Last Sunday I splurged on a $6 Sunday New York Times. (It was worth every penny). The NY Times Magazine had an article about Jimmy Wales, who is best known as the co-founder of Wikipedia. I was interested to learn that Wales and I both a) grew up in Alabama, b) attended Auburn University, where we c) majored in finance.
The article, by Amy Chozick, is very interesting, but it paints a nasty picture of Wales. To Chozick, Wales is a “climber” who is impressed with his new, influential friends, including his new wife, Kate Garvey (the third Mrs. Wales, and a former aide to ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair). At the same time, Chozick writes that Wales (who has moved to London) has left behind almost all of his old friends who helped make Wikipedia a success.
Also, the article reveals that Wales got his start on the Internet by running a site called Bomis that included the “Bomis Babe Report”; others have referred to Bomis as a soft-core porn site, though Wales rejects that characterization. The article closes by suggesting that Wales is looking for ways to cash in because – for all of Wikipedia’s success – it has not made him rich.