Wikipedia founder sees serious Internet recession but no ”bloodbath”

October 31st, 2008 - 4:51 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Oct 31 (ANI): The global economy is headed for a “pretty serious recession” that could leave some major household name websites floundering, however, there wont be any bloodbath, says the founder of Wikipedia, a well-known online encyclopedia.

Jimmy Wales believes that the Internet and technology companies will suffer a “serious downturn” that will hit websites that are heavily reliant on advertising.

“It won”t be a 10pc collapse which kills everybody, but [advertising revenue] is going to drop and that is going to hurt people, a lot of marginal players are going to have serious problems, the Telegraph quoted him, as saying.

“I could see some of the major players” stock suffering, some of them quite badly, but overall I don”t think it will be that bad, he added.

According to Wales, search engine Yahoo!, which last week announced at least 1,500 job cuts and a 64pc fall in quarterly profits, is the company most likely to suffer a sustained downturn.

“Yahoo! will never see that money again,” he said.

“I don”t know what Yahoo! are going to do, but they need to tie-in with somebody, he added.

Since founding Wikipedia Wales has become a highly regarded oracle on the future of the Internet.

But last week he was forced to cut 10pc of staff at Wikia, a for-profit open source search engine he set up in 2004 to try and counter Google’’s dominance of the search market.

He said the redundancies were “definitely a response to the crisis in the up coming advertising market. Everybody is doing it we need to be responsible and tighten the ship”.

However, he said increasing job cuts and gloomy predictions sweeping Silicon Valley are an “excessive over reaction” as the expected slowdown will be nothing like the “bloodbath” of the 2000-2001 dotcom crash.

“We”ve been through somewhat of a boom but it has not been anything like the dotcom boom. A lot of start-ups out there are not yet profitable, but at least they have an idea of a business model and are mostly doing things that will work. But a lot of them will still fail.”

He said the industry has very recent memories of the “unbelievable bloodbath caused by crazy high vaulations” and has not, and will not, allow valuations to skyrocket out of control again. (ANI)

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