1. This article revolves around money and the idea of having a large income, two components that are arguably among the highest values in our society today.
After reading this article, do you think companies that are exploring whether to “monetize” themselves or not, are going to choose a path similar to that of Jimmy Wales, or the opposite based on the way the author presented the issue?
2. Instead of lamenting on the fact that Wales is not extremely wealthy, do you think the author could have turned the story around and presented it in a positive light, making a point that many good things in this world are not a product of monetary incentives, Wikipedia being among them? If the author had written in such a way, would you answer from my question before change or not?
3. In the article, Wales’s current project, “Wikipedia Zero” is explained, in which the foundation established partnerships with telecommunications companies to provide mobile phones preloaded with Wikipedia in developing countries. Do you think that perhaps this project is oversimplified? Will developing nations know how to use this technology and information? If “knowledge is power,” do you think that access to all this information will help or potentially harm developing nations?
4. With over 20 billion page views and roughly 516 million unique visitors a month, advertisers are likely to pay very large sums of money for their products to be shown on Wikipedia pages. Do you think Wikipedia will remain “unmonetized” and ad-free for much longer despite pressures from big-time advertisers? Why or why not? Also, if Wikipedia had ads today, do you think it would be any more or less informative?
5. The author gives many examples of celebrities Wales has made friends with after his networking success. What implications might these relationships with celebrities have for Wikipedia? Is their influence on Wales something to be concerned about? How might “the community” check and balance these “friendships”?
6. Earlier in the semester, we read about personal relations mishaps by CEO’s of large companies including BP, Toyota, and Goldman Sachs. Wales seems to practice good personal relations as he is very active in the Internet information world, despite some who claim that he “settled” into this spontaneous role. What aspects of Wales’ PR management could these CEO’s take notes on, and, if any, aspects they should veer away from?
7. The author, Amy Chozick, portrays Jimmy Wales’ in an interesting matter, sometimes even “catty” with somewhat derogatory references to his wardrobe, quoting and ex-friend’s opinion of Wales after their falling out, and pointing out the way he says “literally” like someone with a British accent. Do you thing that the author intentionally meant to negatively represent Wales?
8. The article states that Wales argues, “In the long run [the collective ownership model] makes Wikipedia far more enduring and valuable to society that Facebook or Twitter” do you believe this statement is true or false? Explain your answer.