Congress Reacts to Wikipedia Firestorm
FoxNews.com was recently informed that the day after the Wikipedophilia post appeared on this blog, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, sent a copy of Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger’s letter to the FBI. Rep. Steve Austria, R-Ohio, sent a copy of the same letter to the FBI on April 27. Perhaps this is the kind of bi-partisanship we’ve all been waiting for. Stay tuned for updates which are posted here on FoxNews.com.
An interesting side note: Wikipedia apparently got its start in the world of online pornography. According to an article on Wikipedia:
Bomis (pronounced /ˈbɒmɨs/ to rhyme with “promise”) is a dot-com company founded in 1996. Its primary business is the sale of advertising on the Bomis.com search portal. It was founded by [the current head of Wikipedia] Jimmy Wales and Tim Shell, and provided support for the free encyclopedia projects Nupedia and Wikipedia.
On the Bomis.com site, Bomis creates and hosts web rings around search terms popular among male users. The rings are currently categorized broadly as “Babe”, “Entertainment”, “Sports”, “Adult”, “Science fiction”, and “Other”. The “Adult”, “Babe”, and “Entertainment” categories are the most frequently updated and the most popular. Revenue from search-related pages is generated from advertising and affiliate marketing.
Bomis ran a website called Bomis Premium at premium.bomis.com until 2005, offering customers access to premium, X-rated pornographic content.
Until mid-2005, Bomis also featured the Bomis Babe Report, a free blog, publishing news and reviews about celebrities, models, and the adult entertainment industry. The Babe Report prominently linked to Bomis Premium and frequently posted updates about new models joining Bomis. Bomis has also operated nekkid.info, a free repository of selected erotic photographs, and continues to host The Babe Engine, “a precision babe search engine”, which indexes photos ranging from glamour photography to pornography.
Bomis is best known for having supported the creation of the free-content online encyclopedia projects Nupedia and Wikipedia. Bomis hosted Nupedia in 2000, and Larry Sanger was hired to manage and edit that project.
For a while, Bomis provided web servers and bandwidth for these projects, paid Sanger in his role as project editor-in-chief (until he left the projects in 2002), and owned key items such as the associated domain names. However, as the costs of Wikipedia rose with its popularity, Bomis’ revenues declined as result of the dot-com-crash, a general reluctance to display advertising on the site—together with a desire from the Wikipedia community to reflect the spirit of openness and neutrality central to Wikipedia—suggested an alternative ownership model.
The Wikimedia Foundation was formally announced on June 20, 2003. All intellectual property and domain name assets were transferred or donated over to the foundation because it was registered as a non-profit organization, but the server hardware was not transferred. Bomis CEO Tim Shell became the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees. Larry Sanger had left the project by this time, but Jimmy Wales retains a role on the board of the Foundation, along with users elected from the Wikimedia community. In December 2006 Tim Shell was replaced by Jan-Bart de Vreede. The Foundation now funds the operation of Wikipedia (and its sister projects) primarily through donations from readers.
Read the full post about Bomis on Wikipedia here (as long as it lasts).