37 million posts in 300 languages. 1 billion page views per month in Germany alone. Jimmy Wales, founder of the famous online encyclopedia Wikipedia can look at these impressive figures. On today’s 15 January 2016, it is 15 years old.
Printed editions of the WIKI or Encyclopædia Britannica reference are old news, they are on their way in the antique shop. This is due to the digitalization of knowledge. Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, which the Americans Jimmy Wales has called on 15 January 2001 in the life is one of the bigest players there.
The principle: Each user can free create article about his Web browser and edit. In the best case, is at some point the whole human knowledge online and is freely available. To prevent corporate influence on Wikipedia comes out completely without advertising and alone is financed by donations. 8.6 million € came together at the recent fundraiser end of 2015.
And yet, there are always attempts to influence article, and to gloss over. Therefore, Wikipedia has blocked already several user accounts. German Wikipedia page has billion calls per month.
When Wales founded Wikipedia 15 years ago, he could have hardly imagined the rapid development of the online encyclopedia. After a year, volunteers had written 20.000 articles. And the growth stopped. Over 37 million articles in over 300 languages are now online. An offer that meets with great approval. Only the German Wikipedia page listed a billion calls per month.
The German Wikipedia community is among the strongest in the world. Why, Jimmy Wales explains in an interview with the online magazine Heise. “The Germans are traditionally interested in encyclopedias, we take only the WIKI. Also I have heard more than European. That want to make in the world also due to the country’s history.”
The German edition includes approximately 1.9 million articles. Only the English (over 4.5 million articles) and Swedish Edition (just under two million articles) are stronger.
Only 16% of authors are female
Despite this success, Wikipedia strives for years to new authors. “We want to regain more authors and show people that Wikipedia is not only what to read and consume, but also to join”, Christian Rickerts, Managing Director of Wikimedia Germany, said the focus.
This, especially the women in the keys could go to compensate for an imbalance. “The proportion of women is still only around 16%” says Wales. “We would like to see more female members and need to reach out more aggressively to women.” However, there are far more men than women in many technical areas. “This is a global problem that is reflected in Wikipedia.”
For the future of Wales wishes also to place Wikipedia in developing countries: “We are in a phase in which explodes the number of Internet users in developing countries, which the use of Wikipedia and the participation in the respective languages explodes.”
And if you are interested in how the VDI report messages in the first years of Wikipedia, then click here for a contribution in 2005. At that time the editor went to Marcus francs four German authors. And “Playground for alls” from 2004’s contribution is even older. There still a lot of skepticism resonates through this new online encyclopedia.