Here’s something few people probably know about Wikipedia: It was started with money from Jimmy Wales’ previous site which relied in part on soft corn porn to generate revenue.
Amy Chozick at the New York Times reports Wales launched a web search engine called Bomis in 1996. A big part of the site was the “Bomis Babe Report,” which was a blog dedicated to half naked celebrities and women.
While Wales claims that the “mature audience” section of the site provided a mere 10 per cent of revenues for the site, the Wikipedia entry on Bomis suggests that quite a bit of effort was put into providing such content.
Along with the previously mentioned blog, Bomis Premium was a section of the site that let users pay for exclusive X-rated content. The site also hosted nekkid.info, a place “to see sexy naked women,” and “The Babe Engine,” an image search engine dedicated to finding pictures of attractive women.
While Wales would clearly like to downplay this aspect of his early work, it turns out that Bomis was pivotal to the early years of Wikipedia. The initial bandwidth and server needs for the site were “donated” by Bomis, and when Wales moved his family and site to Florida he “would hand deliver a check from Bomis to keep Wikipedia’s Tampa servers running.”
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