Interview with Jimmy Wales.

“I don’t think of my work as technological innovation, I think of it as being social innovation.” (Jimmy Wales)

February 24, 2009. ODBMS Industry Watch Blog by Prof. Roberto Zicari (editor of ODBMS.ORG),today announced an exclusive interview with Jimmy Wales.

Marco Dettweiler and Roberto V. Zicari have interviewed Jimmy Wales on a broad number of issues, such as Wales` new project Wikia, the difference between Wikia Search and Google, censorship in Internet, the use of Wikipedia for academic purposes, and on innovation.

When asked what is Wikia, Mr. Wales explained: “We are building the rest of the Library. We are taking the Wiki model beyond just non profit educational and research community into thinks like humor, political activism, all kinds of different things.”

Mr. Wales also explained the main difference of Wikia Search with respect to other search engines: “The primary difference what I am trying to do is to put the editorial control into the hands of the community. Every search engine has an editorial component to it, where you type in a search term, and they tell you the things that you should be looking for related to that search term, and all of that is controlled very secretively in most search engines. My view is let’s try and open it up to public dialog and discussion and debate, so that the community can determine it.”

When asked when is it appropriate to use Wikipedia for academic purposes, Mr. Wales commented: “I think that it is important to think about what is the proper role of an encyclopedia in the research process over all. In general we don’t think of any encyclopedia as being something that you would cite as a source in an academic paper.”

Looking at how should university students be using Wikipedia, Mr. Wales also added: “I think we have to be realistic: They are using it all the time, all of them. So what we need to think about is a couple of questions: First: How do we make sure that they are educated on the right way on how to use an encyclopedia, and second how do we make Wikipedia as good as it possibly can be, because it is important for a lot of people.”

Mr. Wales gave his opinion on the issue of censorship in Internet: “We have a policy that accurate information is a fundamental human right, and we won’t compromise with censors.”

“I don’t think of my work as technological innovation, I think of it as being social innovation.” concludes Wales.

The full text of the interview is available at:

This interview is part of the exclusive series of interviews “On Innovation”, published by Roberto V. Zicari in his ODBMS Industry Watch Blog, and available at: On_Innovation

Note for Editors:
Jimmy Donal “Jimbo” Wales (born August 7, 1966), President of Wikia, Inc.; Board member and Chair Emeritus of the Wikimedia Foundation. His work developing Wikipedia, which has become the world’s largest encyclopedia, prompted Time magazine to name him in its 2006 list of the world’s most influential people.

About ODBMS Industry Watch Blog
In his ODBMS Industry Watch Blog (, editor Prof. Roberto Zicari (ODBMS.ORG) muses about latest trends in the industry. The blog includes his exclusive series On_Innovation. The ODBMS Industry Watch Blog is part of ODBMS.ORG.

ODBMS.ORG ( is a vendor-independent, not-for-profit educational program on object database technology and the integration between object-oriented programming and databases. Designed by Prof. Roberto Zicari of Frankfurt University, the program’s goal is to promote and further the use of object databases – by offering free resources for students, faculty and researchers at universities and research centers, as well as for JAVA and .NET developers in the commercial and the open source world. Content is provided by a panel of internationally recognized experts, who share research articles and teaching materials with the community via the organization’s Web portal.

Contact ODBMS.ORG at

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