Here is confirmation of my identity:!/jorm/status/140718327864639489

Okay, guys! This has been hella fun, but I've been at this four hours now and I need to eat and run some errands.

Thanks for the questions! This has been awesome!

Edit to add: By request, here is a link to our donation page:

Comments: 2835 • Responses: 50  • Date: 

Boom_sparta_kick1055 karma

  1. How often do you find yourself using Wikipedia for just plain looking stuff up? and have you ever edited a wiki page other than wikipedia itself?
  2. How do you feel about educators who say that "Wikipedia isnt a valid source"?
  3. Thank you for helping me pass high school.

jorm1080 karma

  1. I'm constantly using the site for everything. I actually edit the encyclopedia very rarely anymore, though, since I don't have much time. And I've edited many other wikis.
  2. I think they're both right and wrong. It's a great source for sources, and a great place to learn an overview. But you shouldn't write a paper directly off it.
  3. You're welcome!

menwithrobots864 karma

How does this make you feel:

jorm1064 karma

That one's pretty good.

Image memes - I'm not entirely sure how they make me feel, to be honest. Some are pointlessly cruel but others are pretty funny.

I've decided only to care about the funny and good ones and let it ride.

WaffleSandwhiches772 karma

How does it feel being in a picture that 90% of people on the internet have seen?

jorm1071 karma

Well. I hadn't thought of it in that context before. Now I'm kind of overwhelmed.

weeeeearggggh541 karma

Don't worry; you aren't really distinguishable from any other metalhead.

what_thedouche260 karma

good observation. Mr. Harris, do you listen to metal? If so, favorite bands?

jorm991 karma

Yes. Slayer, Sabbath, Metallica, Maiden, Melvins. Those are my go-to bands.

Joseph_Gordon_Reddit641 karma

what shampoo do you use? your hair is amazing...

jorm804 karma

I actually switch shampoos and conditioners about every 40 to 60 days. A trick an ex taught me, many years ago.

HorizonStar344 karma

I'm interested: what does switching shampoos/conditioner accomplish?

jorm844 karma

It's possibly an superstition but I was told that it prevents your hair from getting too much of the same chemicals bound up in it. I am not a chemist nor am I a beautician, but my girlfriend at the time was.

cbsauder237 karma

She was a chemist and a beautician?

jorm393 karma


pikester25639 karma

Thank you for the hard work that goes unseen. If code right people never know it is there.

jorm374 karma

You're welcome!

NotoriousFIG467 karma

What are your thoughts on sites like Conservapedia?

jorm1930 karma

I'm a big fan of fantasy and fiction, so I guess it's alright.

m777z436 karma

Do you agree with Wikipedia's decision to run a fundraising campaign rather than selling ads?

jorm1111 karma

Absolutely. Running ads would introduce bias to the articles. We can't do that: "The Deepwater Horizon Disaster", sponsored by BP Energy. If you saw that you'd think that BP had paid for better press, even if they hadn't.

mra99265 karma

Whats to stop BP from editing the article themselves to promote better press?

jorm567 karma

People know its them. Or the facts don't check out. Or there's no citations. Somethings smells fishy, that sort of thing.

AlphaQ69326 karma

What are some of the strangest articles that you guys have had to deal with?

jyosef283 karma

Have you actually been receiving many donations?

jorm428 karma

Yes, we have. You can actually see the donations accumulate here:

That doesn't distinguish between who's banners and appeals make how much, and I don't think that data is going to be available until a while after the fundraiser is over.

in2thats1227 karma

The FundraiserStatistics extension has been disabled until further notice due to high demand and a bug in caching. The hope is to be able to bring it back up in the next couple of days.

As of 2011-11-28 00:30 UTC, we have had approximately 497,000 contributions for a total of $9.5 million USD since the 14th of November.

jorm36 karma

Yeah. The link here killed it (as it did my personal home page).

delsol5117281 karma

I just want to thank you for getting me a Degree. Now, can you get me a job?

jorm458 karma

Well. What do you do? We're hiring.

turbopaisano277 karma

Hey, I remember you! You're the guy who made nexus war, what happened?

*edit= your-->you're

jorm374 karma

That's me!

Uhm, I ran out of money is what happened. I couldn't afford to continue running it, and my contract with EA pretty much said that if I added new content, they'd own it.

Shalmanese240 karma

Happy Birthday!

jorm266 karma

Thanks! It's tomorrow, actually, my time.

hayvol36 karma

My birthday is tomorrow too!

jorm149 karma


BadVogonPoet235 karma

What do you think of all the memes about you?


jorm344 karma

I think they're funny. I mean, some aren't, but they're also ignorable.

I don't think it's very clever to do the obvious and mean, which is why I can ignore the images that are like that.

luckybrian777233 karma


jorm381 karma

Paypal okay?

mattryanharris223 karma

How did you get involved with Wikipedia?

jorm314 karma

Well, I started doing minor edits and typo corrections a long time ago. 2006, I think.

As far as working there, I was recruited by Danese Cooper, the former CTO. I had worked with her husband in the past at Sun Microsystems and Elemental Security.

jumpup14 karma

is your homepage wikipedia or something else?

jorm32 karma

My personal homepage is at

A_Registered_User202 karma

How much would somebody have to pay you for you to shave your head?

jorm805 karma

The going rate is one million USD. I've shaved it before - in 2000 - after a trip in Nepal.

When my mom got cancer I offered to shave my head in solidarity with her but she forbade me to do so.

ImNorwegian224 karma

How did your mom do?

jorm449 karma

Well! She's fully recovered.

Thanks for asking!

Bigbrass172 karma

What's it like playing for Dethklok?

jorm315 karma

s/playing for/playing/;

I play Dethklok all the time! In fact, I'm going to listen to it now.

"Bloodlines" is one of my "go-to" tracks when I need to get shit done.

Zimb0167 karma

Is there any Wikipedia page that you wish did not exist because it has given you or the organziation you work for a great deal of trouble?

jorm208 karma

Good question.

I'm going to have to say "not really", if we take it as "wish didn't exist". I think we wish that certain attitudes about articles didn't exist, or that some were written better. I think we'd like to see better editorial restraint in some issues.

But otherwise, no.

Anserine163 karma

How does it feel to be part of something like Wikipedia? I mean, do you ever reflect on the impact of it on people's everyday life? (Thank you for Wikipedia.)

jorm518 karma

Yes. There are times when the "vision of the mission" settles and there's this really weird sense of peace and purpose. Like, an understanding of the full implications of "making the sum of human knowledge available to everyone for free."

It's a pretty epic feeling. I can't describe it other than "it's one of those emotions where you feel the edges of your eyes start to tear up".

I kind of live for those moments, to be honest.

You can't live like that all the time, mind you. The practicalities of what we do always bubble up.

singer_table150 karma

Teachers across America tell their students to never use Wikipedia to find information because it can be edited by anyone, and therefore could be false at any point in time. Any truth to this? How likely is it really to be fooled by a false fact?

jorm426 karma

Well, in theory, you shouldn't be using Wikipedia as your primary source - just the place you go to to find the primary sources. Every fact is supposed to have a citation and reference.

There was a study done that said that Wikipedia has about the same error rate as the Brittanica, which is interesting.

People inject false facts into articles all the time but they usually only stay there for about .5 seconds before they're caught and reverted.

Buckman11122 karma

I just sent you guys $20. Will you stop glaring at me now?

jorm191 karma

I believe the banners turn off if you donate. If not, you can just click the X in the corner.

provides_apparatus111 karma


jorm151 karma

It's intentional, but I don't believe it was actually designed that way from the start. There have been many experiments over time as to the optimal position of the photos, and it just so happens that the left side is where it's got to be.

The green background is new, by the way. That turns out to be a good effect as well.

Duck_Avenger110 karma

how would you describe your normal day?

jorm408 karma

I have lots of meetings every day, mostly. Brainstorming sessions, etc. Actually "getting work done" - I have to do that at home, usually in the evenings for an hour or two. I put headphones on and sit on the porch and smoke a cigar or two while I do design work.

tommorris108 karma

Have you had any genuine offers of no-strings-attached sexual congress as a result of your appearance on Wikipedia fundraising banners?

jorm116 karma

I have not. Aside from the tests that were run earlier in the year, I've been out of town or stuck in my house during the time they've been running.

John_Unfil104 karma

What do you actually do as a Wikipedia programmer?

jorm159 karma

Well, my title is actually "Senior Designer". The "programmer" in the banner is because it's easier to understand than "designer" which is a really esoteric job.

Mostly I design features and product. I am a programmer (been one for about 20 years now), and I commit code from time to time, but it's not my primary function.

My body of work can be read here:

lewisflude103 karma

I'd love to hear your best tip for a young student getting into web application development!

jorm192 karma

Just start building things. Build small tools just for yourself, maybe. You have to build up a portfolio these days.

One of the best ways is to start coding in an open source project. That way you have things on your resume and you have code samples to show people.

FlamingBlaze78 karma

Are you guys close to making your goal in money? Me donated! ______^

jorm89 karma

Hey! Thanks for that!

You can track the amount of money we raise here:

ChalkLetRain76 karma

If you don't mind me asking, what's the salary range of a programmer that works for Wikimedia Foundation?

jorm155 karma

I don't have those numbers. The Foundation pays "bottom of scale", however, since they're non-profit. Actually even a bit below that.

Nyubis74 karma

How do you feel about the people who describe your looks as intimidating? Did you know some people felt like that before you appeared on the Wikipedia banner?

jorm275 karma

I think people with long hair might always look intimidating to some people because it crosses a social norm and is/was associated with rebellion.

I don't consider myself intimidating at all. I just like metal.

PotatoPotahto47 karma

What's your favourite band?

jorm320 karma

According to my, it looks like Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, and. . . Daft Punk? Huh. Slayer is also a heavy hitter there.

Oh, just look yourself:

bassmahfk29 karma

Favorite metal band?

jorm126 karma

Slayer or Black Sabbath, no doubt.

wolfik9297 karma

Favourite metal?

jorm374 karma


Alecm332758 karma

What is the Best part about working at Wiki?

jorm252 karma

Going to sleep feeling like I'm doing something, and not waking up thinking that what I do is ultimately meaningless.

tbfield53 karma

Firstly, your website is responsible for most of my decent University grades, so thanks for that. How weird is it to see your face on such a popular website? Have you been recognized much because of it?

jorm124 karma

Weirdly, I've been "recognized" more often as "that guy from that band" on the street far more often than for Wikipedia.

I don't think it's weird anymore. You kind of get used to it after a while.

johnsmcjohn50 karma

What do you think about the various countries in Europe trying to shut wikipedia down for copyright violation? And how do you ensure the stateside version stays within fair use?

jorm70 karma

Are you talking about the Italian thing that happened a couple weeks back?

ieatatoms43 karma

What do you believe will be Wikipedia's major challenges in the future?

jorm105 karma

Gaining major ground in India, Brazil, China, and the Middle East.

Iagospeare27 karma

If there came a day when donations were really running thin, would ads and/or sponsors be used to keep the site running? What steps would lead to that first, or would you rather let the site shut down untilpeople wanted to support it?

jorm92 karma

No, we wouldn't switch up to ads, I can guarantee that.

Sue Gardner, our Executive Director, has said that if it came down to it, she'd fire everyone except for the operations people and only pay for hosting. Try to keep the lights on as long as possible.

But we're a ways away from that right now.

rocknmebaby27 karma

How do pages get updated so quickly after a death/major event? Even pages that aren't specific to the event get updated less than half an hour after the news initially breaks.

jorm56 karma

Editors immediately go to the pages and make the changes. That's what they do: they watch and try to make sure things are as accurate as possible.

ww3pl27 karma

Just wondering - have you seen this image?

If yes, what do you think of it? "I find it funny" will make you the coolest guy in here.

jorm30 karma

Okay, yes. I laughed.

digga130124 karma

How healthy is Wikipedia? Have donations been slowing down in recent years?

jorm41 karma

The amount we raise has been increasing but the average donation size has been decreasing. So there's something there but I'm not an economist so I don't know if that's healthy or not.

Wormhog22 karma

Brandon, so excited to see you here. Can you tell me more about your friend Wormhog? What's with her anyway? Also, can you do some of that Bear Grylls survival stuff on video to accompany your answers? Thanks for doing this.

jorm22 karma

I've known my friend Wormhog since 1994! We used to get food at a diner in San Francisco every other night at three a.m. since we were both night owls.

adenin18 karma


jorm47 karma

I worked in the HR department, actually. Building business applications. I didn't work on games. My job could be summed up as "write this cool application that helps us hire people easier! Okay, now write an app that helps us fire those same people!" which was kind of depressing.

I wanted to leave for a zillion reasons. At the time, it was: the long commute, the work was draining, and I wanted to work on games again.

It was only after the fact that I realized that I wanted to do something that I felt had meaning.

Working for a for-profit company. . . hrm. I guess the biggest difference is that I never really cared about the customers whenever I've worked at for-profits. It's kind of a strange thing, when you think about it. I've taken pride in the product I've made, but never in the people consuming it.

This is kind of the reverse.