Happy 10th Birthday, Wikipedia!


On January 15, 2001, Jimmy Wales (along with then-partner Larry Sanger) launched Wikipedia with two entries:

"Hello, world."

"Humor me. Go there and add a little article. It will take all of five or ten minutes."

Those two little entries mark the beginning of a remarkable experiment in sharing knowledge. Wikipedia marks its 10th birthday tomorrow, and there's lots to celebrate. CNET reports:

Wikipedia is the fifth-most popular Web property in the world, attracts 410 million unique visitors a month, is used by 42 percent of American adults, according to a Pew Internet study [and includes] 17 million articles in more than 270 languages, including 3.5 million in English.

In 2007, Reason outed Jimmy Wales as a libertarian-symp who namechecks Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises while cruising around near Tampa in his Hyundai. Read all about it here.

NEXT: Matt Welch on Red Eye Talking About Initial Reaction to the Tucson Shooting

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  1. Congratulations Jimmy (I know you’re lurking out there).

    I would love to get you a present, but I don’t know where to look up appropriate gifts for a tenth anniversary.

  2. a remarkable experiment in sharing knowledge

    And disinformation. And propaganda. And narcissism. And dubious scholarship. And plagiarism. Yay anarchy!

    1. They see me trollin’, they hatin’…

        1. “[crickets]”

          That doesn’t work unless somebody else posts it. Now you just look a little sad, Turd.

          1. Dearest tkwelge,

            I waited a full 30 minutes to respond to B=======D’s response to my comment. According to the Wiki, which is never wrong, this was and is an acceptable time-frame. Furthermore, and also according to the Wiki, I am fully justified in responding with the snarky “[crickets]” when nobody else has responded to B=======D’s response within a “reasonable” time-frame. In conclusion, and in keeping with the spirit of blog commentary, fuck you.

            1. I never thought I’d say this but I like shit turd

        2. [flies]

  3. On January 15, 2001, Jimmy Wales (along with then-partner Larry Sanger) launched Wikipedia with two entries:

    “Hello, world.”

    “Humor me. Go there and add a little article. It will take all of five or ten minutes.”

    [citation needed]

  4. Wikipedia demonstrates what is possible. It is not perfect, humanity is not perfect. My book explains more

    1. Your book explains that humanity and its products are imperfect? I hope you copyrighted those ideas before someone steals them.

  5. Unfortunately, Wikipedia has long since developed its own mandarin class. It’s gone from a free-for-all to a dictatorship of the editors who have too much time on their hands and can revert you all day, while you have to go to work at some point.

    For instance, on the “2011 Tucson shooting” article, the day after the incidents, I tried to add a bit about the Daily Kos’ bullseyes (with references!) to the section on Sarah Palin’s crosshairs, only to be reverted multiple times by editors who said that “he said she said” edits are not allowed. When I asked on the talk page why the crosshairs story was allowed, they said it was because Giffords had complained about them before the shooting and thus they were relevant. When I noted that their prohibition on discussing the frequency of weapons-related imagery in non-Republican campaigns was militating against the NPOV doctrine, things got ugly…(see talk). ~~~~

    1. Dude! I know! Fucking rules and shit!

    2. They also put a member of Britain’s green party or something in charge of the global warming stuff. They reversed it but it was no good.

  6. He’s also a ‘Barner, but he got his Master’s at Bama, so I’m just downright confused by the man.

  7. Bomis (fail), Nupedia (fail), Openserving (fail), Wikia Search (fail), CiviliNation (fail), marriage to Pam (fail), marriage to Christine (fail), affair with Rachel (fail).

    But, Wikipedia (prompted, named, and announced first to the world by Larry Sanger, not Jimmy Wales) is what Jimbo will ride to the bank as “his” big success story.

    I wonder when the news media will figure out that the Wikimedia Foundation spends on program services only 41 cents of every dollar they scam from donors, which earns them ONE STAR (out of four!) from Charity Navigator in organizational efficiency. In fact, their KPMG audit discovered that it only takes about $2.5 million to keep the servers running, provide ample bandwidth, and staff a team of code developers to keep things running smoothly. Why, then, is the ask for $20 million?

    I also wonder why the news media never thought to cover the 2009 story of how the Wikimedia Foundation needed extra office space, and as if by magic, they hand-picked Jimmy Wales’ for-profit corporation to be their landlord, THEN obtained competitive bids, THEN asked Wales’ for-profit company to match the average of the competitive bids.

    I too wonder why the media don’t seem to care that the 2010 market research study of past Wikimedia Foundation donors was awarded to the former employer of the WMF staffer running the project, without any competitive bidding whatsoever. And when the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation was asked how much the project cost, the guy asking the question was banned from the online discussion.

    I guess this would be too difficult for the media, including Reason, because rah-rah “10th anniversary” of a lied-about founder story are more “feel good” and palatable for the audience.

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