The Story behind Wikipedia
Wikipedia is world’s first free and interactive encyclopaedia that is supported by volunteers all over the world. The website was founded by Jimmy Wales along with his colleague Larry Sanger in 2001. Wikipedia is today supported and hosted by the Wikimedia foundation which is a non-profit organization that is associated with other projects like Wiktionary and Wikibooks.
The website has created a massive impact on the lives of the people and has revolutionized the way in which we tend to receive and share information over the internet. Wikipedia has been ranked seventh in the Alexa rankings and has more than 365 million readers all across the globe. The content is continuously updated and refreshed by a team of volunteers and moderators that have a wide variety of interest and knowledge.
How It All Started??
The origins of the Wikipedia can be traced backed to a website Nupedia. This website was founded by Jimmy Wales along with his friends and colleagues Bomis and Larry Sanger as the editor in chief. The website was founded in 2000. This website unlike Wikipedia was based on the peer review process which was designed to make the articles at par with the articles of the professional encyclopaedias, which were very costly at that time. The website wanted that the peers should contribute and review the content for free but it could not materialize. The other major reason that was believed for its failure was the urge of its Bomis to generate revenues by placing ads on the webpage of the site. Nupedia was using the homemade Nupedia Open Content License but later on it switched to GNU Free Documentation License in January, 2001.
In January, 2001 Nupedia started Wikipedia as the side project that was based on true open source ethics and ideals. Wikipedia allowed the contributors to submit their content and views on topics before it enters into the peer review process. This process is not only fast but also free from any bias or favours. As a result Wikipedia grew ad attracted more and more contributors. It went on to become the most reliable source of information across any topic and content. New York University has recently asked their student to publish at least two articles during their course of studies.
Due to unfavourable economic conditions at that time, Jimmy Wales decided to remove the paid editor in chief and became its full time editor on without any pay.
Nupedia became an afterthought after the success of the Wikipedia and was shut down on September 26, 2006. All the articles of the Nupedia have been merged and successfully assimilated into Wikipedia. Although some pages of Nupedia may be available today on the mirror sites.
According to me, Wikipedia has been a great source of general information across a large variety of topics. This free encyclopaedia has helped millions of people across the globe due to the reliability and appropriate citation that are given along with the content.
The policies are strongly espoused and are based on the neutral point of view but there are certain aspects and topics where Wikipedia fails considerably. But nevertheless the website is here to stay and as the time progresses we would have an ultimate and complete source of information in all aspects.
Hats off once again to Jimmy Wales and his team for presenting us such a helpful resource.
This article is written by Vedant Kumar . Catch him on his security and funny blog