Happy birthday Wikipedia: a website celebrates its 20 years

Happy birthday Wikipedia: a website celebrates its 20 years

To celebrate the anniversary, a site celebrates the contribution of the volunteers who built the most famous online encyclopedia in the world

Wikipedia turns 20 (image: Wikimedia Foundation) On January 15 Wikipedia, the most popular online encyclopedia big in the world, turns 20 and for the occasion launches a website to celebrate the anniversary, where it shows users the immense work done by the team to keep the boundless collection of knowledge updated.

In these 20 years Wikipedia has become available in over 300 languages ​​making over 55 million articles available for free online. In 2020, it reached unprecedented traffic peaks linked to the search for reliable information on the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Wikipedia has evolved from a seemingly impossible idea into a testimony of ever-changing humanity , a place where we can collaborate, share and learn about anything, ”explained Katherine Maher, CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization that runs Wikipedia and other related projects. “It is a global effort of volunteers who raise knowledge and cooperation above conflict and self-interest,” continues Maher.

On the commemorative site dedicated to the first 20 years of the online encyclopedia, Wikimedia Foundation tells the background of his colossal project. Ever since the encyclopedia landed on the web in 2001, it has always been able to count on the work of volunteers who take care of keeping the entries updated and verifying their authenticity.

“In a world where information is increasingly commodified, the Wikipedia model has always been based on the belief that knowledge belongs to all human beings, ”said Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

Memorial site shows how Wikipedia aspires to reflect the sum of human knowledge. To reach the ambitious goal, however, he must follow a path full of obstacles. According to the collaborators of the encyclopedia themselves, there are still many gaps that need to be filled. For example to better represent diversity. It is no coincidence that the Wikimedia Foundation supports initiatives such as WikiProject Women in Red (which intervenes on gender bias in voices), WikiGap (always addressing the gender gap issue) and AfroCrowd (which works on a more inclusive representation of cultures in history). br>
“The sites that produce and make accessible open and collaborative content such as Wikipedia, the Wikimedia projects and OpenStreetMap are the result of the work of volunteers. Wikipedia's twentieth birthday is an opportunity to thank them and acknowledge the great work that has been done in recent years to enrich and keep these online resources available to all "underlines the president of Wikimedia Italia, Iolanda Pensa.

The Italian edition of Wikipedia is the eighth largest in the world and in 2020 it was the fifth most visited site in Italy. It has 1.6 million entries, of which about 5 thousand created from scratch every month, almost 7 million pages, over 9,500 active users and 113 administrators.

“The work of the community continues with particular attention to enhancement of the Italian cultural heritage ", adds Pensa presenting the Italian edition of the contest Wiki Loves Monuments, a competition dedicated to photography lovers that invites them to document the cultural heritage of the peninsula.

Finally, to celebrate his birthday Wikimedia Foundation will hold a virtual event to showcase the contributions of volunteer communities. The event that will be conducted by Maher and Wales and will kick off the celebrations for the 20 Years Human theme, dedicated to the people who make the existence of the encyclopedia possible: regular collaborators, donors and readers. Users who want to attend the event will be able to follow it in live streaming on Friday, January 15th from 5 to 6 pm, Italian time.

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