by Bill Forman
Jimmy, we hardly knew ye, but we sure do now.
There was a time — a more carefree, innocent time — when few of us knew who Jimmy Wales was, much less what he looked like.
But that's all changing now, thanks to the Wikipedia co-founder's new fundraising appeal.
The campaign features a series of conspicuous banner ads in which a different Jimmy Wales stares out at you each time you load or refresh a Wiki page.
These many faces of Jimmy are alternately moody or jaunty, ruggedly handsome or, in one case, strangely googly-eyed.
Sadly, none of them feature the former futures trader piloting a yacht with models from his previous web venture, the Bomis Babe Report.
After repeated exposure to these ads, some of us may be longing for a way to outlaw Jimmy Wales from appearing on his own site. Then again, we wouldn't all be looking at Wikipedia if it weren't so damn useful.
So maybe it's worth throwing Jimmy a few bucks to keep Wikipedia independent and unbiased, or at least more unbiased than it would be if Rupert Murdoch were to take over.
In the meantime, here's lookin' at you, Jimmy ...