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Jimmy Wales Resigns Chair at Wikipedia 71

Posted by Zonk
from the curious dept.
user24 writes "As reported by Wikipedia's Signpost ezine, 'The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees has moved forward with a step in restructuring the organization by reorganizing itself. Following a planning retreat in Frankfurt, Jimmy Wales stepped down as Chair of the board, and Florence Nibart-Devouard was chosen to replace him ... Wales, meanwhile, will continue to serve on the board and assume the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus. He will remain active in Wikimedia projects, but chose to pass on the responsibility of heading the board, due in part to his commitments to outside projects.'"
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Jimmy Wales Resigns Chair at Wikipedia

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  • and work on a standardization of bureaucratic nerdiness.

    Losers.
  • Jimmy Wales has done an EXCELLENT job creating Wikipedia, but a little change in leadership is probably a good thing right now. By stepping to the side (a little), he opens the door for more collaborative decisions and possibly some creative new direction for Wikipedia. If Jimmy Wales wasn't the chairperson, would Wikipedia have walked away from a $100 Million deal with AOL? Who knows, but I would guess they'd think longer about the offer.

    Hopefully the new chairperson will help look for ways for Wikip
    • by Raul654 (453029)
      "If Jimmy Wales wasn't the chairperson, would Wikipedia have walked away from a $100 Million deal with AOL? Who knows, but I would guess they'd think longer about the offer."

      There's been a lot if idle speculation floating around about deals in the offing related to Wikipedia. Let me be clear - there is no such deal. There never was any such deal.
      • Let me be clear - there is no such deal. There never was any such deal.

        Do you really have the audacity to think you would know if there was a such deal?

        • by mmkkbb (816035)
          Look at his web page. He's a Wikipedia admin. (the one who scheduules featured articles for the front page, even)
          • Look at his web page. He's a Wikipedia admin. (the one who scheduules featured articles for the front page, even)

            Just because he's a Wikipedia admin, and the one who schedules features articles for the front page, doesn't mean he'd know anything about a $100 million dollar deal between Wikimedia and AOL, before it is made public.

            • by Raul654 (453029)
              Jimbo's keeps the Foundation's press committee very well informed as to whom he is in discussions with, any deals that are in the works, 'etc.
        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          If Raul654 were notable for anything, it wouldn't be immodesty. Look into his posting history here, and his habits as an administrator, "arbitrator" (read: bully), and who knows what else on Wikipedia. Raul654 ain't exactly the brightest bulb in this carnival of lights.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Why is this on slashdot?

    The Wikimedia board only meets a couple of times a year... the chair hardly does any work. The reason for the change is that Florence whines a lot (take a look at the video from Wikimania 2006 for her childish behavior during the public board panel) at giving her a better title might just shut her up.

    In any case, Wales is still a board member.. This wasn't a change of consequence to anyone outside the board. Not news.. and it doesn't matter.
    • by GerardM (535367)
      It is evident that you do not understand the functioning of the Wikimedia Foundation Board. The board is and has always been very much involved in the day to day running of Foundation and also (some) of its projects. The notion that they did not meet that often IRL is in this Internet age not really relevant. Tools like Skype and IRC are very much used.

      Jimmy did and does a great job. If it were me he should (and in him the Wikimedia Foundation) get a Nobel peace price. However, the changes under way in the
    • Why is this on slashdot?

      Slashdot accepts story submissions from the public, there are lots and lots of Wikipedians who submit stories to Slashdot, and it only takes one moderator to approve a story.

      Or were you asking why this should be on Slashdot?

      In any case, Wales is still a board member.. This wasn't a change of consequence to anyone outside the board. Not news.. and it doesn't matter.

      There is a pending resignation from one of the 5 board members, Tim Shell. According to the bylaws he is to be repla

      • That said, it wasn't really news to anyone who follows this type of stuff.
        Nothing on here is ever news to anyone who follows the specific topic. Its already been published by some other source first, and fans will know already. But so what?
        • True. It would have been nice if Slashdot ran this story sooner after the news came out, though. And it would have been nice if they mentioned that Jimmy wasn't resigning from the board, just that Florence was unanimously elected as the new chair. And it would have been nice if the headline wasn't incorrect. Wikipedia doesn't [yet?] have a board, the Wikimedia Foundation does.
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by h2g2bob (948006)
            Wikimedia Foundation **Press release** (rather than some random Wikipedia edit) is here:

            http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases /Wikimedia_Foundation_board_reorganised [wikimediafoundation.org]

            `` Jimmy Wales said: "I nominated Florence to be the Chair of the Foundation in recognition of her outstanding service for the past few years and her unsurpassed passion for our goals. Having such a trusted community representative elected as our new chair demonstrates the growth and strength of our organization." ''
  • I hope I'm not alone in this, but I for one would like to say "Thanks" to Jimmy Wales, and all that he and Wikipedia has done to help advance the internet, modern knowledge, and in particular, the life of this college student. Thank You
    • by Hitto (913085)
      Seconded.
      Wikipedia had brought a lot of knowledge readily accessible to myself and I'm sure a ton of other folks. It's one of the rare things that make you think "Thank you, Internet."

      Or thank you, Humanity. Glad we can do something else than just kill each other and the planet.
  • I met Jimbo Wales when he had visited Bangalore recently and he struck me as a very down to earth person. In his own words, "I don't do much for wikipedia. I travel to places and wikipedia makes it into the local papers". I suspect he was oversimplifying his role in wikipedia, but that is the true success of of a founder - to create a self-sutaining system which doesn't need him to stay alive.

    I assume he'll be more involved in Wikia [wikia.com], which though probably similar to wikipedia, can probably exist orthog

    • by a.d.trick (894813)
      And this is why the wikipedia works. The world really needs more people like Jimmy. Any lesser person would have brought the thing to its knees with ridiculous politics. Separating a project from it's founder is akward even in the best of times. God Bless.
      • Surprising you should think that. Wikipedia is mired in politics and bureaucracy, no small part of which follows the example set by Jimbo Wales. This ongoing bureaucratic clusterfuck is regrettable, and a major reason people are leaving the project in droves. Valuable contributors are being driven away by continual harassment from admins who should know better. Others lose interest when they discover the futility of correcting mistakes when those mistakes are being protected, again, by admins who should kno
  • While Wales was a great chairman, no matter how well a leader leads, they still need to be switched out every once in a while. Wikipedia is one of the greatest things that has ever happened to the internet, and now that there is a new chairman to the initiative, there will be more new ideas to, hopefully, advance the wiki project even further.
  • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Saturday November 04, 2006 @04:24AM (#16714057) Homepage
    and I thought to myself

    "Oh God, what's Ballmer done this time?"
  • "Jimmy Wales Redesigns Chair at Wikipedia"...

    I was expecting to see some kind of new modern chair design (which seemed a little odd given the context)...
    ok, you can mod me down now....
  • Following a planning retreat in Frankfurt

    OK, Frankfurt isn't exactly a luxurious destination- but why are Wikipedia people going on "retreats", and who is footing the bill? And I don't mean just airfare or accomodations...I mean meeting facilities, dinners, etc...

    • OK, Frankfurt isn't exactly a luxurious destination- but why are Wikipedia people going on "retreats", and who is footing the bill? And I don't mean just airfare or accomodations...I mean meeting facilities, dinners, etc...

      Donations and partnerships I'd imagine. If you go to their budget page there's a more detailed analysis, but I'm a little too tired and apathetic to look through all of it. It's not very uncommon though, especially in a situation like this where you have an academic project that's massi
    • This [wikitruth.info] page, although written from an inflammatory POV, raises some very interesting points, though I admit I've not dug too deep into the financials. Quite concerning, for those who want to/do donate to Wikipedia.
  • by badfish99 (826052) on Saturday November 04, 2006 @04:45AM (#16714137)
    Are we sure this happened? As far as I can see, the only evidence is a page on Wikipedia, and everyone knows how reliable that is.
    </sarcasm>
  • Does anyone know why very few comments are being moderated up lately? Is this some kind of mod system bug?

    Sorry for the OT post...
    • by Angostura (703910)
      Not sure. But I haven't had mod points in two months or so, which is fairly unusual.
      • Same here. I've had much less chances at modding (though I have probably reading more) since the new system went up. On the plus side, I finally figured out how to use those arrows to get the right mix of comments while keeping out most of the trolls.
        • by empaler (130732)
          Yeah, I have been getting very few mod points lately as well.
        • by Angostura (703910)
          Ah, the new discussion system. I tried to help test it for about 3 weeks and finally gave up, flummoxed as to how to make it work. I salute your superior intelligence.
  • Hey, if *my* web creation were to reach the success of Wikipedia's, I'd retire to be the executive consultant for the Bomis Babe Report, too!
  • To quote Jimbo: "Hah Hah!"

  • It just doesn't feel right, that bad churning feeling isn't subsiding guys, hopefully I'm wrong in assuming that Wikimedia will be run any differently, hopefully. :/
  • [[Jimbo Wales]]

    In [[November]] [[2006]], Jimbo was voted from the board by a cabal of giant [[badgers]] and [[sockpuppets]] to be replaced by the leader of the [[Transformers]]. His statement[1] to the new board consisted of threats to [[see them all in court| wikilaywer]] them out of [[existence]]. Jimbo then flounced out of the room in his customary [[pink]] [[tutu]] before planting a [[French Kiss]] on the mouth of [[Ted Haggard]]. Haggard then announced that he had only received a [[massage]] from the [
  • Not only has Jimmy been under attack for the last 10 to 11 months for the increasing inaccuracy of the Wikipedia he's been publically lamenting the low pay. Sort of reminds me of Daniel Robbins leaving Gentoo. Anyways I hear he may go back to running some adult erotic modeling sites on the side to help cover his expenses. Anyone else know anything about this?
  • He always tries to do the right thing, AFAICT, whether that means telling the truth about Wikipedia (it's inaccurate in many ways and has room to improve*), or stepping aside as chairman. I don't know why he stepped aside, but many (I'd say most) people would put their egos first and resist with all their might. Many organizations fail, or underperform, because founders can't let go.

    (* Those are Jimmy's criticisms, not mine: He's judges it more harshly than I do.)

    Thank you Jimmy Wales. Whatever its flaw
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Showing up on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell me is hardly the right thing. ;)
    • I don't know why he stepped aside, but many (I'd say most) people would put their egos first and resist with all their might.

      It's not so much that he resigned as that he chose to support someone else rather than have the others vote whether or not to retain him. Under the Wikimedia bylaws the Chair is elected for a one year term.

      Many organizations fail, or underperform, because founders can't let go.

      Had Wales not decided to support someone other than himself, I doubt it would have been a unanimous vote.

  • Nope (Score:1, Troll)

    by christurkel (520220)
    If you really think Jimbo is giving up power, you are wrong. This is a man who directly manipulate elections at Wikipedia.
    http://www.wikitruth.info/index.php?title=Board_Ga mes [wikitruth.info]

    if he truly goes, then Wikipedia truly benefits but he wont give up the platform tht elevated him from soft porn purveyor to respected internet mind.
    • by Apotsy (84148)
      If he wants something done, he'll just sit back and wonder [wikitruth.info] if it should be done. He doesn't need to be on the board for that.
  • The Everywhere Girl [urbandictionary.com] has been deleted from Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]. Will she get restored?

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