Your Questions for Jimmy Wales


Jimmy Wales
Rick Friedman / Corbis
Jimmy Wales, founder of the Wikimedia Foundation

Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia.org, is a self-proclaimed “anticredentialist” and in six years has revolutionized the way we share—and generate—information online. Wikipedia, now in 250 languages, rides on the idea that truth rises to the top of user-generated content. though a recent scandal proves that’s not always the case. Use our comments form below to submit your own question for Jimmy Wales, then look for the interview soon at Time.com and in TIME Magazine.

NOTE: Submitted questions may be edited for length or clarity.
Your full name and location are required and may be published along with your question in print and online. Your information will not be used for any other purpose.


Submit your question







Posted by Kathleen Criddle
Will Wikipedia develop a .mobi technology to better interact with cellular phones?

Posted by chris sulisz
I've heard about your new venture with the games Wikipedia thing. What's going on with that?

Posted by Kelsie Lenihan
Is there a plan to make Wikipedia more reliable in the future? That is to say, a source that can be cited?

Posted by spinner
I would love to collaborate with you on a confidential MEDIPEDIA (medical) idea.

Posted by Ignacio Meza
What were your original ambitions with Wikipedia and have they been met thus far?

Posted by Frank Lutten from Sheridan, WY
When will you offer Wikipedia: Canada?

Posted by Frank Lutten from Sheridan, WY
When will you offer Wikipedia: Canada?

Posted by Alexander Bagg from Melbounre, Victoria Australia
I believe you are coming to Australia soon and may attend your Melbourne seminar. Have you been 'downunder' before? I would suggest that should you get any spare time that you try and have a few hours along the Great Ocean Rd on Victoria's amazing west coast. Would be more than happy to escort you myself ;-)

Alexander Bagg CEO DATIC Systems 'Direct Access Total Interactive Control'

Posted by Senja from Delray Beach
What is confidential Medipedia?

Posted by sriram raghuraman from Bloomington, IN
Do you perceive wikipedia as taking on the 'establishment'-peer reviewed journals etc. with simple, easy to understand descriptions of (factual) concepts?

Posted by Brady Clavel from N. Mankato MN
Do you feel that in the years to come Wikipedia will become more of a reputable resource in which scholarly papers can reference directly, or do you feel its niche is that of a gateway into additional resources in the topics of interest?

Posted by Sagar Sabade from San Diego
Just because many people believe in it does not mean it is truth. This poses a serious hole in Wikipedia's philosophy. How do you address that and keep the Wikipedia truthfuly honest and unbiased?

Posted by Lionel Bartram from Rittman, OH 44270
Is it true that in his youth the President of Iran was the drummer for the Britsh pop music band known as The Beatles?

Posted by Robert Paul Singleton from Inglewood, CA
How can I find the web sites that show which web sites are most frequently visited, and how many visits they get per minute/hour/day?

Posted by Pierre BRENAS from Paris France
I just love Wikipedia ! How many full-time people would you say, are there behind the scene at wikipedia, to support and control content creation ?

Posted by Andrew Conley from London
Are you not concerned that simply believing something does not make it true, and that by influencing the understanding of a huge number of people, wikipedia may actually propagate information that is untrue?

Posted by Jorge E. San Román from Madrid, Spain
What has Web 2.0 as Wikipedia is, to do in politics, and how this will change how politicians obey to the people whom elect them?

Posted by Tony Perera from Marietta
Can you please tell me how fast a music CD spins inside the tray when its playing music?

Posted by muhire jeanc from kigali
what is music ?

Posted by muhire jeanc from kigali / RWANDA *(one country in east africa)
and also i continue to ask which is intrested for me hey there's some body who can teach me about music or give to me :Music free teaching or document for music (classical music) in language which are bellow: english,french or kinyarwanda if there's,could you take my e-mail Please : mncld002@yahoo.fr and i thank u so much

Posted by Omri Shaffer from Haifa
How do you publicize yourself, if at all, to get people to contribute? I have hardly every contibuted, since I really don't have the time. Sometimes I see content being almost a facsimile of an existing encyclopedia or dictionary, do you count that and how?

Posted by Márcio Torreyas from Boa Vista, Roraima, Brazil
I want to know what do you think about the portuguese, cause how everybodies knows, it has two kinds, will you separate it on wikipedia?do you agree with this?

Posted by Name Paul Harris from City Jacksonville
Please, can you tell me/verify that CNN is as non-partisan a news organization as it would like us/the world to believe? I truly feel more a decided "slant" pro-Republican lately...you know, coices of words, "colored" adjectives, etc. It is so easy to do and almost undetectable (-ible"? haha). Many thanks.

Posted by Name Paul Harris from City Jacksonville
Please, can you tell me/verify that CNN is as non-partisan a news organization as it would like us/the world to believe? I truly feel more a decided "slant" pro-Republican lately...you know, coices of words, "colored" adjectives, etc. It is so easy to do and almost undetectable (-ible"? haha).Yes, I know Time is Republican. Many thanks.

Posted by Aaron Lemmon from Pittsburgh, PA
What are your long-term objectives concerning the reliability of Wikipedia's listings? Do you intend to streamline the citation process? Could you offer a peer-review service for interested people to fact-check newly updated or contentious topics?

Posted by John Doe from NYC
Lmao @ "Posted by muhire jeanc from kigali what is music ?"

Posted by Andrew Dearing from Littleton, CO
How did you set sail?

Posted by paul menzel from Seattle
Have you ever considered providing a forum for casual Wikipedia users? I would like a simple way to suggest topics for articles, but I do not see myself writing or editing articles.

Posted by Mills Chapman from Villanova, PA
Mr. Wales,

In the high school government class that I used to teach, I used Wikipedia and traditional encyclopedias to describe the difference between direct and representative democracy, respectively. If you think that's a fair comparison, do you foresee a time when American voters will join elected officials and vote online daily for various bills and referenda?

Posted by Dillon Dunlap from nitro
Who came up with the site Wikimedia?

Posted by Michael Kosarew from Centerville
Simple question really, why is it that any politician that says they are going to do some thing, (i.e. cut taxes, refit welfare, or fight for the rights of some group or another) and are elected into office to do those things, are not under any sort of obligation to actually fulfill those promises. If they are elected to do the things the promised and then flip-flop, should'nt they be dismissed from office on the grounds of violating the Public Trust. Otherwise, why even have debates, or Political Platforms, just tell us some lies and off you go, a newly appointed official. or is this truely just a naive question?

Posted by Saydul Alam from Swansea, Wales, United Kingom
6 years on! What are the future prospects?

Posted by Brent Schauer from Maple Grove, MN
Some websites pay contributors money based on how many hits. They have ads, course. But, will you ever pay contributors, not based on hits, but quality and quantity or some combination? Do you think the quality would improve?

Posted by Dan Reif from Harrisonburg, VA
What parallels are there in mass-market encyclopedias and news/reference sources to Wikipedia policies and guidelines like "Don't Be A Dick", "The Wrong Version", and "Don't Stuff Beans Up Your Nose"? If there are none, do entries like these reflect the shortcomings of the Wiki approach and thus embody workarounds, or would there be advantages to be had in adoption of such guidelines in the traditional media?

Posted by Nisha from SIlver Spring, Maryland
Would you ever consider lawipedia?

Posted by Mike Smith from Orlando, Florida
The blurb about this Q&A; reads: "Wikipedia ... rides on the idea that truth rises to the top of user-generated content. though a recent scandal proves that’s not always the case." Does the recent Essjay credentials scandal, in fact, prove that?

Posted by Vijay Sookdeo from Rochester, NY
Will there be an easy way to imput mathematical symbols in wikipedia articles? Maybe, a Latex style syntax that will make writing math easier.

Posted by Julia T. Quijano from Birmingham, Alabama
Yesterday I came across a short article on the founding of Conservapedia by Phyllis Schlafly's son, supposedly to provide an online information source to counter Wikipedia's "anti-Christian and anti-American" bias. I imagine that as Wikipedia's popularity (and with it, its influence) grows, more and more information centrals with different sabers to rattle will crop up. I'm curious: what measures does Wikipedia use and plan to use as the challenge mounts to "keep it real and right [correct]" - i.e., to keep bias out of its articles?



Posted by Joel Gunn from Greensboro NC
So, why did you remove the proofer if he was doing a good job?

Posted by Jeffrey Ellis from Woodland Hills
Hi, Jimmy--

Please. Why not take Advertising, such as Google AdSense on the site. Believe me, your fans would all understand.

Posted by Megan Smick from Rockford, IL
What have you witnessed in people or in our culture that justifies your confidence in truth by a collective process?

Posted by Hal Gross from Glen Rock, NJ
Do you think you can change Wikipedia so that evryone considers it a reliable source

Posted by Hal Gross from Glen Rock, NJ
Do you think you can change Wikipedia so that everyone considers it a reliable source?

Posted by James Archibald from Provo, UT
Why does Wikipedia continue to have a notability guideline? Isn't it enough to merely ensure verifiability of the information?

Posted by Irvin Moise Carlin (Search Marketing Specialist) from Chula Vista, California
With respect to the Wiki Search Project: When will it be in beta? Who will fill the Search results? (Google, Yahoo, or in-house) Any other Information your could share on the project?

Posted by John O'Connor from East Meadow NY
Between the ever growing incidents of vandalism and the use of fraudulent credentials to butress articles, how can anyone ever trust Wikipedia as a valid tool?

Posted by Ibrahiz Takka from Hong Kong
As I know, you are an engineerer. I wonder why you could have an idea of making Wiki? And do you self-learn the scripts of dynamic webpage?

Posted by Aravind Iyengar from Santa Monica, CA 90404
Why don't we have Wikipedia Local - a source for local information and news.

Posted by Aravind Iyengar from Santa Monica, CA 90404
Why don't we have Wikipedia Local - a source for local information and news.

Posted by Christoph Girard from Los Angeles
I notice on some articles, admins refuse any changes then revert articles back to their original formats. Will you consider improving a public checks and balance system over administrators who may negate proper editorial discretion? For example: an unbiased third party (versus another administrator) to review administrators' actions.

Posted by Shashwat Chaturvedi from Mumbai, India
You have often talked about anti-credentialism. What according to you is the real motive that is driving millions of people to take time out of their busy lives? Would you subscribe it solely to the altruistic nature of humans?

Posted by Shashwat Chaturvedi from Mumbai, India
You have often talked about anti-credentialism. What according to you is the real motive that is driving millions of people to take time out of their busy lives? Would you subscribe it solely to the altruistic nature of humans?

Posted by Adam Morris from Saigon, Vietnam
What are some of your favorite text-based software programs and what do you use them for?

Posted by Steve Murray from Albuquerque NM USA
Jeez, Jimmy, what a bunch of mostly boring questions. I'll just send you a well-deserved "thank you" from a translator who uses Wikipedia in several languages to decipher obscure cultural references that only a native speaker would know. It has saved me from many egregious mistakes. More power to you--and more languages too!

Posted by santosh kumar from india
how you judge the authenticity of the information submitted on wikipedia?

Posted by Shashwat Chaturvedi from Mumbai, India
You have often talked about anti-credentialism. What according to you is the real motive that is driving millions of people to take time out of their busy lives? Would you subscribe it solely to the altruistic nature of humans?

Posted by Aaran You from Shanghai China
What is your philosophy? What do you think about Wikepedia in China?

Posted by Alibaba from Ghazni, Afghanistan
How Wikipedia will make sure that their information is accurate?

Posted by Alibaba from Ghazni, Afghanistan
How Wikipedia will make sure that their information is accurate?

Posted by PRAKASH MYSORE from Mysore
will wikipedia translate good artiles into other than english languege?

Posted by Daniel Gallop from Eatontown NJ
How can I determine if I have bedbugs?

How can I eliminate them?

How can I treat bites from them?

Posted by Mohamed Ushau from City
Is there a safe way to dispose plastics?

Posted by samir from bahrain
what are the next steps in your plan, another revolution ?

Posted by Feridoon Mazdayasna from Tehran
From where can I purchase a Palmer Injector used in injecting insulin for diabetic patients?

Posted by Jeff Harrison from Chino Hills
What are your plans for future safeguards against malicious content alteration?

Posted by Nadine Norton from Asheville, NC
why do you bother having people list credentials at all, if those credentials make no difference?

Posted by Harry Balls from Bangkok
What's the best way to clean the blood and hairs off used condoms so that I can re-use them?

Posted by Kevin Goldberg from St. Louis
Why don't you make Wikipedia a more solid source, not allowing other people to edit it, therefore it would be allowed to use in schools and such?

Posted by Kendra Hanzlik from Cedar Rapids, Iowa
How can we best foster media literacy in young people and help them sift through the multitude of user-generated content?

Posted by Kaitlyn Grigsby from Medina, Ohio
How can I convince my teachers to allow me to use Wikipedia as a legitimate research source?

Posted by Anne Huang from Chicago, IL
How does the multi-user-generated nature of Wikipedia contribute to the objectivity or subjectivity of its content? Correspondingly, how should readers approach or use it?

Posted by John Anderson from Houston,TX
What was your purpose in founding Wikipedia?



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Each week in TIME Magazine and on Time.com, 10 Questions gives readers a chance to put their own questions to newsmakers, celebrities, and world leaders. Check Time.com every week for a new candidate.

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