You may have heard that the Wikimedia Foundation, the not-for-profit group behind online encyclopedia Wikipedia, recently launched an appeal asking users to donate money to keep the site free; Wikimedia is targeting $16 million of fundraising over the next two months. You may also have noticed, if you've been on Wikipedia anytime lately, a gigantic banner atop the page containing a photo of Wikimedia founder Jimmy Wales staring at you, possibly causing your latent scopophobia to kick in. What gives? In fact, open data provided by the Wikimedia Foundation reveals that the giant Jimmy Wales ad is not just a monument to the founder's egomania, but that it's emerged at the top in a process of natural selection, testing much better than other appeals.Read More
Last month, Wikimedia co-founder Larry Sanger drew national attention when he sent an open letter to the FBI accusing Wikimedia Commons of distributing child pornography. If a recent FoxNews.com report is to be believed, the controversy within the Wikipedia community that ensued has led Jimmy Wales, the chairman of the Wikimedia Foundation and the co-founder of Wikipedia and Wikia, to relinquish his top-level administrative powers, leaving Wikipedia in "chaos." Contrary to followup reports from some outlets, there's no indication that Wales has resigned from any of his posts, but his stepping down from his administrative role could still have significant ramifications:Read More
In an interview with Mediabistro posted today, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales had a lot to say about his businesses, Wikipedia and Wikia, their future, and the future of media and the Internet. Also: he's a LOST and FlashForward fan.
The interview is interesting and well worth a read, but this exchange towards the end got our attention:
Mediabistro: There's a restaurant in China that has a dish called "stir-fried wikipedia with pimentos." Why did they call it "wikipedia"?
Wales: There's a whole weird meme about this. People keep sending me photos of menus in China with all kinds of different dishes being translated as "Wikipedia". The best we can figure is that someone is asked to translate the menu into English. They ask, "What's the name of this dish in English?" And someone says, "I don't know, look it up in Wikipedia!" And they just write down: "Wikipedia". But honestly, I have no idea!
A funny, satisfactory origin story: But what, exactly, are "fried wikipedia with pimentos" and these other Wikipedia-infused dishes? Fortunately, it's the Internet, "pics or it didn't happen" is the governing rule, and there are indeed pics:Read More