Ten years ago Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger founded Wikipedia based on the concept of an encyclopedia that anyone could edit.
While there are still many in both the academic and business sectors who dismiss the online encyclopedia, it is now the fifth most popular website in the world according to comScore’s November 2010 data, with 410 million monthly readers.
Over the last ten years, hundreds of thousands of people have contributed more than one billion edits to Wikipedia’s 17 million articles in 270 languages.
On 15 January 2011, Wikipedia turns ten.
A global party
To commemorate this 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 these events are available at http://ten.wikipedia.org/.
Wikipedia and South Africa
Wikimedia is the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia and other free-knowledge projects such as Wikimedia Commons, Wiktionary and Wikibooks. It is completely funded through donations and is free from advertising.
One of the goals of the Wikimedia Foundation is to grow representation within the encyclopedia of all the world’s languages. One of the ways to acknowledge and support this momentum is to encourage Wikipedians to establish country-specific Chapters, which independently promote the goals of Wikipeda projects in their own contexts and languages.
Whilst there are over 30 chapters operating globally, there are currently no established African Chapters.
Recently however, a group of South African volunteers has begun work on making Wikipedia more accessible and relevant to the local community, and within this goal is the creation of a local Chapter.
The team states that it will promote local awareness of the projects and their proper academic use, encourage translation efforts into local languages, support the creation of local free knowledge and media and offer scholarships for promising local students.
Wikipedia 10th birthday celebrations in SA << Comments and views