Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Jimmy Wales is not a saint

Jimmy Wales is not a saint. He does not need to be a saint, his role is not to be a saint. He is the one person who is seen and known as the public face of Wikipedia. Jimmy has given many effective presentations on the subject, for instance at TED. Without Jimmy there would not have been Wikipedia. I have met Jimmy on many occasions and I can testify that he fulfils his role really well.

There are some people who have a beef with Jimmy, who have a beef with Wikipedia and who are invariably negative about this. I find this behaviour nauseating. To me it is clear that these people have put themselves firmly outside of what is acceptable behaviour on Wiki.

Danny Wool was the personal assistant of Jimmy and he was for some time an employee for the Wikimedia Foundation. He is now spouting gossip of what happened during this time. For me, the one person that I find despicable is not Jimmy but Danny. His moral values that allow him to be this "tell all" I find beyond contempt; it is vindictive and it is very POV.

The fine job Jimmy is performing for the Wikimedia Foundation is one of marketing. It may come as a surprise to some but the marketing of Wikipedia is still essential. In all the studies done on the Wikipedias there has not been a comparative study on the shared values of Wikipedia, particularly the NPOV and it is my belief that without communications on many levels the POV differences between the projects will only grow more rapidly

It is imho absolutely essential that the evangelisation for Wikipedia continues and in doing this Jimmy has proven himself a boon.

I have no doubt that people like Danny will continue their selfish destructive behaviour. I am sad that they do this without apparent consideration of the consequences of their actions. As they do not offer any credible alternative either, I find their utterings reprehensible.

As to publications like the "Valley wag", as long as they know how to spell Wikipedia or Jimmy Wales they offer free publicity. This is if you believe in "any publicity is good publicity".



Anonymous said...

This blog posting reads like the justifications of a cult leader. All this talk of "the evangelisation for Wikipedia", and how "nauseating" and "negative" those folks who point out failings are, backs up this impression.

Sorry. Jimbo Wales was never a Saint. He is a former pornographer turned internet entrepreneur who heads a number of controversial projects. Simple as that.

GerardM said...

Thank you anonymous coward for your comment. First of all I published my personal take on this whole saga.

You apparently subscribe to the idea that a person cannot redeem himself, many genuine Saints have done exactly that. Jimmy has played the key role in making Wikipedia a reality and for that he deserves our gratitude.

When you read my blog as a justification of what Jimmy does in his private life, you read me wrong because I could not care less. What there is to read is that Jimmy in his public WMF role is absolutely relevant and, I can add that there is nobody who can easily replace him. What there is to read is that the folks that the ethics of the folks "who point out failings" behave in a way that I qualify as unethical.

Jimmy is not a saint, he does not need to be.

PS I wonder why you consider the Wikia projects controversial...