December 13, 2016 in IID

At the very beginning of this project it is very important for me to understand the history of Wikipedia, its initial purpose and how it has changed over the years.

What I found:

Launched on 15/01/2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, Wikipedia’s technological concept was originally proposed by Rick Gates in 1993, combined with Richard Stallman’s idea in 2000 that no single organisation should control editing. Before wikipedia, Nupedia was their project; an online encyclopaedia but it was edited solely by experts. Wikipedia was designed to run along side Nupedia presenting draft articles and other ideas / discussions around the popular topics, but when it was officially launched it quickly overtook Nupedia becoming a globally recognised site. In 2016 Wikipedia’s total worldwide readership was averaged at 495 million a month. The site allows users to add and edit posts / pages on Wikipedia for others to view. The first ever post on the site was titled “UuU” and posted on 16/01/2001 (as seen below):


Every year, Wikipedia runs a fundraising campaign to support its operations. One of the first fundraisers was held from 18 February 2005 to 1 March 2005, raising US$94,000, which was US$19,000 more than expected.The 2012 campaign raised US$25 million from around 1.2 million donors.

In 2007 a newspaper article reported that even some professors at Harvard University were including Wikipedia in their syllabus, even though there was a split in general perception of using Wikipedia as a 100% credible source. Another study in 2013 carried out by four major universities found that debated articles featured on Wikipedia were Israel, Adolf Hitler and God.

“Wikipedia is the largest collection of free collaborative knowledge in human history. Millions of people from around the world have written and added to Wikipedia since 2001.” –

Here is a short video on the history of Wikipedia:

Here is a talk by the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales:

I also found this page that describes the advantages and disadvantages of producing redesigns of popular webpages, covering the different viewpoints on the topic:


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