My Interview with Jimmy Wales

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It was worth every minute, sitting in traffic on my way to New York City, just knowing that I was meeting with Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia. I really didn’t expect to be meeting and/or interviewing him for my book. I had called Wikimedia back in June and thought that I would be speaking to another member of their organization (certainly not the Founder of Wikipedia).

We met at 12:00 p.m. for lunch at the Algonquin. It was a quiet spot, a known hang out for authors and writers. I was pleasantly surprised to spend not only an interesting lunch with Jimmy but also a good hour or so afterward interviewing and discusssing with him the topic of social media and Wikipedia. He was a great interview and answered so many questions including how he got started, his inspiration, and his advice to business and communications professionals.

We had an interesting discussion on how Wikipedia should be used. He recommended that people use Wikipedia primarly as a starting point. He went on to explain how it all depends on the purpose of your research. For instance, if you heard something about Albania in the news and you just wanted to see where it was located, then Wikipedia may be the only source you need for a basic summary of facts. But if you need to know depth about certain issues or fields, you would start with Wikipedia and then follow and read additional sources and even get a couple of books on the topic. Then, after more extensive research, you can always check back to Wikipedia and add more facts.

It was truly exciting (and so much fun) to be able to spend time with Jimmy Wales. The rest you will have to read about in my book!

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