Wikipedia - Where Knowledge is Free







 Bangalore: How often have you noticed or cared to open the personal appeal from Jimmy Wales when you open a page of Wikipedia? Wikimedia said the appeal generated more than $430,000 in the first 24 hours. "This is the most money ever raised by Wikimedia in a single day and almost twice as many unique contributors in a single day, as well," a spokesman said. This was the response of the numerous well wishers who want to keep the concept of Wikipedia alive and who share the similar dream with Jimmy Wales of a world where control of knowledge is in the hands of people everywhere, with basic works they can adopt, modify, and share freely without asking permission from anyone.

Founded in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, Wikipedia has become the largest and most popular free encyclopedia on the internet over the years and by all means, it has glorified the real meaning of web by its free and broad dissemination of knowledge. Marking its 10th birthday, the online encyclopedia has launched its first overseas office in India, an attempt to strengthen its global access initiatives.

The principal idea behind the success of Wikipedia is that anyone can contribute and edit on the site and thus, the website attracts nearly 400 million visitors a month across the world. According to the experts, Wikipedia is the fifth most visited Internet site in the world. Nearly 17 million articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers globally. Around 15,000 reliable editors maintain nearly 3.5 million articles. The editors are unpaid volunteers.

Wikipedia is being run by the non-profit organization, Wikimedia Foundation which also operates related projects such as Wiktionary and Wikibooks. The site features no advertisements. The San Francisco-based website functions on MediaWiki, a custom-made, free and open source wiki software platform written in PHP and built upon the MySQL database.

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