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Wikipedia Review > Wikimedia Discussion > General Discussion > The Jimbo Phenomenon
timbo
Let me make this clear from the top: I'm not a Jimmy Wales hater. He's actually a fairly effective high profile administrator and fundraiser. I think his personal politics are sketchy, but he came from the South and I'm enough of a Wikipedian to be able to Assume Good Faith. At least a little. That said, I've recently come across something that will bring such entertainment to The Haters that it seems criminal not to share it. Jimmy Wales, it seems, is a very poor Content Creator.

The Edit Count function shows a person spending more than half his edits on his own User Talk page, which is without precedent or equal, I presume: PIE CHART

Now look closely: That's 1,536 edits to mainspace, from the beginning of The Project to the moment I'm posting this piece of crap WR bit more than a decade later. Wrap your head around that. 1,500 edits is about a month and a half's worth of work for a dedicated Content Creator...

Now here's where it gets fun. Take a peek at the ARTICLES CREATED read-out...

Exactly 22 pieces created, since the time of the lowest low-hanging fruit in 2001 to this day. Isn't that a little mindblowing?

The one I like best is this: Jimmy Wales is the originator of the Wikipedia article on the M-16 rifle!

But wait, there's more. Here's the way he left it, back on my birthday in 2001: DA LINK

That would be speedy deleted out the door under some pretext or another today...

Obviously, standards have changed since then, but it is a bit of a comical thing, is it not?

Bottom line: Jimmy Wales may be the founder (and may or may not be a swell person), but him taking credit for Wikpedia is a little like a guy who used to use red spray paint on craft projects in his garage in Akron taking credit for the custom paintjob on a 2012 Porsche.


tim
EricBarbour
If you knew what Peter Damian discovered about Wales's arrogance, sexist piggery and skirt-chasing,
you'd conclude that his inability to write a useful article was a minor character flaw.
Abd
QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Fri 10th February 2012, 2:30am) *
If you knew what Peter Damian discovered about Wales's arrogance, sexist piggery and skirt-chasing, you'd conclude that his inability to write a useful article was a minor character flaw.
The idea that to be a good editor, one must be a good content creator is a Wikipedia trope. They are actually two very different roles, and few people are good at both. Further, there is a lot of work where being a good editor and/or good writer are not connected well with the qualifications. Wales ended up in a certain place at a certain time, and became, then, the "God-King" of Wikipedia. That, as well, is not necessarily related to his qualifications. I think Wales is still stumbling around, clinging to a dream that somehow the community will grow up and function well. Probably not if he doesn't make it happen. He could, but, I'm afraid, he mostly doesn't know how to facilitate that.

Sometimes it seems that he listens, sometimes not. His "arrogance, sexist piggery and skirt-chasing," such as they might be, are not particularly out of the norm, they simply aren't exemplary (i.e., don't demonstrate exemplary behavior). (I'm not agreeing with "sexist piggery," that's beyond what I've seen, but he does make incautious statements, lots of people do, and I'm not interested in proof, here, please don't post this or that statement quoted from Wales to "prove" this claim.

Anyone who thinks they know something, and who acts on that or expresses it, can be accused of arrogance, it's a cheap shot. Skirt-chasing is, what? If he's been sexually abusive, harassing women, that would be a problem. However, what if the skirts chased him? And we don't really know details, and sometimes witnesses are not reliable, on matters like this. I'd say that Wales might be considered as having been vulnerable. Wales is a human male, and does what we might call stupid-male-stuff sometimes. As have I.

Would we expect something else?
tarantino
QUOTE(timbo @ Fri 10th February 2012, 5:00am) *

The one I like best is this: Jimmy Wales is the originator of the Wikipedia article on the M-16 rifle!


Jimmy really likes guns.
Fun with a Mossberg Mariner

His old blog, A Sharp Stick In Your Eye, linked to packing.org, which kept track of all the state's concealed carry laws.
TungstenCarbide
Hmmm, Jimbo's got a formspring account.
thekohser
QUOTE(Abd @ Fri 10th February 2012, 10:40am) *

And we don't really know details...


Well, we do have calendars and knowledge of human gestation periods, so we know that Jimmy Wales fathered a child in the UK while still married to another woman in the state of Florida, which is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by a definite term of imprisonment not exceeding 60 days, plus a potential fine of $500.
thekohser
QUOTE(timbo @ Fri 10th February 2012, 12:00am) *

He's actually a fairly effective high profile administrator and fundraiser.


I understand (according to Ira Glass) that 1 in 10 listeners to National Public Radio donates to their fund drives (10%).

I understand (roughly according to WMF fundraiser statistics) that about 1 in 200 readers of Wikipedia donates to their fund drives (0.5%).

This makes Jimmy Wales fairly effective as a fundraiser?
EricBarbour
QUOTE(tarantino @ Fri 10th February 2012, 11:34am) *

QUOTE(timbo @ Fri 10th February 2012, 5:00am) *

The one I like best is this: Jimmy Wales is the originator of the Wikipedia article on the M-16 rifle!
Jimmy really likes guns.

Emotionally immature man-children usually do...... evilgrin.gif
Abd
QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 10th February 2012, 3:28pm) *
QUOTE(Abd @ Fri 10th February 2012, 10:40am) *
And we don't really know details...
Well, we do have calendars and knowledge of human gestation periods, so we know that Jimmy Wales fathered a child in the UK while still married to another woman in the state of Florida, which is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by a definite term of imprisonment not exceeding 60 days, plus a potential fine of $500.
Gossip! Get a yellow hat, Greg, it would suit you.

I wonder if he's gotten any speeding tickets. Or smoked any dope. Anything else? I understand he had a pretty dirty sweater, or was that a T-shirt? Shocking. How could someone represent Wikipedia who has some dirty clothes, or dirty girlfriends, or whatever?

Look, if Wikipedia were functional, would we be at all interested in Wales' alleged peccadillos? What makes him a fair target? Yes, I know what does so *legally,* but I'm talking about a different kind of fairness.

Wales was not a brilliant organizer. He ended up in control -- or partial, very limited control -- of something he didn't understand. So?

He's not the problem. He could be part of the solution, or not. That remains his choice.
EricBarbour
QUOTE(Abd @ Fri 10th February 2012, 6:34pm) *

Look, if Wikipedia were functional, would we be at all interested in Wales' alleged peccadillos? What makes him a fair target? Yes, I know what does so *legally,* but I'm talking about a different kind of fairness.
Wales was not a brilliant organizer. He ended up in control -- or partial, very limited control -- of something he didn't understand. So?

You make a valid point--the "magic" of Wikipedia literally fell on his head from a great height. He has no idea why it was a success, and neither do his friends, business partners or fanboys. And so, they could not replicate it to save their lives. Look at Wikia.....did you know that Wikia wiki operators are abandoning it in noticeable quantities? It has a terrible reputation, and getting worse. The word "fluke" is greatly overused, but I can't think of a better place to use it.

That said, I would be more disposed to treat Wales like an ordinary guy, a likable schlub who stumbled onto a giant gold nugget. Unfortunately, the evidence that he's not an amiable "ordinary guy" keeps mounting and mounting. And it's not just the fact that he backstabs and prevaricates like Donald Trump or Mitt Romney (if Romney gets into the White House, I might just move to Canada).

Jimbo does it, he does it with abandon, and yet he keeps right on smelling like a sweet bouquet of magical happy-flowers. He continues to draw "followers" and butt-lickers in large numbers. He continues to be hired to give speeches to private meetings, he continues to be mobbed at every Wikimania, he continues to be invited to the TED conferences, he continues to be regularly interviewed by reporters as if he were the Pope or Mother Teresa. It's disgusting. And I'm still trying to figure out why. He doesn't even have the L. Ron Hubbard or Werner Erhard level of charisma.

Ever seen him on The Daily Show? It supposedly specializes in poking holes in political and social gasbags. And yet, Jon Stewart treats Wales like "one of the good guys" whenever they invite the Great Wales on. Consider what they did for the tenth anniversary of WP. Compare that to Colbert's treatment of Wikipedia, and remember that both shows are made by the same production companies, and appear on the same cable channel, back to back....

I keep telling anyone who will listen, the more I poke around in Wikipedia's dark corners, the more disgusted and angry I get. More people should be that way.
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