Tune in at 16:00 London, 19:00 UAE

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Monday's Connector of the Day – Jimmy Wales

January 15th, 2010
04:54 PM ET

It's the world's largest online encyclopedia with more than 14 million articles and founder Jimmy Wales can say that he's the man behind Wikipedia's creation.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/15/1801_blog_art.jpg caption ="Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales."]

Whether you want to learn about snails or a genetic algorithm, Wikipedia has been the answer that many people have been waiting for.

The open source resource allows any individual to become an 'editor' of the site and allows users to write, edit and publish information on a huge variety of topics.

The idea of Wikipedia was that it was meant to be "a open source, collaborative encyclopedia, open to contribution by ordinary people."

Jimmy Wales had his start in the finance industry until finally getting his feet wet in the online world in 1996. After experimenting with open source technology he joined forces with Larry Sanger in 2001 and launched Wikipedia.

Wales initially thought the project wouldn't be a success, but after only a few days, the number of entries skyrocketed and Wikipedia had its first group of online editors.

Although the site is generally regarded as one of the best success stories of creative collaboration through an open source model, there has been some criticism of how easy it is to vandalize entries.

We'd like to know what you think?

Are you a fan of Wikipedia? Do you think its open source model is too easy to abuse? How do you think the online encyclopedia has changed the internet?

Please leave your questions for Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales below

soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Ed

    Garbage in – Garbage out is a common expression used by data specialists with regard to the accuracy of a database. Wikipedia is a large database. Conservatives might tell you it is a liberal database, and that may be true, in part, because Liberals are more prone to contribute to a free flow of information than conservatives. It's kind of like donating money to charity. If theirs a tax break they contribute..otherwise they get nothing out of it.

    Flip side is the liberals are all too wiling to contribute...so instead of having a database full of useful information..often we have data of which the common man may be disinterested. Someone thought it was of value though.

    My only concern with Wikipedia is that users KNOW if is possibly more prone to inacuracy and irrelivent data than say a paid service.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  2. Anonymouse

    Wikipedia is one of the greatest tools for information distribution that has come out of the new millennium. Is it sometimes inaccurate? Yes, but so are textbooks written by my college professors.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  3. jphilly

    i just hope he doesnt sell out to the bloodsucking corporations that want to buy his site and whore it out for as much profit as they can

    January 15, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  4. dan smith

    Wikipedia is superb. I work on software for a major defence contractor and I refer to it regularly at work as a reference, especially when I need to look up for mathematical identities and formulas. I have always found it to be perfectly accurate.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  5. dan smith

    If Wikipedia had an arm that was a registered uk charity, I would try to encourage my company to make a donation to it – is wikipedia a registered charity in the uk?

    January 15, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  6. Mmmousemaid

    I love it. I thought it was a good idea in its
    early stages, but it has just gotten better and
    better. I think I would like to see more diverse
    references, from classic sources to modern ones.

    I do have a question, on this sad day:

    There is a lot of talk about logistical help
    to Haiti due to the geographical destruction
    and loss of ports, landing fields, etc. to
    deliver supplies a.s.a.p.

    Is it practical to drop packets of (water, quick
    nutrition food, sanitation/medical supplies) in
    Haitian and French and English instructions) via helicopters?


    January 15, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  7. Stephen

    Wikipedia has opened the windows to a whole new level of accessible knowledge. The best thing a person can do is to gain knowledge and, as far as I am concerned, Wikipedia has been instrumental in getting me interested in articles I would not otherwise bother to read. I personally know people who at first doubted the validity of information posted on Wiki. Now they are frequent readers and even cite the information they find. Way to go Wikipedia! Hats off to all those who brought this indispensable tool to us.

    January 15, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  8. Chris

    I find it interesting that the world has worked for centuries to finally have free and open access to mankind's knowledge....which we now have WITHOUT GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE CENSORSHIP, and yet it seems those are two parties most interested in discrediting Wikipedia while trying to bring Wikipedia to an end (or at least charge for it).
    Seems like discrediting Wikipedia and complaining about the fact it is a free open source of information constitutes yet another monumental step backwards for mankind orginating yet again in the US.

    January 15, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  9. Deepu

    If I could I would put a backup copy of wikipedia on outer space so that event of a global disaster, most of our knowledge will be safe.

    January 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  10. Jose Antonio Morales

    It is the first source of serious information for me. It should be used as a starting point for research. A dictionary is a good companion. And Search engines will help to find different opinions and sources.
    At the end we should never trust fully on any source of information, we see that even respected TV channels aren't trustworthy.

    January 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  11. incredulous

    This message is for Ed. Huh? What drama leads you to comment as a liberal vs conservative, open vs paid resource? I don't know what your politics are, and quite frankly I don't care. If somehow you are making this a political/partisan issue please move to another planet.

    January 15, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  12. Anthony

    I can't see what the problem some people have with Wikipedia is.
    They have implemented many security measures and also have a dedicated group of people who on the patrol for vandals. It is sound, accurate, has saved my life numerous times and isn't as vandalised as many people think. I love it.

    January 15, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  13. China Chuck

    I've been a long time user and rare contributor to Wikipedia. I feel the abuse has been minimal but I have not researched it. It is a tremendous resource for me living overseas.

    I reference Wikipedia about two to three times a week and sometimes I learn far more than ever intended. Yesterday I was looking for details about the eclipse passing from Africa through Asia and as I kept opening new tabs/windows I learned more about on going NASA research into our sun.

    Tomorrow is going to be even more exciting and I'm thankful to Mr. Wales for his incredible contribution to our online experience.

    January 15, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  14. Greg

    Trusted and questioned as much as reference books (offline). I am impressed with what it already is. I am grateful for what I am getting from it. It engages, and shares. It is evolving. It certainly is not going away. Take it with measure. Contribute.

    January 15, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  15. harvey groves

    It is INDEED practical to drop packets of relief via HELICOPTER ! !

    Packages with quick-energy food, water, medicines, etc. wrapped in blankets, plastic film can be designed spherical for easy air-drop and protection against spoilage by the elements.

    Large transport planes CURRENTLY located in all parts of the world are capable of ferrying MANY helicopters. On short notice the helicopters could be loaded with materiel for quick delivery.

    The United Nations should pass laws creating a command to carry out quick delivery of aid where it is most needed in any emergency.

    The laws, signed by a MAJORITY of UN nations, should penalize actions by cautious nations or individuals calling for time to assess possible wasted time, money, materiel etc. Nation signatories would clearly state to each of its citizens/military units the responsibilities of this new command.

    January 15, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Reply
  16. woozle

    Dear Mmmousemaid,

    Brilliant! All that needs doing is to clear a large 'drop zone' somewhere near the worst of the damage and 'copter in the most needed supplies. Our military is capable of parachuting 35 ton tanks into war zones. It shouldn't be that difficult to use our same abilities to drop medicine, food, clothing and water.

    And now that I think of it, the Haitians have little or no shelter. Might it not be a good idea – not to mention the PR benefits and tax writeoffs – for a major tent manufacturer such as REI or North Face – to sell simple tents to our government at cost so that these people have at least a barrier between them and the elements assaulting them?

    You are right on the money!

    January 15, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Reply
  17. Dr Neuro

    I am quite concerned about the lack of ethical respect for select professions for which it is imperative that aspects of what they do remain confidential in order to be affective. Specifically, the field of psychology and neuropsychology provide assessments that require no prior knowledge of the tools used, yet you allow such information to be posted, thereby invalidating not only the tools, but all the months and, in some cases, years of hard work creating them. In this instance, your site undermines the premise of this specialty. Why no safeguards by members of specific professions to allow for protection of their trade?

    January 16, 2010 at 12:10 am | Reply
  18. Zach

    Wikipedia is great for research on many topics. except as a college student i cannot use them as a source due to the lack of credibility. Even though it is the largest online encyclopedia is there a way that every entry could be verified as accurate so that maybe we could begin to use this tool to our advantage.

    January 16, 2010 at 1:39 am | Reply
  19. Eugene FRANK MD

    Terrific: as a bicultural (French/American) psychiatrist & psychopharmacologist, I have two areas to validate the accuracy, sensitivity and cultural currency of the postings and I have rarely been disappointed. At times limited in scope, but rarely inaccurate so that I can comfortably rely on the information provided.

    January 16, 2010 at 2:07 am | Reply
  20. adam

    wikipedia pushes back the boundaries of ignorance and superstition one edit at a time. It only seems biased towards what liberals are saying because it more accurately reflects the world as it truly is.

    January 16, 2010 at 5:57 am | Reply
  21. Simon Templar

    I love it and agree with jphilly. In spite of possible inaccuracies we are all much better off WITH it than without. What a fantastic vision.

    January 16, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  22. jorge ledezma

    an immense example in how a nonprofit initiative can impact the world
    and bring humankind together.

    January 16, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  23. Clifford Fernandez

    It is like looking for time on the clocks in the watch repairer's shop. Time shown on some may be correct . But who knows, how to confirm the correct time unless you check with other sources?

    January 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  24. doug h

    love to use it. sometimes question the accuracy but find it to be a valuable resource and turn to it often. thanks for such a wonderful creation.

    January 16, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  25. Dr. Slueth

    Info it is,
    info. it's not,
    content is new,
    integrity not.

    Am I Sam,
    green eggs and ham,
    in Wiki's case,
    it's could be spam.

    In a riddle,
    fiddle, fiddle,
    Jimmy Wales,
    now has sales.

    Donate here,
    for out of fear,
    staff to pay,
    non-profit, YEAH!!!!!

    For if money is not
    the real driving force,
    then tell me Jimmy
    of your open source.

    What is your salary?
    what is your pay?
    taken as a non-profit,
    this very day?

    Make it truly open,
    make it transparent,
    disclose your salary,
    and make it apparent.

    For if you do not,
    if you delay,
    the intent of your Wiki
    looks like for pay.

    Dr. Slueth

    January 16, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  26. Tony Hansen

    I love wikipedia also but I have noted that wikipedia suffers from the same phenomenon as many history textbooks, they present the things countries want to believe, they gloss over the things we do not want to hear about our heros, histories and ideologies. When it comes to dissenting views on matters of political or religious history, for example, the majority are not willing to tolerate minority views, whether or not these are true. This is also true of wikipedia. We do not want to know that our idols were implicated in the holocaust or the inquisition, we do not want fundamental nationalistic, social or econnomic ideologies of our socieity (that have put us on the verge of planetary self destruction) clouded with contrary information.

    January 16, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  27. NM

    I love the Wikipedia, both online and the idea – I use it frequently, very rarely find it inaccurate

    I wish it has more funds to do even more, such as becoming more multimedia-integrated. There is a lot of content that seems to be scattered in lateral projects, poorly integrated into the main encyclopedia. They should accept advertising – today most websites have ads, people are used to them, it would not affect the Wikipedia and would certainly provide more money to improve and keep growing
    Or do people go to other news sites, because CNN has ads?

    The open source and collaborative idea is a brilliant one – it has changed the information world in incorporating that. It killed large encyclopedias on CD and online. Wikipedia opened the door of knowledge to the entire world. For me, it already is one of the 7 new wonders of the world.

    January 16, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  28. Anton

    It's funny how the idiotic and blatantly asinine american hysterical basement dwellers tend to talk in absolute and cliche terms. "Liberal", "conservatives" – stereotypically biased black and white mindset of the fast-food and internet educated slobs, who bring zero value to the internetz, yet always have something irresistibly smart to type up with their sweaty lilttle fingertips
    Yes, I am talking about the very first post by some guy named "ed"
    Wikipedia is an incredible tool and I would wisely suggest not to bring it into your dirty "politics"

    January 16, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  29. Jose A. Mari-Mutt

    Wikipedia is a great resource which I use almost every day. And if I find a mistake, I go ahead and fix it. Try that with Brittanica... there mistakes could remain online for a log time.

    January 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  30. Ray

    I've noticed that more and more people are citing Wikipedia for their work - whether it is for a journal article, thesis, or a book. While I do find Wikipedia to be a valuable resource to find out something quickly, does it concern you when the above happens? That is, articles that Wikipedia should be citing are now in fact citing Wikipedia - a valuable resource, yet something that changes over time and is not solid as a peer-reviewed article (for example). Recently, I purchased a book which cites Wikipedia every few pages - instead of "thanks!", I actually felt like the authors were a bit lazy. Of course, this is not Wikipedia's fault...I just want to see what your take is and whether you think that the Internet is great, but has, in some ways, made researchers ranging from the high school student to the academic to being...well...lazy.

    Thank you, though, for Wikipedia! My comments in no way is meant to disrespect it, of course!

    January 16, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  31. Edward G Leaders

    For the sake of those who seem to think my posting was political in nature...you couldn't be more wrong.

    My point was directed toward the NATURE of people as conservative or liberal.

    In general:

    The liberal mindset seem to attach more importance to details related to the arts and science.

    The conservative mindset seem to attach more value to history and the lessons learned thereof.

    Some ignorant folk like to replace the words liberal and conservative with democrat and republican and assume a political agenda.

    If you watch Fox news or any of the idealogues on CNN you probably qualify.

    January 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  32. Andrew Allen

    Education should be free. That is one reason why I value the Bible education work of Jehovah's Witness. For years they have provided me with Bibles, magazines, Bible-based literature, Bible research software, and Bible-based mp3 files. They have never charged me for any of it. The education that I have received from Jehovah's Witnesses has proved far superior to any that I have receive from college.

    January 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  33. majoro

    I used Wikipedia on my research projects and I rarely found inaccuracies in there. I am also a Wikipedian myself, and I sometimes keep track of what I could say 'vandalism' or some sort. I live in the Philippines, where textbooks issued by the Education department is "filled with errors." I could just say, "make textbooks out of Wikipedia" because if someone say Wikipedia is inaccurate, then our textbooks (I admit) were more inaccurate.

    Second, is the 'open source' initiative. Marov (Mister in Sawyerean) Wales is genius. There are open source softwares such as Firefox and they are successful - why not an open source encyclopedia? There is a risk of vandalism or inaccuracies, but the benefit of this knowledge base DID overwhelmed the risks.

    What's more: when something happens, it is immediately posted on Wikipedia. The Haiti quake, the Mumbai attacks - Wikipedia has been one of the most trusted source and in some cases, much faster and more comprehensive than 'mainstream news.'

    January 16, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  34. Claude Harvey

    After seeing the editorial (in house) manipulation that took place at Wikipedia in the immediate aftermath of "climategate", I lost all faith in the institution.

    Claude Harvey

    January 16, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  35. Marie in Paris

    For me, wikipedia is a great resource! I consult it professionally and for personal usage.

    Yes, I wanted to know all about Nicholas Sarkozy before the election; yes, I wanted to know which way snails curl. Yes, I enjoyed learning the "how to get onto the NY subway", and I even wrote an article that someone "needed" – how to change behavior!

    You find any misinformation? Just propose a change to it!

    January 16, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  36. lexie10

    to Mmmousemaod- call the UN Special Envoy office.

    January 16, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  37. Amy

    Sure, Wikipedia is prone to inaccuracy, but there are also hordes of users who prowl the site searching and correcting these inaccuracies. I don't claim that Wikipedia is a source that should be referenced in essays or articles, but when I need information on a gene or protein for a project or just want to know more about a person or place, Wikipedia is the first place I go to.

    January 16, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  38. Dr. Martin Dudziak

    The concept of Wikipedia is great, right-on, and there have been several efforts but this one obviously caught-onl.

    In some of the sciences, there are great and accurate resources, reflecting a lot of serious contributions. The same for the humanities, and then things start to get "complex" and slide into problem areas when getting to history, especially current events, and where conflict is involved, as well as with modern biographies.

    What concerns me, though, is a growing type/sense of despotism among some editors, apparently anonymous, and personal "bashing" (directed also, at times, toward companies, institutions, and philosophies). I myself have suffered some really off-the-wall negativism and defamation from "persons unknown" but at least claiming to be editors.

    What will make Wikipedia better, more reliable, more accurate, more trustworthy, and less of a forum for people who want to just get in and cut others down, will be to move consciously and in a structured way toward the way formal printed encyclopedias were done for the past few centuries. Somewhere and somehow there is a balanced medium. There needs to be more control and review over the so-called "editors" because some of them are, to put it bluntly, unfit to be editors or critics of others' writing. There needs to be more objectivity, and more formal mechanisms to make sure that editors are being objective and not bringing their pet peeves and emotions into what should be not a blog site but an encyclopedia.

    January 16, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  39. Pablo Bermudez

    There is no better source of information on the web and as it is created by people for the people is is subject to errors but so it is Britannica online.

    The difference: Wikipedia is in a constant evolution by the people for the people, and that is its secret: collaborative knowledge and collaborative innovation. Is not done yet, is an Alexandria on the making!

    Thank you Jimmy. I've collaborated with money and content in the past and will keep on doing it in the future!
    Cheers from Lima, Peru

    January 16, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  40. Judy

    Wikipedia and its sister sites are terrific! It is always my first source for information on anything; it is a great place to start and has an unbelievable amount of information on just about anything. In fact, it is always a surprise when Wikipedia DOESN'T have information on a topic.

    January 16, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  41. Bob

    History is a lie agreed upon. As an undergraduate, my professors insisted on research from original sources. As an example, they would be horrified if I relied on George W. Bush (Or Bill Clinton) to interpret either the Constitution or the life of Thomas Jefferson. That being said, I love Wikipedia.

    I will say this: there should be MORE ARTICLES tranlated from languages other than English by the native speaker of that language.

    It is refreshing to read an article by a Brit. Americans have such a stiff way of writing, use too much "Boilerplate", and too many American sources.

    This makes the American mindset a dull flock of inbred canards and cliches.

    January 16, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  42. Bob

    One of the things I have learned living among a greatly diverse poulation near the busiest sea port in North America, is that most of our Anglophone classics of cultural anthropoly is virtually complete fabrication. Don't believe it until you hear it from the source. This may sound revisionist, but hey it was filtered through that rancid Anglophone morality and savage WASP capitalism to begin with.

    And I read the comments written before mine on this subject, I can see how brutally distorted most comments are.

    January 16, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  43. Edward G Leaders

    Who will use the backup copy of Wiki once the world has ended?

    January 16, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Reply
  44. Gary

    Wikipedia is wonderful for the world. I've learned so much, just in research I've done with it lately. All information is fallible.
    The key is the faster we can learn the more we can learn.
    The links embedded to describe some of the words used in the definitions are really great.

    Does it have a spell check? We could learn even more by looking up
    the spelling of words we are not familiar with. The world needs education to give us the light of hope! More people need access to Wikipedia if anything. Oh, and it should be kept free for all, by all! Lifelong learning! Thank you, Mr. Wells! It is a great thing you have done!

    January 17, 2010 at 12:17 am | Reply
  45. Edward G Leaders

    And yes...that comment was for you Anton.

    January 17, 2010 at 12:35 am | Reply
  46. Edward G Leaders


    A defense contractor? Formulae? I thought there were laws with regard to data sources for your profession...especially when doing work for DOD. I would also think that if you are programming for US you would use only extremely reliable sources.

    January 17, 2010 at 12:44 am | Reply
  47. Brains Rule!

    People can so say, do, and be great when they are able to express themselves freely, and learn from one another.
    We may, like Patrick Henry, have to our pledge our lives to defend free speech, but that is the only way to go. Open Source, long may you wave!!!

    January 17, 2010 at 1:46 am | Reply
  48. Brains Rule!

    Oh, moderation. Does that mean editing?
    I will rephrase myself.

    I love Wikipedia. I have been taught by my tech sons to treasure the Open Source platform. Like Patrick Henry, I may have to defend it with my life, but that I would gladly do.

    How's that?

    January 17, 2010 at 1:54 am | Reply
  49. Andrew

    Thanks, a million thanks to Wikipedia and its creator. The site illustrates the greatness of the Internet and what can be achieved by people working together. Articles about countries, health, the arts, ... are among the best to be found. Check for instance : "Russia", "Antonio de La Gandara", "Don Quichotte", "Coronary diseases" ...
    Vandalism is only the way petty people have found to express themselves. It is highly regrettable, but stupidity cannot be eradicated.

    January 17, 2010 at 4:02 am | Reply
  50. Realistic

    As has been said, if you wait until you can do something undoubtedly perfectly, you might wait forever. It's very important that Wikipedia has articles which do NOT prove everything they say. If they had to do that, they would have to leave off very important information sometimes. These articles which don't prove their points all the way at least give other people something to work with to find out more about it. I believe one such article, put together with what I already knew, helped me to pinpoint the geographical location where some of the stories I heard from my father in my childhood took place, because it mentioned a rare kind of descriptive event which exactly matched what my father said happend where he was at the time the story events happened that he told about and in the same timeframe and state. That is not likely a coincidence. And they didn't state a source.

    That was great news.

    January 17, 2010 at 6:41 am | Reply
  51. Maduka P. Jr

    Thanks Jimmy, your vision worked. Studying in my country could have been more difficult and shallow without wikipedia. Wiki doesn't only give me info, but also points me in the right direction for further research and study. It's more like a global library for us here. Thanks jimmy. Pls, if anyone has complaints, it will be nice to suggest solutions too cos wiki belongs to you and I. From Nigeria

    January 17, 2010 at 7:11 am | Reply
  52. Hans Deibel

    Wikipedia is, I might say, daily a support for my children, when they have to make their homework. For me I use it at least every week. So, it has become an indispensable source of knowledge for us, and unnumerous others, I think.
    In respect of new input: beside the editors, can you not form a world wide team of respectable volunteer specialists in their field, oriented per main subject, for sreening? Their names could be publisized and articles could be marked with a sign, meaning screened.

    January 17, 2010 at 8:16 am | Reply
  53. Mehieddin

    I think wikipedia's articles are very much vulnerable to any false editing of the info, since ANYONE can be an editor just by simply creating an account. Wikipedia has become an excellent source of information, but there are concerns related to the credibility of the info present at the site.

    January 17, 2010 at 9:12 am | Reply
  54. Sean Kinn

    Wikipedia would inherently not exist today had it been censored from its inception. Any sort of censorship is detrimental to its existence (similar to the way customers facilitate capitalism). I can understand Germany censoring their version, but not the English language version because it doesn't pass even the smallest of common sense tests. I used Wikipedia to supplement textbook material to finish a BS in Communication Studies with Maryland, and an MBA with Columbia Southern. Let voluntary editors do their work, otherwise, let it go.

    January 17, 2010 at 10:00 am | Reply
  55. KP

    I use Wikipedia as a first source (it it comes up in search) and continue to find more sources if needed..no source is totally to be believed anyway.

    I contribute money but is there a charitable wiki foundation in Canada?

    I contribute by writing, occasionally. I thank the others who spend so much time to increase the value of using Wikipedia.

    Way to go Wikipedia. Stay away from advertisers and governments..


    January 17, 2010 at 10:07 am | Reply
  56. Nicolas Halftermeyer

    I would rate Wikipedia as the most useful site created on the Internet. The first democratic encyclopedia with the right community rules to avoid nonsense edits. It's amazing how it works so well!

    January 17, 2010 at 11:45 am | Reply
  57. Christopher Fisher

    I love Wikipedia , i use it daily. As a loyal and regualr user I would not be offened by having suttle adverising on the site. Infact it seems that wikipedia are in a position to offer useful advertising directly related to viewers searches. Are there any circumstances you would consider hosting advertisments?

    January 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  58. Venichand Gosrani

    It has been a good reference to find information.

    January 17, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  59. Andrew too

    I suggest vandals should be banned from posting anything on Wikipedia. Their past contributions should also be deleted as they are not trustworthy people. Keep going, Wikipedia!

    January 17, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  60. Roland

    WIKIPEDIA! Wao! Wat can I say?? The greatest online info miracle of all time! It has something on everything! I have been using wikipedia for years now and I have no idea what its "Article not found" page looks like!


    I tried to contribute my widows mite to say 'thank you' in my own little way but discovered during the payment process that my country Nigeria was not included in the country list!

    Anyway, I'll really like to know
    -how u were able to put together such huge number of entries,
    -how u are able to get different & so many committed writers to contribute and
    -how u are able to update the entries so regularly??
    -Lastly, I'll like to know if u've started making money and how u intend to go about that if u havent started.

    January 17, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  61. Linda

    Wikipedia changed my life. Thank you Jimmy Wales for keeping all those servers running. I use Wikipedia almost daily.

    January 17, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  62. bohari

    I used it to look for info related to my assignments (during uni years), it helped me a lot as a student. Now, Im a business person, wikipedia still helps me a lot. In general, wikipedia is a significant part of the internet.

    January 17, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  63. Marisa Landau

    I read Wikipedia articles often to learn subjects of my interest such as evolution, geology, history, biographies. Occasional mistakes are corrected by users and editors, much more quickly than would be the case with traditional encyclopedias.
    I was hesitant to quote Wikipedia as a source until I saw that Olivia Judson, science writer at the august New York Times, quotes Wikipedia in her articles. What's good enough for her is good enough for me.
    And there are many, many biographical sources quoted in every article.
    Hats off to Wikipedia & Google who made our life so much easier and better.

    January 17, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  64. That Guy

    The biggest single problem with Wikipedia, even for legitimate edits, is the lack of solid references. The prime directive, if you will, for Wikipedia is "no original research". I might happen to know that the mayor is being sued by his ex-wife for child support, but unless I can back that up with an established source (such as a mainstream newspaper article), it shouldn't (theoretically) make it into a main entry (although it might be brought up as a discussion point for possible inclusion). As of now, Wikipedia depends on the community (backed up by a core group of established and respected editors called administrators, who collectively run Wikipedia) to police itself, flagging unsourced material (which can be challenged and removed). Wikipedia could probably benefit from a more rigorous submission process, where all material must be linked at edit time to a resolvable online reference. It's definitely a topic of active debate within the Wikipedia community of editors.

    January 17, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  65. Ray

    In addition to what I said earlier, one problem with the accuracy of Wikipedia is the changes made on topics of a political nature. On things like "pi", I think Wikipedia is great. But when it comes to politics, both sides will edit it and the version that survives is not the "right" one, but whoever is more persistent. And this shouldn't be a democracy either since it isn't a matter of how many people believes in something. Ideally, if it is something of a political nature, I'd like to see both sides, but compromise between people who never meet rarely happens.

    In response to people above who suggest that we change it if we don't like it; honestly, I don't want to get into the "change-war"/fight.

    This is one thing where older-style Encyclopedias will win. A single editor makes the decision and s/he will make a choice based on whatever will improves the Encyclopedia's reputation (usually, a balanced argument if you want to sell the encyclopedia to both sides).

    I don't want to name the political topics where I've seen this to prevent a "war of words" happening here, but I wonder what Mr. Jimmy Wales thinks of this...

    January 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  66. CanadaH

    Kudos to CNN for keeping this in top stories..
    I love Wikipedia. Yes, it is open to vandalism
    For thousands of years great ideas have had their naysayers and vandals–0nly to be proved wrong eventually.
    If you are a Vandaliser, you will eventually be seen as a fool - millions of experts are watching and ready to correct and humiliate you on the subject of your choice.

    January 17, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  67. Juan Pablo Hernández

    Wikipedia Is simply great!

    I mean, we are now in an era than people call it digital, but it would be more acurate to calle it the time of information comunism. The idea that everyone shares what they know with everyone else is the key behind it`s succes.

    If it is easy to vandalize it, it is as easy to fix it. If we try to implement mods it would be and unfaithfull reflection of our current ¨zeitgeist¨, but as it is, it provides information, backed up by the trust that we as individualls hold for everyone else.

    Wikipedia is the manifestation of our spirit as people, in this time. Whatever people do with a tool like wikipedia, is simply what we want, and what we want right now, is no boundaries, not only informational but global, political, economical and so on.

    January 17, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Reply
  68. wikitruth user

    Sharing information is great thing, but Wikipedia is not a reliable source of it.

    Wikipedia is just a glorified internet forum. Plain and simple. Albeit one with draconian regulation and enforcement.

    Searching for information sources through google will provide far more factual results.

    Check out wikitruth.info for a dose of reality about wikipedia. Even though the site no longer updates, it's message is as true as ever.

    January 18, 2010 at 1:33 am | Reply
  69. Ethan

    Wikipedia is so great.
    It is my primary -preliminary reference source for about anything and everything in my daily life on the Internet.Wikipedia also reflect the symbol of sharing spirit, kind and good part of us; the human species..

    Thanks Mr Jimmy Wales and every contributors of the Wikipedia..
    May god bless you all.

    Sydney, Australia

    January 18, 2010 at 1:41 am | Reply
  70. Louise

    Dear Mr. Wales,
    What's been your most controversial moment at wikipedia?

    January 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.