Sunday, January 16, 2011


Wikipedia celebrated its tenth birthday on January 15, one of the most popular destinations on the web with 400 million views a month. The site contains 17 million articles in 270 languages.

Jimmy Wales, co-founder, recently raised $16 million in 50 days to fill its coffers which relies on thousands of people editing entries or adding new ones in return for nothing more than the satisfaction of "contributing to the stock of human knowledge."

On the whole, Wikipedia’s system of peer reviewing does a reasonable job of policing facts; however, it is "vulnerable to vandalism."

Despite Wikipedia's amazing success, there is evidence of declining engagement. The number of regular contributors to Wikipedia’s English-language encyclopedia "dropped from around 54,000 at its peak in March 2007 to some 35,000 in September 2010. A similar trend has been visible in some foreign-language versions of the encyclopedia."

As a footnote The Economist holds a regular competition where they post a photo and invite readers to provide a caption. For the photo of Jimmy Wales and their article the winning caption reads 'And now they have bailed out Wales.'

On the tenth anniversary it's interesting to think about Wikipedia's immense influence in supplying information to the masses. This digital encyclopedia for the globe seems to have achieved widespread acceptance?

Via article from The Economist.