Designing Interactions

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Jimmy Wales

Jimmy is an American Internet entrepreneur, best known to the public for his role in the founding of Wikipedia in 2001, now the world's largest encyclopedia. With degrees in finance, Jimmy worked in futures and options until, enamored with the possibilities inherent in the new technologies of the web, he shifted his career to Internet entrepreneurship. Jimmy has created a phenomenon in Web development that aims to facilitate creativity, collaboration, and sharing among users. Indeed, Wikipedia was one of the primary drivers of several related internet trends. And as Wikipedia's public profile grew, Jimmy became a spokesman of the Web 2.0 revolution. He founded and now serves on the board of trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit charitable organization that operates Wikipedia, as the board-appointed "community founder." In 2004, along with fellow Wikimedia trustee Angela Beesley, he founded Wikia, with the aim of building "the rest of the library." In 2006 Time magazine listed Jimmy Wales as one of the world's most influential people.

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, who has harnessed voluntary contributions from anyone with sufficient interest and time to create the world's largest encyclopedia. He has evolved a hierarchical structure that benefits from the combination of automation and human judgment; the software is enhanced through the emergence of social rules and norms for interaction, which bring members of the community together to do something enjoyable and productive.