Happy Birthday Wikipedia
Wikipedia succeeded an earlier attempt at an encyclopedia called Nupedia, but Nupedia grew slowly because of its onerous submission format, which required articles to be peer reviewed. Sanger was then introduced to the concept of a wiki, and thus Wikipedia was born. Wales continues to serve on the Board of Trustees of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, and he also co-founded Wikia, a for-profit wiki hosting site.
There are still many in formal academic and business sectors who, citing the “anyone can edit” element of the site, dismiss the online encyclopedia. Even so, over the 10 years of its life Wikipedia is now the fifth most popular website in the world with some 400-million people using its information rich pages each month.
In that time, thousands of people have contributed more than one billion edits to Wikipedia’s 17 million articles in 270 languages. In English alone there are over 3,500,000 articles available on Wikipedia. If there is anything that you want to know about anything at all, the likelihood is high that you’ll find something on Wikipedia about it. And if you don’t you can simply create and edit your own entry.
To commemorate the 10 year milestone, people from all over the world are planning to gather at over 200 events – at least seven on every continent – to celebrate Wikipedia. Details of the global events are available at http://ten.wikipedia.org/. In South Africa there are three events planned, in Pietermaritzburg, Cape Town and Stellenbosch.
Here’s co-founder Jimmy Wales with a short message: