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Wikipedia began with its first edit on 15 January 2001, two days after the domain was registered. The success of Wikipedia and the community based model that it is built on is one of the great achievments of the twenty first century. When I was growing up the then distant twenty first century was predicted to see the widespread use of domestic robots and flying cars... well I am happier to see the creation of an online encylopedia that is free to access world wide with an Internet connection.The English edition of Wikipedia has grown to 6,229,642 articles, equivalent to around 2,800 print volumes of the Encyclopædia Britannica. Including all language editions, Wikipedia has 55,615,111 articles, equivalent to around 20,900 print volumes. Wikipedia's worldwide monthly readership is approximately 495 million. Worldwide in September 2018, WMF Labs tallied 15.5 billion page views for the month. According to comScore, Wikipedia receives over 117 million monthly unique visitors from the United States alone. You can read the full story here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_WikipediaWikipedia is fantastic, not just for serious stuff, also for answering those bizarre questions that come up at unexpected moments. One of my questions was 'hey, why don't dolphins drown when they go to sleep?', the answer is stranger than you might think. What is your strangest question to wikipedia ?
Techsoup Community Forum Moderator
And to me! However, I'm a bit older than Wikipedia...
Wikipedia is the largest virtual volunteering effort in the world, but it took a long time to get them to call their Wikipedians "volunteers." I would go in and edit their page about their contributors to say "volunteer" at least once, and then link that to their own page about volunteering, as a topic, and some Wikipedian would then edit right back out. Someone finally relented.
I am an online volunteer with Wikipedia. Here is my user page. And here are all my Wikipedia contributions (more than 500 - I was bored).
-=-=-=-=-=- Jayne Cravens Author, The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
To Celebrate Wikipedia’s 20th Birthday, Try Editing It, from Slate. Excerpts:
According to Kevin Li, one of Wikipedia’s volunteer administrators and a junior at Stanford, the website’s biggest challenge is a declining supply of edit hours to continue the time-consuming work of maintaining an encyclopedia with such a massive readership. Essentially, Wikipedia needs more volunteers to help keep the archive up to date.
What’s keeping the vast majority of readers who spend time consuming Wikipedia information from volunteering their time to help produce it? One theory is that editing Wikipedia is just too hard. Yet, from a technical perspective, this doesn’t appear to be the case.
Others say that Wikipedia’s culture is too much of a turn-off for some would-be contributors. Editors tend to be very blunt when they delete one another’s edits, such as the user who once read me the riot act after I accidentally but temporarily broke the formatting of an article’s infobox. The much scarier issue is harassment, when users are doxed, hounded, or expressly targeted, often on the basis of their race, sex, or gender. In 2021, the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation intends to finalize a Universal Code of Conduct aimed at providing a baseline of acceptable behavior across all of Wikipedia’s language editions. Alexandria Lockett, an assistant professor of English at Spelman College, argues in her contribution to the new book Wikipedia @ 20 that many people do not edit Wikipedia because they simply do not feel they have the authority to do so. That’s because programming and gaming are considered male-dominated cultures where women and minorities are not welcome. “To transform both student and faculty resistance to Wikipedia editing,” Lockett wrote, “they would need the space and opportunity to recognize the importance of editing with purpose” (bolding in the original).
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