Rain- buckets of it and no end anytime soon. I quickly jumped in the cab the concierge grabbed for me. So much for my outdoor photo shoot with internet entrepreneur and humanitarian Jimmy Wales. Fearing the worst I called the Marriott in Times Square and made last minute arrangements for an indoor shoot and interview (we were supposed to do it in Times Square).
Anyways, I arrived at the building Jimmy asked me to meet him at. We shook hands and walked outside to flag another cab. And stood. And stood some more. We tried to make small talk but both of us were frustrated with the rainy day. Myself more than Jimmy. I could see my interview falling apart and began thinking the worst. Here I am in NYC after flying in from Denver just for this meeting and now I was going to miss out on it.
Then, out of nowhere, Jimmy said, "Wanna just walk?" We were a mile away mind you and it was raining pretty hard. I said, "I'm game Jimmy if you are." We began our walk, and wound up at the hotel wet, cold, and tired.
After a photo shoot with our photographer Andrew, we grabbed some coffee and sat down for the interview. His eyes lit up as he told me his story and his vision of the future of his organizations. I could tell he'd told this story many times before but his explanations dripped with enthusiasm and hope as he talked of his plans to change our world in a massive global collaboration involving wiki's.
Now, I'm not going to give away the details just yet. How he's shaking things up with Wikipedia and how www.Wikia.com is exploding on the scene and creating all kinds of opportunities for fan based community and advertisers.
You'll have to wait for the article and video for that.
The point I wanted to make is that I saw a man who despite being one of the most influential people on this planet, decided to walk with me. Who took time out of his day and personal comfort to accomodate me, someone he'd never met before, and up to that point had all correspondence handled through his amazingly organized assistant.
You don't find a lot of that anymore. If the roles were reversed I can't say I would have done the same. I may have just rescheduled but I guess that's the difference between us.
You've taught me a valuable lesson Jimmy Wales and caused me to reflect on the way I treat others. I hope I can capture your story and help your cause with Wikipedia and Wikia.
For all you Jimmy Wales fans- I've tagged a few of you in this story.