A Short Account of Wikipedias History

Did you know that Wikipedia is the fifth biggest website in the world? It gets more than 6 billion visitors every month.

Wikipedia is among the most popular sources for information on the internet. It’s become the go-to online encyclopedia for everyone, but some question the reliability of the information found on Wikipedia.

This is mainly because anyone can contribute and edit articles on the site.

Here is a brief history of Wikipedia and its beginnings.

Wikipedia was initially created to be a part of Nupedia.

Initially, Wikipedia was called “wiki” and was created in 1995 to enhance Nupedia.

Nupedia was already a free online encyclopedia that relied on highly qualified volunteers to contribute to its platform.

Unfortunately, this approach was slow, and only 12 articles were completed in the first year.

So, after much thought, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger came up with the idea of using a “wiki” to help Nupedia.

A “wiki” is essentially a hypertext that can be co-edited and managed from a web browser.

With this approach, it would be easier to get more contributors on board, and therefore, create content more quickly.

Wikipedia became a platform where users could write or suggest articles for qualified writers to write about on Nupedia.

Wikipedia was not the first online encyclopedia.

Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger registered the domain name Wikipedia on January 13, 2001.

Two days later, the website was launched when the first edit was created, and it has been growing ever since.

However, there were other online encyclopedias that allowed anyone to contribute before Wikipedia.

Rick Gates proposed the concept for Interpedia to a Usenet newsgroup in 1993.

The collaboration was accepted, and Interpedia is considered the precursor to Wikipedia.

The first-ever article published on Wikipedia was a test article called “Hello, World!”

In a 2008 interview, Wales stated that he wrote the first-ever article on Wikipedia in the mid-1990s.

The article was a simple tester piece called “Hello, World!”

However, on January 17, 2001, members of Nupedia’s mailing list were encouraged to edit, and this is when Wikipedia relaxed its rules on who could contribute and edit articles.

This meant that the article was edited alongside other articles that already existed.

Wikipedia reached its 1,000th article on February 12, 2001, just under a month after purchasing the domain.

By September 2001, Wikipedia had reached its 10,000th article.

At the end of its first official year, Wikipedia had 20,000 articles, and an average of 1,500 articles were written each month.

Wikipedia proved to be more popular and successful than Nupedia, which is when the focus shifted to Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is available in hundreds of languages.

Wikipedia was first written in English, with most writers being native English speakers.

German was the first language to be added to Wikipedia, and as of 2020, it’s available in 285 languages.

Users were given the ability to create articles in their primary language, resulting in different articles on Wikipedia in different countries. English remains the most popular, followed by German, French, Dutch, and Italian. In 2002, English accounted for 90% of Wikipedia’s articles, but by 2004, this had decreased to 50%. The smallest Wikipedia is currently in Kanuri, with just one article.

The Wikimedia Foundation hosts Wikipedia. In 2003, the non-profit charity was established by Wales, with a focus on creating online platforms and working with educators. Wales believes that knowledge should be shared for free and that everyone should have access to information. Initially, Wikipedia was a platform for the public to suggest articles and topics, but it has since become the main platform. Although the Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit, it generates about $109.9 million annually to fund projects. Its goal is to develop and maintain online content through Wikipedia and other educational resources. Today, Wikipedia is the fifth-largest website in the world, with over 6 billion monthly visitors.


1. What is Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. It was launched in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. The idea behind Wikipedia is to create a comprehensive and reliable source of information that is freely available to anyone. Users can create new articles or edit existing ones, and the content is constantly updated by volunteers from around the world.

2. How did Wikipedia start?

Wikipedia started as a side project of Nupedia, an online encyclopedia that had a team of expert writers and editors. Jimmy Wales, the founder of Nupedia, realized that the process of creating new articles was too slow and bureaucratic. He came up with the idea of creating a wiki, a website that allows users to collaboratively create and edit content. The first version of Wikipedia went live on January 15, 2001.

3. How is Wikipedia managed?

Wikipedia is managed by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco. The Wikimedia Foundation operates several projects in addition to Wikipedia, including Wikimedia Commons, Wikisource, and Wikidata. The Foundation is funded by donations from individuals and organizations, and its mission is to promote the sharing of knowledge and information.

4. What are the advantages of Wikipedia?

One of the main advantages of Wikipedia is that it is free and easily accessible. Anyone with an internet connection can access the site and read its articles. Another advantage is the sheer volume of content available on Wikipedia. There are millions of articles in hundreds of languages, covering a wide range of topics. Finally, Wikipedia is constantly updated and improved by its community of volunteers, which means that the content is always up-to-date and accurate.

5. What are the criticisms of Wikipedia?

One of the main criticisms of Wikipedia is that it is not always reliable. Because anyone can edit the content, there is a risk of inaccuracies and bias. Another criticism is that some articles on controversial topics can become battlegrounds, with users engaging in edit wars and pushing their own agendas. Finally, there are concerns about the lack of diversity among Wikipedia’s editors, with the majority of editors being male and from Western countries.

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