Wikipedia.com

Wikipedia.com – see the key facts and overview here

The multilingual online encyclopedia, Wikipedia was launched in January 2001. Owned by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization, Wikipedia’s content is offered for free and no commercial ads appear on the website.  Originally funded by Bomis, a dot-company, Wikipedia had to create a charity based model to continue funding the project. 

Wikipedia is run as an open collaboration project and the wiki-based editing system allows for any member of its community of volunteer editors to edit the information. The initial version of the encyclopedia was in English, but it was soon developed in other languages. Now available in 301 languages, Wikipedia is comprised of 40 million articles of which 5,967,361 are in English.  

Other projects run by Wikimedia include Wiktionary, launched in 2002, Wikiquote, and Wikibooks, collaboratively written textbooks. 

Wikipedia aims to covey established and recognized knowledge, with any information that is not properly sourced being removed. Opinions and viewpoints may only be attributed to an external sources and each article features a fair share of coverage, known at the organization as “neutral point of view”. Articles are not owned by anyone and privileged users can delete pages or prevent articles from been changed. There is also the possibility of dispute resolutions if any issues are raised. 

The cultural impact of Wikipedia has been huge and it has won several awards for its contributions to the culture, society, social sciences, and the impact that it has had on people’s lives. These include the Erasmus Prize and the Spanish Princess of Asturias Award. 

Wikipedia has been given a vote of confidence by both Facebook and YouTube who announced in 2018 that they plan to rely on it to help evaluate fake news reports. 

Who are the founders of Wikipedia?

Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger are the co-founders of Wikipedia. They were initially working on a project for Nupedia, which had articles that were written by experts and were formally reviewed before publishing them online. The one problem with this system was that the process took too long. That is when Wales suggested an encyclopedia that could be publicly edited. Sanger came up with the strategy of using a wiki-based editing system for this. Within the first year, Wikipedia had 20,000 articles in 18 languages, compared to the 2 articles created in six months when they were working on Nupedia. 

The first time that Wikipedia entered the top-ten of websites was in 2007 and was ranked at number 9 with 42.9 million unique visitors, a position that it also holds in 2019, according to Alexa Internet. 

Where is the headquarters of Wikipedia?

The headquarters of the Wikimedia Foundation is in New Montgomery Street, San Francisco. The foundation was founded by Jimmy Wales to fund Wikipedia and other similar projects through non-profit means. 

The foundation was originally based in Florida, but registration requirements in the state and other contributing factors led them to San Francisco. These included the proximity of organizations with similar goals; a wider availability of talent and potential partners, and according to the foundation, travel to and from San Francisco is easier and cheaper. 

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