Saturday, November 30, 2013

Discussion: "Jimmy Wales Is Not an Internet Billionaire"

We have all had those lectures from teachers, librarians, professors, etc. about how we ought to be wary of, or in some cases completely avoid, Wikipedia.  Regardless of your view, the fact that none of the information is influenced by the “business” side of Wikipedia remains.  There really is no business side, and any conflict of interest comes from individuals that choose to edit pages.

In the article “Jimmy Wales Is Not an Internet Billionaire”, the author, Amy Chozick, explains Wales’ background as well as his current lifestyle and notes that after 12 years of Wikipedia being online, Wales is not nearly as wealthy as many believe him to be.  Chozick also states that Wikipedia is the fifth-most-viewed website in the world with more than 20 billion page views and 516 million unique visitors each month.  She says it is also estimated that should Wikipedia accept banner and video ads, it could potentially be worth $5 billion.

Do you think that the fact that Wikipedia does not use advertisements for profit makes it a more reliable source, or does the fact that anyone can edit the site negate this aspect?

Do you think that Wikipedia ought to accept advertisements in order to keep such a large database of information available, or would this upset those who appreciate the non-profit characteristic of the site?

Do you think that the “community” of volunteers who run Wikipedia is an advantage of Wikipedia, or ought it be more of a hierarchical system?

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