Saturday, February 9, 2008

KNOL no threat to Wikipedia says Jimmy Wales

Okay the following is the OFFICIAL report I wrote with my friend Brat on my dinner date with Jimmy Wales.

Chennai: “I am not worried about Google introducing KNOL.” said Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia. KNOL is Google’s online encyclopedia. Wales was on his second visit to India to address undergraduates across the country and spoke to reporters in Chennai on Saturday evening.

He said, “Google’s blog says this (KNOL) is not an open source software whereas ours is. This is where our strength lies. I am not worried about them.” Wales added that Wikipedia had built trust with their users and that would stay with them. His idea of starting a free online encyclopedia was criticized as a Utopian goal, but Wikipedia is now synonymous with information on the net and is inevitably the first or second on a google search result.

“I am happy with where wikipedia stands now. It has reached where I wanted it to be; even an African child can access information in his or her own language,” said Wales
Wikipedia is now available in 250 languages.

According toWales a major problem in updating information in other languages is the lack of a vernacular keyboard. He said, “Maybe if phonetics were used to type in one’s own language it would be comparatively easier.”

He did not think adding a video or an audio element to the pages was a great idea and firmly dismissed the possibility of Wikipedia introducing them. He said, “It is difficult to edit the content of a video or audio for facts or for bias. There is no advanced software that would help in editing them to our needs.” He added, “Personally, I prefer reading text. If I get a call, the text is still there where I left it. It is not the same with a video.”

On the latest clash of the Titans, Wales voiced his doubts on the Yahoo – Microsoft deal and was quick to point out that Yahoo mail had many more users than gmail. However, underlining Google’s status as the best search engine, he said “You always google for something. You do not go to Yahoo for search.” He conceded that Yahoo was a good news portal and that Yahoo messenger was widely used.

David Appasamy, Communications Manager of Sify, said, “Yahoo and Microsoft are two disparate companies and they wouldn’t do well together.” Wales agreed with Appasamy. Appasamy also added, “Yahoo has been on a decline for the past two years. This is an act of desperation by both.”


zen81 said...

wales, is so right about who does a yahoo search??? i don't..and i don't like it. and about wikipedia being in threat..i dont think so, cause atleast i feel i will look up into wikipedia than any other site for information as it has always been correct!! i am loyal to wikipedia

IMJ said...

You shld have been considerate when you spoke about Yahoo, after all dad was CTO there! :P .. But yea, I do agree with you.

And am sure Jimmy is going to be thrilled that you are a fan. He sounded excited when he spoke about loyalists like you! :)