with fellow Wikimedia trustee Angela Beesley" or "[Wales] self-identifies as an Objectivist and, with reservations, a libertarian".  Skomorokh  18:49, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
    (edit conflict) SqueakBox, it seems that you perhaps misread a portion of the proposal. The contention is that everything is being sourced in the lead, and that it is unnecessary. Not to say there should be no sources in the lead, but that not everything about Jimmy Wales is controversial. Claims likely to be contested, or extraordinary claims (as I put it), in my mind, both fall under the term "controversial claims". Thus, those would be cited in the lead. However, other non-controversial claims, already sourced in the body, would not be cited per WP:LEADCITE. This would lighten the disruption caused on the flow, and it would prevent Jimmy from seeming more controversial than he really is. لennavecia 18:53, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Support I doubt I could word my thoughts any better than Jennavecia already has. When the cites interfere with readability, it's time to do some pruning. — Ched :  ?  18:47, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Support although in some ways this puts the cart before the horse. The lead and body should be written in such a way that the lead does not need extensive citation. In other words, the lead should be a summary, not a synthesis. The reader should be able to infer the more delicate points from the body of the article, rather than being told what to think in the lead. Geometry guy 19:46, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

For posterity sake

Digwuren posted this to Talk:Larry Sanger on May 13, 2009:

FWIW, the page with revision 1 in Wikipedia happens to be a list of Wikipedians. In this list, there's this entry:

# [[Larry Sanger]], a.k.a [[LMS]], cofounder of Wikipedia and editor-in-chief of Nupedia

The entry, dated January 22, 2002, also lists Jimmy Wales as "Jimbo Wales, the other cofounder of this great project".

For whatever reason, there is a glitch (unless I'm missing something, which is entirely possible) that puts the chronology of the revisions out of order. The first actually being December 25, 2001 with this edit. If your click to show previous edit, it jumps to September 20, 2002. Regardless, this last diff indicates that from December 25, 2001, Larry and Jimmy were listed as co-founders of Wikipedia. This did not change until June 3, 2003, when Anthere cleared the list to Wikipedia:Alphabetical list of Wikipedians, now deleted. I have to go to work now, but I'll look into it a bit more. Regardless, more conclusive evidence from the early days. لennavecia 19:47, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Upon further research, I found that the above remained in place until the page was soft-redirected to Special:ListUsers on November 27, 2006. Therefore, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger were listed as co-founders of Wikipedia on the site's de facto user directory for one month short of five years. Revision as of 22:37, November 26, 2006 shows the last edit to display the above. لennavecia 22:18, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

[9] :( But seriously, as interesting and valuable to future historians as this is, I'm not sure there's a place for any of this in the article. The straw poll above was pretty conclusive on the co-founder issue.  Skomorokh  00:54, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, the straw poll above establishes the positions of the respondents. The historical record establishes the objective truth (inasmuch as that concept is meaningful, I know, etc. etc.). Hopefully, these two ideas are identical, but my inclination is to go to great lengths with referencing because I know how easy it is to have a point dismissed ad hominem as partisan (POV-pusher). I wouldn't make a crusade of this reference, and I understand the counter-argument about overkill. But I also have a feeling we haven't seen the end of the PR campaign either. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 04:39, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I just put this here for the next time the debate starts up, which hopefully won't be for a long time. لennavecia 05:18, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

A qualified thumbs-up from The London Review of Books

Wikipedia still has its advantages, however. Despairing of discovering anything about [Ayn] Rand that I could make sense of, I looked up the article on Jimmy Wales, to see if that shed any light on his personal philosophy. This article is also long, but more reasonably so, given that Wales is responsible for one of the most significant inventions of the 21st century. It is also admirably even-handed, managing to convey that Wales is both something of a visionary and also something of a creep. The section on his personal life includes this detail, which neither he nor anyone else has seen fit to edit: ‘His first wife, Pam, was quoted in a September 2008 W magazine article as saying that Wales, because he believed altruism was evil, discouraged her from pursuing a nursing degree when they were married.’ The entry also details the break-up of Wales’s second marriage and the claims of a subsequent girlfriend, the Canadian conservative columnist Rachel Marsden, that she only discovered he was ending his relationship with her by reading about it on Wikipedia. I guess that’s ‘objectivism’ for you.

— Runciman, David (May 28, 2009). "Like Boiling a Frog". London Review of Books. Retrieved May 21, 2009. 

 Skomorokh  02:49, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

And some bemusing laziness from the Daily Mail

Wikipedia's wacky boss Jimmy Wales told his first wife, Pam, not to pursue a nursing degree because 'altruism is evil'; his second spouse, Rachel, heard their marriage was on the rocks after reading about it on the online encyclopedia her Alabama-born husband invented. Facts not only on Wikipedia but also contained in Andrew Lih's new tome about the 'written by readers' research tool.

— Hardcastle, Ephraim (May 26, 2009). "Greed is 'within the rules'... but just remember who made them". The Daily Mail. Retrieved June 8, 2009. 

What is about this guy that makes reporting basic facts about his marriages, income and career so difficult for journalists?  Skomorokh  04:31, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Admins unwilling/unable to deal with abusive edits by other admins?

You might want to check out Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Bishonen_using_status_as_admin_to_control_others_while_violating_our_civility_policy if you have a moment. Exxolon (talk) 01:36, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

This is an article talk page. You want User talk:Jimbo ViridaeTalk 01:38, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks - just realised that and posted there - I was trying to remove this section but we edit conflicted. That's what you get for editing while tired :) Exxolon (talk) 01:40, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Co-founder dispute rumbles on and on (Revisionism)

Archived the above debate, which has strayed off topic and become irrelevant to article editing. Mangojuicetalk 00:39, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Linking to user page

Linking to this user page is blatant advertising. For past discussion see Talk:Jimmy Wales/Archive 12#Linking of WP userpage twice in the main space and see Talk:Jimmy Wales/Archive 12#Problematic issue. QuackGuru (talk) 21:50, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Tags in the lead

Do we have a source for his 2000 retirement from the finance industry? And the wording "with Larry Sanger and others" was agreed upon a few months ago. "Others" being a reference to early editors. Since this is now being disputed, pointlessly in my view, as who is of little importance, is it better to, perhaps, change it to "early editors"? لennavecia 15:30, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

There is another sentence in the lead that is not referenced. QuackGuru (talk) 19:21, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Which one? لennavecia 22:01, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Actually, a lot of the refs can be pulled out of the lead. It's cited in the body, so we only need refs in the lead for the contentious information. If it's not cited in the body, we need to either find a ref or remove the info entirely. لennavecia 22:02, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
There was a previous discussion about the refs in the lead. I am trying to come up with an idea that would work for everyone. I suggest we reference everything in the lead but limit the amount of refs. This worked at the Larry Sanger page. There used to be more refs after each sentence but I reduced the amount of refs for the Larry Sanger page. QuackGuru (talk) 18:40, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Is this O.K.?

Here the given name of Wales' daughter, who is a minor, is mentioned. As this person is (a) non-notable and (b) under age, shoould this information be removed (and possibly oversighted)? --Goodmorningworld (talk) 05:30, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Wales speaks freely about his daughter Kira in interviews, and mentioning the name has encyclopaedic value due to the relationship to Objectivism. I'll ask him if he has a problem with it.  Skomorokh  11:13, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Kira's name is publicly known in reliable sources, and so it can stay. I do appreciate very much being asked.
The following is just FYI, and in my opinion should not be used directly as a source in any article (mostly because it's pointless trivia), but could be used to give a deeper understanding to those who would write about this:
Despite there being a reliable source for it, it is not correct (too simplistic) to say that she's named after a character in We The Living. She's actually more named after her grandfather and uncle, with the coincidence of also being named after a character being noted but secondary. Additionally, her first name is said to mean "brilliant light" and her middle name has a meaning connected to "waves" - sun and waves, a nod to her birthplace, San Diego. My point in raising all this is that the reader is misled (and this is not the fault of the person who wrote it, having no other information than the magazine article's claims) by the simple explanation given. In my opinion, therefore, mentioning her name is fine, as a simple biographical detail, but tying it to Objectivism is overstating the case.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:56, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the helpful response; given that, as you say, reliable sources discuss Kira and you do not object to her being mentioned, I don't think there are grounds for removing references to her from the article at this point. I've also gone ahead and removed the "We the Living" claim given your informative account (though if anyone disagrees with this, please discuss here). Regards,  Skomorokh  15:44, 2 July 2009 (UTC)


Donal? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mladen George Sekulovich (talkcontribs) 22:15, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, it's Wales' middle name. I believe it's an anglicization of the Irish/Scots Gaelic name Dónall/Domhnall, and is pronounced Doh-nul. Regards,  Skomorokh  16:27, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Speaking engagements

"Some have also pointed out that whereas Jimbo frowns on individual editors making cash from the free encyclopedia, he has no problem doing so himself. Wales makes upwards of $75,000 for each of his Wikipedia-centric speaking engagements."[29] QuackGuru (talk) 18:10, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Linking to this user page is blatant advertising because the user page is being used for promoton for possible speaking engagements. QuackGuru (talk) 18:45, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Alleged wikistalking again

If the source is a trashy tabloid not suitable for inclusion in any article because it isn't reliable, why are you posting it here? Your good-hearted nature? Looks like an idiot wrote it. Speaking in front of a large number of people and costs associated with it (plane tickets, hotel fees, etc.) is entirely different from users editing the wiki. What would you like to discuss about this? ...or are you just wikistalking again?⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 18:37, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Is it a problem when an editor uses his user page for promotion to make money. See Talk:Jimmy Wales/Archive 12#Problematic issue. QuackGuru (talk) 18:42, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
I see. You seem to think that one can't profit from Wikipedia. Why do you think that? What policy do you point to? I believe you can. ⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 18:52, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
I thought admins would block editors who were paid to edit or used their user page for advertizing. But it seems okay for Wales to get paid. QuackGuru (talk) 18:57, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Jimmy isn't being paid to edit Wikipedia (AFAIK!) apart from his salary. Wikipedia can self-advertise...nothing wrong with that. Again, are you citing a specific policy? This would be helpful.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 19:08, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
There is evidence of using Wikipedia for promotion. This edit allegedly made when Wales was not logged in changed Bomis to Wikia but Wikia did not exist when the Wikimedia Foundation was started. Changing Bomis to Wikia was promoting Wikia when Wikimedia Foundation's existence was officially announced by Bomis partner Wales, not from Wikia.
Is it okay for an editor to profit from Wikipedia from having a user page for self-promotion. Speaking engagements upwards of 75,000 is being paid. Having a user page with links to Wikia is self-advertizing. Is it okay for any editor to use their user page for self-advertizing to get paid for speaking engagements.
I suggest we include "Wales gets paid up to $75,000 for each of his Wikipedia associated speaking engagements.[30][31]" QuackGuru (talk) 19:30, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
I did not make that edit. Judging from the topics edited, I believe that ip number was likely the ip number of the old Wikimedia office in St. Petersburg, Florida. The edit in question could have been made by any number of people. Additionally, the Register article is wrong on several important factual points, but this should surprise no one: the Register is a tabloid with a long history of wild claims designed to be, as far as I can tell, as controversial as possible.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:09, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
The old IP number was signed by Wales. Additonally, the Register article is backed up by this ref. QuackGuru (talk) 19:16, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
As I said, it looks from the content of the articles edited that this was the old Wikimedia office in St. Petersburg, Florida. I did not make the edit that you're complaining about. The edit in question could have been made by any number of people. The Register article makes a b.s. case for a position which they allege that I hold, which I do not hold. The source you link to has no relevance to that argument. (Also, that source is not even my agent, as I am exclusive with Harry Walker Agency.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:57, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
(note, writing as a journalist here) I wondered about that, the "exclusive" aspect, but it's entirely possible there's some sort of authorized subcontracting. Are you claiming that listing is somehow false? Forget The Register article for the moment, that can be a distraction. The "above $75,000" listing is quite clear - do you deny it, and if so, how do you explain it? While we're on the topic, can you please confirm or deny some information I've obtained that the Harry Walker Agency asked $100,000 for your speaker's fee? -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 01:44, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Revanche. Do you seriously think that Jimbo should lower himself to your level by responding to such a question? My own response to such would be "fuck off", but Jimbo has a more public persona than do I, and is arguably required to treat all such approaches in good faith. The fact that he manages to do so in the face of such opprobious attacks is testimony to his resilience. Meanwhile, some maturity and basic human respect from you would be welcome. Rodhullandemu 02:00, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Excuse me? You, who talk of "lower himself to your level", and "fuck off", accuse me of "opprobious attacks"? Of course I think he should respond to such a question - I regard it as tough but fair. He has raised an issue about a public listing of "above $75,000" speaker's fee, with an implication though not an explicit statement which would seem to discredit it. I would say it is quite reasonable to attempt to solidly confirm or deny the listing and similar information. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 02:28, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
And of what use would a primary source be to the article? Rodhullandemu 12:51, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Philosophically, in the Verifiability vs. Truth debate, I'm on the side of Truth. Even if a primary source is not directly citable itself in an article, I believe it's very valuable to the article-writing process. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 13:18, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
But which article are you trying to write? Are you attempting to provoke a controversy so you can get a fee by writing an article? Johnuniq (talk) 07:17, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) Sigh. I meant "article" as in Jimmy Wales, responding to Rodhullandemu within the framework of Wikipedia reasons. But despite my apparent longstanding exemption as a target from the WP:NPA policy, I'll answer your motives question in good faith. First, I've already written and had published the relevant newspaper article (the number was $50,000 not $75,000 back then, so that's what I give in it). Second, my entire activism,journalism,academic, body of writing has been a profound financial negative for me. Whatever reasons I have for doing it, it sure isn't for the money! Third, there is so much drama and controversy that goes on every day at Wikipedia that my difficulty is in not overdoing it as a subject, and boiling down the essentials due to space limitations - I've already passed for the moment on paid editing, and accusations of Jimbo's abusiveness in blocking. I sure don't need to muck around on "Talk" pages to generate any. Fourth, if I were less ethical, and just interested in controversy, I wouldn't even bother asking Jimmy Wales about this material, but just go with the $100,000 number, attributing it to the source who provided the information (who agreed to go on-the-record). See, no evasions, no legalism, just facts and direct replies. I hope this allays your suspicions about motivations behind my comments. Seth Finkelstein (talk) 14:21, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

All your links show is that you have a long-lasting obsession with Wales and Wikipedia. It may be time to look for something constructive to do. Johnuniq (talk) 02:23, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Your statement is both false and a personal attack. You asked about my articles, impugning my motives. I gave you examples and replied in good faith, and which you took only as an opening for still more personal attack. I have nothing more to say on the matter, because I try to keep to WP:CIVIL, a courtesy you do not extend to me. What it does is drive me away from participating in discussions with people, since it's just an opportunity for some to freely sling mud and try to provoke me. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 02:40, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
The fee category listed is actually ABOVE 75k. I support the general idea, but I think the sentence could use a little tweaking - it's the asking price, not pay (the agency gets a commission), and he'll claim they're not "Wikipedia associated", though it's an arguable point. Maybe something along the lines of "Wales is listed as above $75,000 speaker's fee, and descriptions heavily stress his Wikipedia role". -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 19:38, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

<== The sentence doesn't need the tabloid as a ref but the ref would do. Quack, you have been implying wrongdoing on Jimmy's part but I have yet to see the rule or policy that he has supposedly broken. Bomis? How is changing a fact a form of promotion? Doesn't bother me. You're stretching things by leaps and bounds with your exaggerations. "Is it okay for an editor to profit from Wikipedia from having a user page for self-promotion?" Funny, I thought the page already existed and this was about a single link that was added. But back to the speaking engagements...why is that wrong?
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 20:02, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Changing a fact from Bomis to Wikia is promotion because Wikia is for profit and was not associated with Wikimedia Foundation. Is it okay to advertize Wikia for speaking engagements on a user page.
In a comment dated March 7, 2008 on his Wikipedia talk page Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has stated

While I continue to oppose the introduction of any advertising in Wikipedia, I also continue to agree that the discussion should evolve beyond a simple binary. I believe that if we looked at putting ads into the search results page (only), with the money earmarked for specific purposes (with strong community input into what those would be, either liberation of copyrights or support for the languages of the developing world or...). As the Foundation continues to evolve into a more professional organization capable of taking on and executing tasks (yay Sue and the growing staff!), it begins to be possible to imagine many uses of money that would benefit our core charitable goals. Lest I be misunderstood: I am not saying anything new, but saying exactly what I have said for many years.

The issue has been the topic of ongoing discussion. Revenue generated from advertisements could improve the website and help achieve its goals. On the other hand, advertising may be at odds with the mission of a neutral, non-profit website which aims to educate. See Wikipedia:Advertisements.
I think we can add "Wales is listed as above $75,000 speaker's fee, and descriptions heavily stress his Wikipedia role."[32][33]" QuackGuru (talk) 23:35, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
I made this change to the page. QuackGuru (talk) 23:38, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Where could we add this to this page. "Wales is listed as above $75,000 speaker's fee, and descriptions heavily stress his Wikipedia role."[34]" QuackGuru (talk) 19:05, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I would put it in this section, perhaps at the end of the first paragraph or in a separate paragraph between the current two paragraphs. Needs to be introduced and specified. For example, Wales also accepts paid public speaking engagements. In July 2009, an agency representing him listed his fee as "above $75,000"[35], with promotional copy that heavily stressed his Wikipedia role.
I believe the word "listed" adequately conveys that actual arrangements could in fact be lower than $75k. We can take it as common knowledge that agencies take their cut out of the gross before the client gets paid and of course speaking fees are taxable income etc.
Perhaps tack on another sentence listing recent speaking engagements? In April 2009, Wales gave a keynote speech at the ad:tech conference in San Francisco, in which he suggested that "newspapers cannot compete in some fields… they should just give up."[36] --Goodmorningworld (talk) 07:17, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
For now I made this change. This could be expanded using more references. QuackGuru (talk) 03:55, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
I think you meant to write "above $75,000", instead of "about $75,000". The way you wrote it, in my opinion, is somewhat unclear; a casual reader might get the impression that every time Wales flies somewhere to appear in public, he gets paid. I doubt that is the case; more likely the majority of his appearances in public on behalf of Wikipedia are unpaid, such as interviews with television and print media. --Goodmorningworld (talk) 05:25, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
I have edited the passage in question for clarification (as I explained above) and also to incorporate the most recent information provided by Wales.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 15:00, 6 July 2009 (UTC)