The government has drafted in the Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales to help make all taxpayer-funded academic research in Britain available online to anyone who wants to read or use it.
Wales is a vocal supporter of free and open access to information on the web and he was brought in by No 10 earlier this year as an unpaid adviser to government on crowdsourcing and opening up policymaking. On open access, he will assist the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the UK Research Councils to develop new ways to store and distribute research data and articles.
If you’re one of the millions familiar with the online encyclopedia known as Wikipedia, then you’re likely also familiar with the smirking face of its founder Jimmy Wales, a visage often used throughout the site to generate donations. Now that same face will become a familiar site within the halls of U.K. government as Wales is set to become an official technology advisor to the Brits.
Jimmy Wales is most famous for being the founder (and omnipresent face) of Wikipedia but is also the co-founder of Wikia, a for-profit business that supports the creation of wikis communities on any topic.
What advice would you give to younger self?
Fail faster. Try more things, and don’t be too emotionally tied to any one idea. I wasted nearly two years in the start of Wikipedia with a previous site called Nupedia, a project which was plodding and slow and which I wish I had been faster to cut short. (read more)
Why I want to bring down the internet – for a day – The Independent
The founder of Wikipedia is leading calls for search engines and social media sites including Google, Facebook and Twitter to take themselves offline for an entire day in protest against a controversial bill winding its way through the US Senate that could have profound implications for the internet.
Jimmy Wales has called for a “public uprising” against the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa), which critics say will have a “chilling effect on innovation” by forcing websites to keep a much closer tab on what is posted by users on their pages. (read more)
Wikimedia reaches fundraising goals, fights SOPA – Wired.co.uk
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has revealed that he feels so strongly about SOPA that Wikipedia would be moving its domains away from GoDaddy, because of its support of SOPA (that is, until it did a u-turn after losing so many customers). Wales would even consider a Wikipedia blackout (provided there was support from the community) as a means of protest. (read more)
Wikipedia co-founder threatens blackout over anti-piracy law – The Telegraph
Wikipedia should temporarily shut down in protest against new US laws designed to clamp down on online piracy, its co-founder has argued.
Jimmy Wales proposed the blackout, saying a “public uprising” was required to halt the progress of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) through Congress.
“Right now, what I’m thinking is that if there is a credible threat that this might happen, this could have a positive impact on the thinking of some legislators,” he said in a posting to his personal page. (read more)
Wikipedia Chief Confirms Relocation to UK – Business Weekly
Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, confirmed at Tech Entrepreneurs Week in London that he was relocating to the UK and said he was keen to get involved in the startup scene.
That’s why he was so keen to support the inaugural Tech Entrepreneurs Week, he said.
Wales, pictured here with CambridgeElevator chief executive Richard Kirkby, founded Wiki in 2001 with Larry Sanger. In 2006, Time magazine named him in its list of the world’s most influential people.
Wales said: “To start with I didn’t think about the business model – I just thought if it works I’ll work that out. There was no money to hire anyone so we had to be innovative.
“That’s the problem with big companies – they have money and don’t need to innovate.” (read more)