Wikipedia celebrates 10th anniversary

 

Community members celebrate in Australia and around the world.

Users and editors of Wikipedia gathered at more than 450 events around the world to celebrate the online dictionary's 10th anniversary on Saturday.

The community-driven events ranged from a party in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to an 'editathon' at the British Library.

Australian Wikipedians met up in Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart, Perth, Melbourne and Canberra at events supported by Wikimedia Australia.

Wikimedia Australia committee member Adam Jenkins said it expected a total of 80 to 100 attendees at national events.

"There has, for a long time, been a strong commuity of Australian editors on Wikipedia, who have worked together to develop a lot of Australian content," Jenkins told iTnews.

"This was a chance to say thank you to some of the volunteers, and to give people an opportunity to come together so that they could discuss how to further the project."

Jenkins, who is an IT lecturer at the University of South Australia, was directly involved in a gathering of "about 10 people" in Adelaide.

Adelaide attendees discussed projects, ways to incease local involvement, and their experiences with Wikipedia, he said.

A celebration in Cabramatta, southwestern Sydney attracted 50 attendees according to organiser Quang Luong Dang, a martial arts and oriental medicine instructor at the VietDaoQuan Academy.

"We have benefitted from Wikipedia a lot," said Dang, adding that he had contributed to Wikipedia articles about oriental literature, medicine, religion, and martial arts.

Wikipedia currently houses 17 million articles in 270 languages with over 400 million people visiting the site every month, making it the fifth most popular website in the world.

Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, thanked all the contributors and editors of the site.

"It's hard to imagine that it's been 10 years since I first edited Wikipedia. I remember that first day," Wales stated.

"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."

As for the future, Wikipedia has plans for extended growth and wants to reach a billion people by 2015.

"We want to persuade more readers to edit. More women. More people from the Global South," said Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Foundation executive director.

"We know that the more diverse the editing community becomes, the more comprehensive, accurate and rich the encyclopedia will be."

The top 10 facts about Wikipedia

  1. Articles
    There are a massive 17 million articles on Wikipedia, with the number increasing everyday.
  2. Languages
    There are 262 different language versions of the website, although the English, German and French versions have the most articles.
  3. English
    Of the 17 million articles, 3.5 million of them are written in the English language.
  4. Record breaker
    On 9 September 2007, the English version of Wikipedia surpassed two million articles. It made it the largest encyclopaedia ever put together and took the record from the Yongle encyclopaedia, which had held it for 600 years.
  5. Readership
    Wikipedia claims to have roughly 325 million readers, meaning there are 21 users to every article on the website.
  6. Edits
    There have to date been over one billion edits on Wikipedia, again with the number growing all the time - and being positively encouraged by founder Jimmy Wales.
  7. Wiki
    The word "wiki" is the Hawain word for "quick" but now has its own definition as "a web application that allows anyone visiting a website to edit content on it."
  8. Person becomes people
    In 2006 the users of Wikipedia who edited the site were named as Time Magazine's Person of the Year.
  9. Hosted state
    The servers for Wikipedia are hosted in Florida, therefore content on the site is subject to the US state's laws.
  10. Google gives it a hit
    Many of us may go straight to Wikiepdia.org, however 50 percent of the website's traffic actually comes from Google.

Copyright © ITPro, Dennis Publishing


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