Wikipedia, that online encyclopedia of unquestionable truth and veracity, ahem, has made it to 10 years. In Internet terms, that’s an ice age.
The ‘free content’ idea of Wikipedia.org was launched by Jimmy Wales in San Francisco back in 2001.
In his anniversary speech Mr Wales said to “I remember that first day. I clicked on edit and I wrote ‘Hello World’ and that was the beginning of Wikipedia and all the things that have come since then.”
The site concept originally came from online encyclopedia ‘Nupedia’ whose editors didn’t like the idea of letting users add or edit articles. Nupedia bit the dust back in 2003.
Wikipedia was the very first ‘Web 2.0’ project in the sense that it allowed users to easily add content from their own web browser.
And how has it got on? Well Wikipedia now hosts over 3.5 million articles distributed over 23 million web pages in 270 languages. That’s a big website, and a fast growing one too – there are 1,100 new articles every day.
Despite my earlier comments Wikipedia is generally thought to be accurate, although the nature of user generated content is that some of it is bound – for a time at least – to be less than true.
Wikipedia itself warns: “Some articles on Wikipedia may contain significant factual inaccuracies, IE information that is verifiably wrong.”
Wikipedia has always been – and intends to stay – non-profit.
Do you use Wikipedia? Have you tried adding or editing any articles? Leave us a comment below.