Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jimmy Wales Founder of Wikipedia and Wikia at the iBreakfast

It Is hard to believe that Wikipedia, the no. 9 most visited website in the world began with just 7 articles or that its founder, Jimmy Wales, actually believed that he would encapsulate the sum of all human knowledge on his site. But that is more or less what he did. And we're truly honored that hecame to share that story with us at the iBreakfast.

So how did this unlikely success story take place other than that he offered the right software and an idea that the world wanted to help him make so?

Wikipedia is now supported by donations and volunteers all over the world. It has listings in 66 languages ­ 67 if you count Klingon - and is vastly more comprehensive than its former competitor, Encyclopedia Britannica.

Now Jimmy has developed Wikia, a kind of open Wiki which allows all kinds of collaboration efforts ranging from sports news to travel guides and even a Muppet site. The total content is intended to be bigger than Wikipedia, in the way that a library is bigger than an encyclopedia and the efforts will be supported by ads.

The big story is that Wikia is also providing an infrastructure for a new collaborative Search Engine effort, dubbed by Fast Company magazine as"Google's Worst Nightmare." (Who says hype is only for tabloids!) In this case, Wikia will provide a server infrastructure, the collaborative software and Jeremie Miller, a heavyweight techie who authored Jabber, an intersystem Instant Messaging standard.

Much of the follow-up Q&A focused on the viability and security of open systems content production and the business side of collaboration. Our take is that wikis and "Collaboratition" (our word) will challenge some old styles of doing business and is just getting started. More, much more to come on this!

See the highlights of Jimmy Wales' speech at:

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