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Wikipedia turns 10!

Wikipedia is 10 years old today! Over the last decade, Wikipedia has become the fifth most-visited site in the world!

According to the SFGate article:

“In November, nearly 411 million people around the globe visited Wikipedia sites, up 18 percent from a year earlier, according to comScore Inc. It features some 17 million articles in 270 languages.”

“Indeed, as of May, 42 percent of all U.S. adults (or 53 percent of adult Internet users) used Wikipedia to look up information, an increase from 25 percent in February 2007, according to a Pew survey. That makes it more popular than instant messaging. For Internet users with at least a college degree, the number jumps to 69 percent.”

Well, I’m glad to see that I’m not alone. :-)

Wikipedia is run by the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation of San Francisco, and, although there have been numerous attempts to insert falsehoods into Wikipedia (some people get their “jollies” in weird ways!), several studies have concluded that the accuracy of Wikipedia nearly matches that of print encyclopedias. A 2005 report in the journal Nature found the accuracy to be just shy of that of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Wikipedia, for its part, has continually altered its rules an guidelines to prevent falsehoods and has pushed for neutral points of view and links to original sources of information and has also flagged articles that lack proper documentation.

Currently, more than 80% of the contributors are male with an average age in the late 20’s, and the most thoroughly covered topics are in the sciences and technology. For the future, Wikipedia wants to reach out to more woment, older people, people in the arts and humanities, and less-represented geographic areas like South America, South Asia, and the Arab world.

SFGate says:

“Wikimedia plans to open a small office in India in the coming months and may eventually do the same in Brazil and the Middle East. In addition, it has been launching partnerships on U.S. college campuses to fill in other gaps, including asking humanities professors to assign students to write fully sourced articles for the site.”

As for the quality and scope of Wikipedia, Executive Director Sue Gardner says:

“The more people who edit it, the better it becomes.”

Happy Anniversary, Wikipedia!

-Bill at

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