fbpx
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on stumbleupon
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
wikipedia history facts and knowledge

Wikipedia: History, Facts, and Knowledge

We use Wikipedia almost every day of our lives, but how often do we actually stop to think about the history behind it? Who started it, when did this happen, and how did it come to be the fifth most popular website, according to Alexa Internet? We’ve got all the answers to your burning Wiki questions here.

Who Created It

Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger are the two masterminds behind what started out as a simple project. They wanted to create an online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Though we all know and use Wikipedia, there were predecessors. Rick Gates made the earliest known proposal for an online encyclopedia in 1993. Richard Stallman proposed the concept of a free-as-in-freedom online encyclopedia (as distinct from mere open source) in December 2000. Wales and Sanger obviously improved on these ideas and created Wikipedia.

A Brief Overview

Wikipedia began as a feeder project for Nupedia, a project Wales already created. Nupedia founded upon the use of highly qualified volunteer contributors and an elaborate multi-step peer review process. Only those considered experts in the field of the articles could contribute information. Even though there were plenty of experts, the writing of content for Nupedia moved slowly, with only 12 articles written during the first year. 

Wales and Sanger brainstormed ways to amp up content production. Sanger suggested putting wiki technology on the site. This is a knowledge base website on which users collaboratively modify content and structure directly from the web browser. This became the Wikipedia we all know and use almost everyday.

Shortly after its January release, Wikipedia created International Wikipedias. This included French, German, Catalan, Swedish, and Italian editions, in March through May. 

In 2002, Sanger left the project. Wales confirmed that Wikipedia would never run commercial advertising, and the first sister project, Wiktionary. The first formal Manual of Style launched with a whole new team of directors.

Wikipedia Facts

  • The English Wikipedia hit its 100,000th article in 2003, with Germany coming in at 10,000. 
  • This is also the year that Wikipedia adopted a logo, and though it has changed over the years, it still has the same general pattern of a jigsaw puzzle on a globe. It suggests that we all fit together even if we live on opposite sides of the world.
  • In 2005, Wikipedia became the most popular reference website on the planet. 
  • The English Wikipedia hit its 750,000th article, and then in 2006 hit it’s one millionth article. 
  • In 2007, there were five million registered accounts on the site, with 250 languages, making up 7.5 million articles, equalling 1.74 billion words.
  • When Michael Jackson died in 2009, the website temporarily crashed due to the sheer amount of people adding to his article.
  • Also in 2009, TIME magazine listed Wikipedia as one of the best websites of the year.
  • The ten year celebration of Wikipedia came in 2011. 
  • The site expanded to India in 2011 and held its first India-based conference in Mumbai.
  • Fast forward to 2017, Alexa Internet labelled Wikipedia as the fifth most popular website in the world.
  • In 2018, Wikipedia began using Artificial Intelligence to create draft articles on overlooked topics.
  • It’s 2019, and Alexa Internet still has the site listed as one of the five most popular websites in the world.

Reasons Why We Love Wikipedia

Wikipedia has changed our lives in big ways. Not only is it a great way to get information, but it brings our world together. Humans love to learn, and Wikipedia makes that easier to do. By giving anyone the opportunity to write, edit, and share articles, it shows them that they don’t have to be a scholar, like Wikipedia’s predecessor Nupedia. All you need is a computer and an access to the Internet, and you automatically have the chance to teach someone something.

The history of this valuable site goes on and on. The important thing is that it’s still alive and well today, and it shows no signs of being shut down anytime soon. The English Wikipedia alone has over 5,916,100 articles of any length, and the combined Wikipedias for all other languages greatly exceed the English one in size, which means that there are more than 27 billion words in 40 million articles in 293 languages. That’s something to celebrate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe for more

halloween marketing; witch flying full moon spooky tree

Halloween Marketing

Halloween is one of the most fun holidays of the year. With spooky costumes, scary decorations, and frightfully tasty treats, it’s a night that promises

Read More »

Our Latest Work

Take a peek inside our Wonderworld

F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the most common questions, along with the complete answers from our social media support experts.

On your LinkedIn profile, there is a button toward the bottom of your profile that says, “Link Facebook.” When you click here, you will be asked for your Facebook information. When you do this, you can easily connect everything together.

On your LinkedIn profile, go to your profile drop down menu in the top right hand corner. Open it and click on “Privacy and Settings.” Directly under “Settings” in the top right hand corner, click on “Manage your Twitter Settings.” This will bring you to another page which invites you to add your Twitter information.

Go to your profile and click “lists.” Create a short description for each list, then add different Twitter accounts. You can decide whether you want them to be public or private.

On your homepage, find groups. In the top right hand corner, there will be a button that says, “create group.” Click on this and make a group and add descriptions and invite people to be a part of it.

Still have questions?

NEED AN EXPERT?

contact us