Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales celebrated its 10th birthday last month, but unlike other internet whizzkids, he has not made a penny.
The free online encyclopedia is estimated to be worth $5 billion but is operated by a charity board which he serves on unpaid.
And the 44 year old American says, “It was either the dumbest thing I ever did or the smartest”.
Yet he remains proud of the sites success, with its 17 million free articles in 270 languages.
“It’s amazing what Wikipedia has become, he commented. “I was always optimistic but having over 400 million people visit the site every month is phenomenal”.
The site is run by 50 staff in San Francisco but anyone can add to it and it has been used by hoaxers to con the public, and the press.
In 2008, a story based on a bogus Wikipedia entry, falsley said a Cypriot football team’s fans were known as the Zany Ones and wore hats made of shoes.
Ex-banker Jimmy also suffers airport security confusion with the unconnected controversial WikiLeaks site.
by Milo Johnson