Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ken Plaisted Research Report

The article “Jimmy Wales is Not an Internet Billionare” was written by Amy Chozick in the New York Times Magazine on June 27, 2013.  The cover story of the issue, this article covers on the life of Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales.  It focuses on the unique circumstances surrounding him relating to Wikipedia’s profitability.  Chozick focuses on the unique dilemma Wales faces in that he has the possibility to be a billionaire instantly by placing banner ads on Wikipedia, but the massive revolt he would receive from his followers and Wikipedia editors would make his website crash.  She quotes Michael J Wolf’s analysis on the dilemma, where he says “what makes Wikipedia so valuable for users is what gets in its way of being a valuable, for-profit enterprise”.  Wales has realized this and takes no consideration into selling advertising for the website that receives the fifth most Internet traffic in the world.  He owns a site that breaks 519 million unique users every month, yet his net worth is only a couple million dollars.  The title of the article comes from the wide misperception that he would be incredibly rich because of Wikipedia’s success.  Wikipedia is one of the only widely used Internet sites that are not monetized, relying on donations and people who edit the online encyclopedia for free.
A South Texas native, Amy Chozick is currently a national political reporter for the New York Times, with a focus on covering the Clinton family, according to her website.  Before joining the New York Times in 2011 to cover corporate media, she worked for the Wall St. Journal with roles including covering Tokyo, national political correspondent, and Hollywood features writer.  She has also received multiple awards for her journalism work.  She was on the campaign tour with the Clinton’s in 2007, and has been giving them most of her attention ever since.  Chozick’s story about Jimmy Wales was her first article published in the New York Times Magazine, which is especially impressive because it was the cover story.  The magazine is a weekly stipend included separately from the Sunday edition of the New York Times Newspaper.  It exists to give the writers opportunities to write longer articles that would be too long to be in the newspaper.  The New York Times is one of the nations top newspapers, if not the top one.  The paper has received 112 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper.  Chozick’s experience in writing for outstanding newspapers, her previous awards, and the historical excellence of The New York Times combines to make this article have very high credibility.

Responses to the article, in the comments section underneath the online version, seem to be mixed bags of criticism and praise.  There is very little disagreeing with Chozick, and there is a large consensus on Wikipedia being one of the greatest contributors to modern society.  The criticisms stem from what was not touched on in the article, and how the information was delivered.  However these responses are varied and opinion based, on what the true purpose of Wikipedia should be. 

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