Saturday, March 14, 2009

Jimmy Wales on Wikipedia - Econtalk review

On EconTalk Russ Robert's latest guest was Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. Wales spoke about the success of Wikipedia, gave some explanation on how it works and spent some thoughts on where his next moves are.

The most interesting part, in my experience, of the interview is where Wales relates how he started out to make an encyclopedia in a more traditional way and couldn't make it work. The eventual bottom-up approach of Wikipedia, was not there from the start and was not self-evident to Wales. It seems that the formula still surprises him today.

Although there is some talk of how Wikipedia does in comparison to other encyclopedia's, I would have wanted Roberts to push Wales more to address the criticism that exist. Hardly any attention is to that or even to possible weaknesses or problems. The lack of cliffs allowed Wales to sail freely and deliver almost a sales presentation about his product. You get to see behind the screens of Wikipedia, as far as Wales allows and feels completely comfortable with.

More EconTalk:
New Deal and War Economy,
The Depression,
Wildlife, Property and Poverty.

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