9.26.2005Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales was interviewed on C-SPAN last night. You can read the transcript and watch the interview on the same page. Of interest:
LAMB: As I was doing - well, using Wikipedia to do the research for this interview I kept thinking when will Google or Yahoo! put Jimmy Wales out of business. And then I - as I read further, you're in business with them in some way.
WALES: Yes, in some way. I think we have - we're a non-profit organization that I founded. And we've gotten support from Yahoo! already and Google is very interested in supporting us. We're just still talking to them about what to do.
And Yahoo! has donated some servers. And I think what's interesting about that is that if you - you know, it's almost a joke but it's completely true. If you think about well why - why do Yahoo! and Google want to do this and well, their business model depends on the Internet not sucking and we hope the Internet not suck. So it's that the Wikipedia for a lot of people hearkens back to what we all thought the Internet was for in the first place which is, you know, when most people first started the Internet they thought oh, this is fantastic, people can communicate from all over the world and build knowledge and share information.
And then we went through the whole dot-com boom and bust and the Internet seemed to be about pop-up ads, and SPAM, and porn and selling dog food over the Internet. And now Wikipedia kind of hearkens back to the original vision of the Internet.
And so it's important for the whole business of the entire Internet that there be quality resources that people can turn to and want to turn to. So that's - it's important to these companies to support us.
LAMB: Do you happen to know - I tried to find it yesterday and you can't get into Alexa to do this.
LAMB: At least - you have to pay for it I guess now?
WALES: Oh, no, I think it's still ...
LAMB: Is it still available?
WALES: ... last I checked I think we're around 40th now.
LAMB: 40th in the world ..
WALES: Yes, in the world.
LAMB: ... the busiest ...
WALES: Yes, according to Alexa.
LAMB: ... 40th busiest Web site.
WALES: Yes, which puts us - if you look at the numbers for reach, meaning the number of unique visitors that we see in a - in a day, you know, if you compare us to the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, we're larger than all of those, but even more than that we're larger than all of those combined. So that's the number of people we're reaching globally every day. It's substantial.
LAMB: How many people work for Wikipedia?
WALES: One. Its not me.
The discussion about the constraining rules of the encyclopedia is also quite interesting.
Thanks to toliverchap for telling me about this.