This Friday marks the 15th anniversary of Wikipedia, the world’s free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. This week, we celebrate not just Wikipedia, but the birth of an idea: that anyone can contribute to the world’s knowledge. Globally, readers and editors are coming together to celebrate, with nearly 150 events across six continents. From editing marathons in Bangladesh and lectures in Switzerland, to picnics in South Africa and a conference in Mexico, the world is celebrating the joy of knowledge.As part of this milestone, the Wikimedia Foundation is pleased to announce the Wikimedia Endowment, a permanent source of funding to ensure Wikipedia thrives for generations to come.” (via Wikimedia blog)
Wikimedia Foundation to explore new ways to search and discover reliable, relevant, free information with $250,000 from Knight Foundation
“The Wikimedia Foundation will launch a new project to explore ways to make the search and discovery of high quality, trustworthy information on Wikipedia more accessible and open with $250,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Funding will support an investigation of search and browsing on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, with the goal of improving how people explore and acquire information.” (via Wikimedia Blog)
“Merrilee Proffitt (Merrilee) is on a mission to bring American librarians closer to Wikipedia—a group she think is hesitant towards the idea of a community edited encyclopedia. As a long-term Wikipedian and professional of library sciences, Proffitt understands the views on both sides. In her opinion, librarians and Wikipedians share many common goals being passionate to ease people’s access to information. “I think it’s the appreciation of quality and drive to help people in finding the sources they want and increase their own personal knowledge or whatever their pursuits are, that librarians and Wikipedians have in common.” (via Wikimedia Blog)
“Software trained to know the difference between an honest mistake and intentional vandalism is being rolled out in an effort to make editing Wikipedia less psychologically bruising. It was developed by the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that supports Wikipedia. One motivation for the project is a significant decline in the number of people considered active contributors to the flagship English-language Wikipedia: it has fallen by 40 percent over the past eight years, to about 30,000. Research indicates that the problem is rooted in Wikipedians’ complex bureaucracy and their often hard-line responses to newcomers’ mistakes, enabled by semi-automated tools that make deleting new changes easy.” (via MIT Technology Review)
“After almost fifteen years of providing the world with collaborative free knowledge, the English Wikipedia today surpassed five million articles.
The milestone was reached with an article on the persoonia terminalis, a shrub of the family Proteaceae native to eastern Australia. It was created by Cas Liber, an Australian editor with more than 140,000 edits to his name, who has already created almost 1,500 articles on the English Wikipedia. We’re reaching out for a comment from Cas, and will update when we hear back.” (via Wikimedia Blog)