Monday, January 17, 2011

10 years Wikipedia

How many meter does a sea mile have? 
What does 'lamprophony' mean?
You don't know the answers? well, me neither, but that doesn't matter, because since 10 years we can rely on Wikipedia giving the answers to these and millions of other questions and it has become a part of our lives as common as toasted bread and traffic jams.
Today kids can barely believe that there used to be a time when you would have to actually open and read a book (or many ) whenever you needed some information on a particular subject.
Wikipedia is one of the best examples why the internet so wonderful is and why we couldn't picture life without it anymore.
But lets go back 10 years in time and witness the 'birth' and humble beginnings of Wikipedia.
It was January 15, 2001 when Jimmy Wales put online, 'the free encyclopedia', back then it was unthinkable that some hobby author would pretend to deliver the same knowledge quality of for example Microsoft Encarta, and the editors of Brockhaus & Co. simply laughed their butts off at this crazy 'pioneer' of cyberspace (since Wikipedia's founding, Microsoft stopped issuing updates to its Encarta encyclopedia.  Microsoft didn't blame Wikipedia as the reason, but did admit it)
Wikipedia is in my opinion the ultimate source of knowledge nowadays and nobody at Brockhaus & Co. is laughing about it anymore.
Here are just a few numbers to show you the massive growth of Wikipedia the last 10 years:
  • It's been translated in 260 languages.
  • It has more than 10 million articles.
  • The English Wikipedia is with over 3,46 million articles the world's biggest.
  • The German Wikipedia receives every hour 2,56 million calls, almost twice as much as last year and almost 52% of these calls come through Google and other search engines (are there really other search engines??)
  • 99578 authors were registered at Wikipedia until September 2010
The biggest part of Wikipedia's articles are about art and culture (33%) followed by biographies (15%) and history (11%) and is in permanent expansion, making it mankind's ultimate knowledge collection and something we just couldn't live without, happy birthday Wikipedia.

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