Wikipedia turns ten years old

A look at a decade of the Free Encyclopedia

100,000 pieces of birthday cake for Wikipedia and its contributors.

Ten year's ago, internet entrepreneur Jimmy Wales (whose face we have all recently become acquainted with, prominently displayed as it has been the past few weeks on the Wikipeida appeal banners) set up his open, web-based encyclopedia as an offshoot of closed encyclopedia Nupedia - which has since closed down.

Since Wales' own first post a decade ago ("Hello World"), Wikipedia has amassed roughly 3.5 million articles and 23 million pages in some 270 languages - 17 million of those written in English, with another 1,100 being added per day. The site has around 100,000 regular contributors who keep the content coming - for free, of course.

The Wikipedia model - expecting passionate users to write their own content, rather than paying a group of experts - not only brought far more content than previous encyclopedias (by comparison, the online Encyclopedia Britannica is estimated to have only 120,000 articles), but also flipped the idea of how online ventures of its type might work online; how asking people to work for free might be, in certain circumstances, more effective than offering to pay them.

To celebrate the Birthday, Wikipedia is holding hundreds of events across the globe including talks and edit-a-thons. You can check out a list of all the events on the link below.

Link: Wikipedia Ten