Is Wikipedia Altruistic?

It was first time my name was published in the Time Magazine. The magazine has a section, wherein readers are invited to send their question for one of the invited guests. I had a question for Jimmy Wales (in fact I have quite a few still). Of all the hundreds that Time recieved, mine was selected, and answered by Wales .

To be honest, none of us could have imagined that Wikipedia would be the success that it turned out to be. Millions of people across the globe contributing and correcting each other, it is truly representative of what the Web purports to be. But I often do wonder, as to what is the purpose behind so many individuals to contribute and correct anonymously. In this materialistic world, it is hard to imagine such a venture. And this is the reason why I feel that probably Rousseau was right, man is indeed a noble animal..corrupted by the ills of society; the noble savage, so as to say.

Coming back to the article. I really admire Jimbo’s (as Wales is popularly known) work and have had the good fortune of interacting with him at a personal level for my own publication. Also, It is a great feeling to see your name in Time, something that can hardly be described. And I have a strong belief that there would be a lot many more times one would get to see my name in that hallowed magazine. This is just the beginning 🙂


10 questions for Jimmy Wales

What drives people to contribute to Wikipedia? Altruism?—Shashwat Chaturvedi, Mumbai, India

No. It’s realizing that doing intellectual things socially is a lot of fun—it makes sense. We don’t plan on paying people, either, to contribute. People don’t ask, “Gosh, why are all these people playing basketball for fun? Some people get paid a lot of money to do that.”

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