“Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing”. “Make an edit! Make several edits! After all, that's what Wikipedia is all about”.
Jimmy Wales is a pioneering internet entrepreneur of 21st century, an excellent and outstanding radical thinker, dynamic leader; empowering the humanity with tons of knowledge, and executioners of the on going huge social initiative of knowledge sharing under one roof (for all the people living under this sky around the world). This greatest idea of knowledge sharing, lot more worthy than philanthropy, brain-child of Jimmy Wales took different forms and moulds and finally got metamorphosed into “Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia”; where people around the world could access free and open information about any topic they need instantaneously without any research, in what ever language (more than 300 languages) they prefer. This is really a major milestone for Collaboration of human knowledge, creativity and innovation.
Jimmy Wales enthusiastically played different roles in promoting and designing the ongoing project Wikipedia, the world’s largest and free encyclopedia, which started in 2001, grew tremendously and became highly acceptable and cancerously popular around the globe. Jimmy is active president of Wikia, Inc since 2004 until date, Chairman of Wikimedia Foundation from 2003-2006, Chairman of Emeritus from 2006 until date. On the contrary to other commercial social networks like Google, Yahoo, Facebook etc with hell lot of servers, employees and advertisements, Wikipedia under the great envisioned leadership of Jimmy Wales, unbelievably works with only 400 servers and a very low head count of 73, with no place for advertisements on the page. Today Wikipedia stands fifth on the web and serves 454 million cross-cultured viewers every month and with billions of page view count. There is no irony in saying that Wikipedia became a part of decision making to millions of people and numerous organizations of various domains; giving them timely and quick access to the information they really need.
Access to information anywhere, any time and any topic, free and open on the web is the unique, revolutionary, history creating way of giving back to the society, which neither was done by any entrepreneur nor would be done in the future. The great visionary Jimmy Wales, who successfully executed his idea after many years of hardwork, made this possible. He is the living legendary social entrepreneur, who stands role model for the human kind.
Educational and Career Outlook
Wales astonishingly received his early education in a one-room school house run by his mother Doris and his grandmother Erma, where there were only 3 to 4 children in each grade and so 1-4 grades & 5-8 grades were clubbed together. It is in his early schooling that he had a deep understanding of the ‘Montessori Method and Philosophy’ of education, which motivated Jimmy to turn a vehement reader with intense intellectual curiosity. He got involved in the ‘Britannica’s and World Book of Encyclopedias’, spending lots and lots of his time.
Later after eighth grade, Wales went to Randolph School, a highly expensive university preparatory school at Huntsville, which was not at all affordable to his parents, but continued there until his graduation at the age of sixteen, because of his family’s passion to educate their children. Wales did his Bachelor’s in Finance, from Auburn University. He received his masters in finance, from the University of Alabama. He entered into PhD finance at Indiana University, though he taught at both the universities during his post graduation, he could not write dissertation required for a Ph.D., the reason for which he stated as boredom.
As a person, he strongly believed that traditional approach to knowledge and learning is a strong base for a good life. Wales was critical opponent of government treatment of the schools with political influence, beurocracy and constant interference. Leaving his Ph.D. incomplete, Wales took up a job in finance and after some time he took up the responsibility as research director from 1994-2000, in Chicago Options Associates, a futures and options trading firm, in Chicago. Wales along with two other partners founded, a male-oriented web portal, featuring entertainment and adult content, named Bomis, in 1996. Initial funding for the free peer-reviewed free encyclopedia Nupedia from 2000-2003, and its successor Wikipedia that was launched in 2001, was provided by Bomis. In 2004, he co-founded Wikia, a for-profit wiki-hosting service.
Born : Jimmy Donal Wales
August 7, 1966(age 45)
Huntsville, Alabama, U.S.
Residence :St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.
Country of Citizenship :United States
Alma mater :Bachelors in Finance, Auburn University
Masters in University of Alabama
Occupation :Formerly a financial trader
Currently internet entrepreneur
Marital Status :Married
Children :One daughter
The great American internet entrepreneur was born in Huntsville, Alabama in the year 1966, August 7. His father Jimmy worked as a grocery store manager. His mother, Doris, along with his grandmother, Erma, ran a small in-house private school, where Wales and his three siblings received their early education.
On personal front Wales married Pam, a co-worker at a grocery store, in Alabama, at a very young age of 20. He happened to meet his second wife, Christine Rohan, while she was working as a steel trader for Mitsubishi. The couple later married in 1997, in Monroe County, Florida and had a daughter before they parted. Wales moved to San Diego in 1998 and information says that he stayed at St.Petersburg, Florida from 2002-2007. Later back in 2008, Wales had a brief relationship with a Canadian columnist Rachel Marsden, who approached Wales in the context of her Wikipedia biography. Later Wales claimed that the relationship would not influence Wikipedia and that it constituted conflict of interests.
Honors and Rewards
Jimmy Wales receiving the Quadriga award on October 3, 2008
Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing.
Wales deserve to be honored, for his ongoing work of enlightenment of human rays by sharing free and open content.
Wales has received a Pioneer Award, the Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize in 2011.
Wales received ‘the Monaco Media Prize’ in 2011.
Wales received the 2009 Nokia Foundation annual award.
Wales was accredited with the Business Process Award at the seventh Annual Innovation Awards and Summit by the Economist, in 2009.
Wales received the 2008 Global Brand Icon of the Year Award.
Wales was honored on behalf of the Wikimedia project, the Quadriga award of Werkstatt Deutschland for A Mission of Enlightenment, in 2008.
The World Economic Forum named Wales as one of the "Young Global Leaders" of 2007.
Time magazine named Wales in its 2006 list of the world’s most influential people.
Wales was listed in the "Scientists & Thinkers" section of the Time 100 in 2006 and number 12 in Forbes
Wales serves on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit charitable organization he helped establish to operate Wikipedia, holding its board-appointed "community founder”. He was chosen a fellow of Harvard Law School's Beckman Center for Internet and Society in mid-2005 and in October 2005 joined the Board of Directors of Social text, a provider of wiki technology to businesses.
Few Inspiring Quotes by Jimmy Wales
“I have always liked the idea of going to print because a big part of what we are about is to disseminate knowledge throughout the world and not just to people who have broadband”.
“I have always viewed 123the mission of Wikipedia to be much bigger than just creating a killer website. We're doing that of course, and having a lot of fun doing it, but a big part of what motivates us is our larger mission to affect the world in a positive way”.
“My original concept was to provide a free encyclopedia for every single person in the world”.
“Wikipedia is first and foremost an effort to create and distribute a free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality to every single person on the planet in their own language. Asking whether the community comes before or after this goal is really asking the wrong question: the entire purpose of the community is precisely this goal”.
“We are Wikipedians. This means that we should be: kind, thoughtful, passionate about getting it right, open, tolerant of different viewpoints, open to criticism, bold about changing our policies and cautious about changing our policies. We are not vindictive, childish, and we don't stoop to the level of our worst critics, no matter how much we may find them to be annoying”.
“I think that argument is completely morally bankrupt, and I think people know that when they make it. There's a very big difference between having a sincere, passionate interest in a topic and being a paid shill ... Particularly for PR firms, it's something they should really very strongly avoid: ever touching an article”.
American philosopher and Internet Web Developer
Co-founder of Wikipedia
Founder of Citizendium
“Want to change the way world thinks, for one thing (knowledge sharing)”
“I call myself an "Internet Knowledge Organizer." I started Wikipedia.org, Citizendium.org, and WatchKnow.org, among others. Now I am lucky enough to be able to work full-time on creating free materials for early education, which I am using with my two little boys and sharing with you”.
Larry Sanger is an American Philosophical entrepreneur, a well-known Objectivist, with a profound interest in philosophy, a mysterious art, the history of which shows full of confusion, doubt, and disagreement in existence of state of things, that needs higher level of careful and methodical thinking, which would probably challenge one’s intellectual capabilities. He pin pointed his focus and worked extensively on a rare field ‘Epistemology’, which means theory of Knowledge. He was the most envisioned leader and a matchless strategist of his own kind, who brought about accountability to the internet encyclopedia model. He worked on processes of assembling and development of articles led the Wikipedia’s early committee and blessed the humanity by launching Wikipedia in most easy to use method. His outstanding work is a boon to humankind, stands role model for upcoming Philosophical entrepreneurs.
Educational and Career Outlook
He spent most of his formative days of school in Anchorage, Alaska, where he excelled in his learning, from the age of 7yrs. He had keen interest in Philosophy. In 1986, he graduated from high school and went to Reed College majoring in Philosophy, to receive his ‘Bachelor of Arts degree’ in 1991. He received both his ‘Masters in arts’ in 1995 and later ‘Doctor of Philosophy’ in 2000, in the stream of Philosophy from Ohio State University, where most of his work was on Epistemology.
As a part of his learning and knowledge, he got interested in the publishing abilities of the internet, which later helped him to realize the benefits of internet by using ‘Wiki’ for an online encyclopedia. He attempted his learning execution, with a list server as a medium, to help students and tutors in ‘expert tutoring’, it even acted as a forum to hold discussions of tutorials, best tutorial methods, merits of free network of individual tutors and students helping each other via internet, for sharing knowledge outside the traditional university setting. From 1998 to 2000, he ran a website called "Sanger's Review of Y2K News Reports", a resource for Y2K watcher.
He made his intensive contributions in various online encyclopedia projects. He played a role of former Editor-in-chief of Nupedia, and Chief Organizer of Wikipedia from 2001-2002. He was key person in assembling and developing processes for articles and proposed the use of Wiki and directly led to creation of Wikipedia, which was initially complementary to the Nupedia Project. He established many original policies of Wikipedia and led its early community. He played main role in alternative wiki-based project, Citizendum.
He left Wikipedia in 2002, as Wikipedia has least respect for professionalism and expertise, and since then has been a critic of the Wikipedia project. After leaving Wikipedia, he rendered his services in teaching Philosophy, his favorite subject, in Ohio State University and authored “Encyclopedia of Earth”. Citizendum was publicly announced in 2006, and was launched in 2007, and its activities ranged from creating credible and free access encyclopedia, with more accountability. He is at present working on design and development of different educational projects for individuals and programs to help children, how to read, know and learn and acquire knowledge. He started blogging on various subjects. He is also a part-time writer, speaker and consultant on topic of Collaborative web communities.
Born :Lawrence Mark Sanger
July 16, 1968 (age 43)
Bellevue, Washington, U.S.
Alma mater :Bachelors in Arts, Reed College
Masters and Doctorate in Philosophy, Ohio State University
Occupation :Internet project Developer
Marital Status :Married
The great American Philosopher, Larry Sanger, was born on July 16, 1968, in Bellevue, Washington, Seattle. He spent most of his childhood days in Anchorage, Alaska.
Not much is known about Sanger’s family, but some sources say that he was raised purely Lutheran and that after annoying family members and pastors, he turned into typical agnostic philosopher and a rational believer. He said that, his family has substantial amount of English, German, and French blood, but he is not a Jewish.
He met his wife online and got married in 2001, later had two children.
The Peaking Controversy on “Co-founder” of Wikipedia
Jimmy Wales has started Wikipedia with the help of Larry Sanger and others in 2001.
As the company became very popular in the public through out the world, Jimmy Wales got busy and was mostly playing the roles of a promoter and spokes person, so it is not mentioned clearly, about the aspect “who found Wikipedia?; Resulting in high controversy.
Historically Jimmy Wales is cited as a co-founder of Wikipedia, though he has disputed the "co-" designation, declaring himself the sole founder. Wales has been omitting the ‘co’ part of co-founder in his own biography for some years now, though on Wikipedia’s own Wikipedia page, Larry Sanger is listed as his co-founder and, indeed, Sanger has pulled together a comprehensive list of online resources to back-up his claims to co-founder status.
No doubt, Sanger has played a key role in development of Wikipedia and provided full-fledged guidance for the project in its early phase, but the core idea in broader perspective is ascribed to Wales. Sangers said, "The idea of an open source, collaborative encyclopedia, open to contribution by ordinary people, was entirely Jimmy's, not mine, and the funding was entirely by Bomis", adding, "The actual development of this encyclopedia was the task he gave me to work on”. Sanger promoted both the Nupedia and Wikipedia projects until Bomis discontinued funding for his position in February 2002; Sanger resigned as editor-in-chief of Nupedia and as "chief organizer" of Wikipedia on March 1 of that year.
If at all you type the name “Larry Sanger” in the google, the search engine would suggest; Jimmy Wales may be the ‘face’ of Wikipedia, but you may not know that the online encyclopedia also has a co-founder in the form of Larry Sanger, who helped develop the project, but left in 2002 shortly after it was launched.
Ascent of Wikipedia
Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger – Driving force behind Wikipedia
Wales with two other partners founded Bomis, a male-oriented web portal featuring entertainment and adult content, in 1996 and the initial funding for the peer-reviewed, free encyclopedia, Nupedia from 2000-2003 and its successor Wikipedia was made by Bomis. Bomis struggled hard for money, but supplemented Wales with money to carry on his lifetime ambition of an ‘online open encyclopedia’.
Wales came across Larry Sanger in early 1990’s, while holding an online discussion group that was mostly devoted to the ‘philosophy of objectivism’. Wales was debating with Larry Sanger online, a skeptic of the philosophy, both were deeply immersed in the debate on the subject and eventually met face-to-face to continue the debate and incidentally became friends, as they were like-minded people ‘sailing in the same boat of knowledge sharing’.
Later, after Wales tentatively decided upon pursuing the project of Wikipedia, Wales needed a credential academic to lead the project. Wherein, he called in Mr. Sanger, to be its editor-in-chief, when Larry was pursuing doctorate in philosophy, at Ohio State University. Eventually after that, the peer-reviewed; open-content encyclopedia, The Nupedia was launched, in 2001. The main theme of Nupedia was to have entries of variety of topics written by experts and paralleling advertising along with the entries, to make some profit. Peers extensively reviewed the articles in order to achieve quality comparable to professional encyclopedias.
The progress of Nupedia was too slow (simply not growing faster), because of its bottleneck, onerous submission process. Wales was looking around for other ways of speeding up the process, probably needed more people to contribute. Jimmy Wales already spent all the money he had set aside for Nupedia, which was not making him any money and he did not want to spend any more money on software. In early summer of 2000, the first change Larry and Wales made was to change the existing email only system, to a software system, which could not solve the problem either.
Later in January 2001, Kovitz, an extreme computer enthusiast, introduced Sanger, with concept of ‘wiki’. ‘Wiki’ did not need any programming and the model allowed editors to contribute simultaneously and incrementally through out the entire project, which cleared the bottle neck of Nupedia. Jimmy and Larry created Nupedia wiki, on January 10, 2001. The Wiki project initially started as a collaborative project, where public could write articles, which would be reviewed by, Nupedia’s expert volunteers. The experts who had nothing to do with this project, had a fear, that the amateur content with professionally researched and edited content would degrade the credibility of encyclopedia. Therefore, just after five days after its creation; wiki project was dubbed as “Wikipedia”, by Sanger, and went live at separate domain. Within a couple of weeks, Wikipedia gained its momentum, and more articles that are detailed were made live and soon it has surpassed Nupedia.
Wales identified the potential in “Wikipedia”, and thought that it would reach all the people and realize his dream of online, free, open encyclopedia. Wales initially feared that, the concept of open editing, where anyone can edit the encyclopedia would produce “total trash content”. However, to his surprise the small group of editors’ synchronized well to create a robust, self-regulating community that has proven conducive to the growth of the project. Sanger left Wikipedia in 2002. Wales serves on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit charitable organization he helped establish to operate Wikipedia, holding its board-appointed "community founder" seat. In 2004, he co-founded Wikia, a for-profit wiki-hosting service. Wales’ role in creating Wikipedia was instrumental, which has become the world’s largest encyclopedia. Ten years on from Wikipedia’s launch, the online encyclopedia recently surpassed 420m unique monthly visitors, and there are now over 20 million articles across almost 300 languages. Times magazine named Wales in its 2006 list of the world’s most influential people.
The great mission was a result of hard work of the two highly intellectual leaders, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, a boon to humans.