Look who has turned 15 years, Happy Birthday Wikipedia!
This week online encyclopaedia Wikipedia celebrates its 15th birthday. Wikipedia is one of the most popular wiki-based website, and is in fact one of the most widely viewed sites of any kind of the world, having been ranked in the top ten since 2007. It has earned its reputation as the 21st century’s most valuable origin of global knowledge and it has helped changed the research world.
Wikipedia is “the encyclopaedia that anyone can edit” is different from services like Google, Amazon, and Facebook. One of Internet’s most popular sites, Wikipedia has demolished institutions like the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Wikipedia was started by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in January 2001. The domain Wikipedia.com and Wikipedia.org both went live on January 15, 2001. Till date, over five million articles have been written in the English language version of Wikipedia. Overall, there are around 38 million articles on the Wikipedia domain, in all languages combined with approximately 80,000 volunteer editors contributing to the website.
Wikipedia is controlled by Wikimedia Foundation, which is a non-profit foundation to encourage projects in the open source space. Wikimedia Foundation controls all the projects related to Wikipedia, Wikitionary, Wikiquotes and other nascent projects.
To mark its 15th anniversary today, based on how many edits have been made by volunteers Wikipedia has released a ranking of its pages. A wiki invites all users to edit any page or to create new pages within the wiki website. However, edits can mount at Wikipedia pages when people or subjects stimulate passion or rival perspectives.
It has been found that more than five million individual articles that have been edited a total of 808 million times.
For example, Bush, in office from 2001 to 2009, topped the list with 45,862 edits to his Wikipedia page, coming in about 3,000 edits ahead of the World Wrestling Entertainment roster page.
The list of the top-10 most edited pages went on to include, in order, the United States, Wikipedia itself, Michael Jackson, Jesus and the Catholic Church.
Rounding out the list were programs broadcast by Philippines television network ABS-CBN, US President Barack Obama and Adolf Hitler.
In a separate study released by Pew Research Center, it provided details of which subjects are most popular on Wikipedia in different languages.
The research showed that the most visited article in the English version of Wikipedia was “List of deaths by year,” which gained more than 20.8 million page views last year alone.
The most popular Chinese-language articles included the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, mention of which is strictly forbidden in China and heavily censored.
The top four Japanese language Wikipedia pages were devoted to pop groups, and the fifth was an article about organized crime group Yamaguchi-gumi.
Volleyball, basketball and football, along with Wikipedia itself and the periodic table of elements, were among the most popular articles in Spanish.
“Wikipedia seemed like an impossible idea at the time: an online encyclopedia that everyone can edit,” founder Jimmy Wales said.
“However, it has surpassed everyone’s expectations over the past 15 years, thanks to the hundreds of thousands of volunteers around the world who have made Wikipedia possible.”
According to Pew, Wikipedia has extended to include 280 languages and averages more than 18 billion page views in a month, making it one of the world’s most visited websites.
The author Kavita Iyer
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human