Each year Jimmy Wales stares us into donating to Wikipedia; this year it's even easier than ever to make fun of the Wikipedia founder. Instead of having the photo of the Wikipedia co-founder on the right, this year, Wales' face is centered-left. It makes for some pretty entertaining juxtapositions, as TechCrunch's Alexia Tsosis points out, since his mug-shot now sits right on top of the topic title. (See below.) Over the years, given that Wales's face is staring right into your heart, the Wales ad has gotten plenty of scrutiny and jeering for its "creepiness." But apparently his in-your-face face approach works -- just ask Wikileaks founder Julian Assange who has borrowed the face-plastering tactic for his own campaign. As for Wales, the left-align is just this year's excuse to comment on the Wikipedia plea-ad.
The Wales left-align meme has taken off, unfortunately for Wales. It has made it onto the humorous Fail blog, with a clever "staring contest" addition and humor blog Oatmeal has taken it to the next (disturbing) level. Perhaps Wales should have kept the ad with his face aligned on the right, suggests Techmeme's Gabe Rivera. "Suggestion for @jimmy_wales: consider right-aligning your headshot in the "personal appeal" banner," he writes. He just gifted the Internet perfect fodder to make fun of the already much poked fun of ad. Seeing the founder begging money, photo alignment aside, has always drawn jokes and criticism. "Each time I go to Wikipedia, I see a photo of Jimmy Wales. It's as if he's watching over all of us … it's the wikiopticon," tweeted entrepeneur Andrew Keen.