20 years after the founding of Wikipedia is facing new challenges

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Jeff Horseman
Jeff Horseman
Jeff Horseman got into journalism because he liked to write and stunk at math. He grew up in Vermont and he honed his interviewing skills as a supermarket cashier by asking Bernie Sanders “Paper or plastic?” After graduating from Syracuse University in 1999, Jeff began his journalistic odyssey at The Watertown Daily Times in upstate New York, where he impressed then-U.S. Senate candidate Hillary Clinton so much she called him “John” at the end of an interview. From there, he went to Annapolis, Maryland, where he covered city, county and state government at The Capital newspaper. Today, Jeff writes about anything and everything. Along the way, Jeff has covered wildfires, a tropical storm, 9/11 and the Dec. 2 terror attack in San Bernardino. If you have a question or story idea about politics or the inner workings of government, please let Jeff know. He’ll do his best to answer, even if it involves a little math.

Among the 20 most popular Websites in the world, Wikipedia is the only one without commercial intentions. 20 years after its inception, anyone doubts little more to your Benefit. The project of the century must change but in order to remain in the future as relevant as now.

Reference books as thick, are not extinct in the leather-bound books, even 20 years after the creation of the Online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

However, while the classical lexicons, only in a few households, and often enough in the books on a shelf, gather dust, accompanied Wikipedia by the users in everyday life. So people in the richer industrialized countries (OECD), on average, to see according to a study, at least nine Wikipedia article per month.

The most important non-commercial service of the Internet history began on 15. In January 2001, as so many Online projects with the greeting of the programmers: “Hello World”. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales typed the two words into a new Wiki Software, which should allow for a rapid build-up of an Online dictionary.

The man from the southern States of the USA had been made shortly after graduating from the flourishing financial markets, money enough to be able to have a worry-free life. With two partners he founded in 1996, the company Bomis, which is used similar to how Yahoo is a web directory. To the offer of Bomis “The Babe Engine,” a search engine for images of scantily-clad women belonged to.

Wales followed but even then the Plan, an Online reference build. The first approach is for “number” was quite a classic. With Larry Sanger, Wales was in the year 2000, a editor-in-chief. This should order contributions in the case of experts, and for the publication of a worry. However, the defined seven-step Review process proved to be expensive and inefficient. It is much to a few articles were published, in the first year only 21.

The Experiment with the Wiki Software was intended only pool, as a collective, where the first ideas for an Online encyclopedia should be worn in the Internet together, says the Austrian economists by Leonhard Dobusch, the research on the Wikipedia. “But very quickly showed that this reservoir was actually Exciting. Because while the actually originally from Wales, planned encyclopedia failed very quickly, developed Wikipedia rapidly, attracted a large number of volunteers and volunteer employees, and had produced in a matter of weeks, thousands of articles.”

Sanger left Wikipedia in early 2003 and said in an Interview that he had the nose full of “trolls” and “anarchist types” that “are against the idea that someone should not have any kind of authority, the others have”.

However, this criticism could not prevent the rise: 20 years after the founding, there are more than 55 million articles in almost 300 languages, created by thousands of volunteers.

In the book “the Wikipedia Story” of the long-standing Insiders Pavel Richter Wikipedia co-founder Wales praises the role of the German-speaking Community: “Shortly after we launched the German Wikipedia, it turned out that the Germans seem to have a special relationship with the idea behind Wikipedia. How else is the German Wikipedia, but is the fourth largest of all expenses is difficult to explain how English is on the list of the most spoken languages in the world only on the 13th place,?”

If only the articles of the human authors would be counted, would be the German Wikipedia after the English edition at the top. The versions on the second place (Cebuano, the Philippines, spoken language) and three (Swedish) were, in fact, bubbles with texts from the controversial Software robots of Sweden Lars Sverker Johansson up.

The German-speaking Community has also strongly contributed to the fact that all the ideas of the commercialization of Wikipedia were discarded. “Nobody has been through it to the billionaire, advertising there is,” notes judge, who was from 2011 to 2014, the management Board and the managing Director of the German Wikimedia Fördergesellschaft. First of all, the Wikipedia, had been viewed only as an Internet project by a couple of Nerds. Well-established reference works would have you ignored initially, eventually fiercely fought.

The renowned lexicons, has left Wikipedia but since years behind. After 244 years, the publishers of the Encyclopaedia Britannica 2012 announced that these will appear only in digital form. Two years later, the Brockhaus moved – in this country the measure of all reference to war. The Wikipedia comes to mind with comparatively small sums of money: The Wikimedia Foundation, which financed the infrastructure of the Online dictionary, and more than 100 programmers paid for, takes a year over 120 million dollars in donations. The German Association of Wikimedia Germany has more than 80,000 members, has an annual budget of around 18 million euros.

As with all media projects, where people contribute, Wikipedia is not flawless. It was discovered only after years that the Rhine is 1320 kilometres long, but only 1230 miles. The numbers of screwdriver, but also in printed encyclopedias.

Serious failures, such as the false claim that in a German concentration camp in Warsaw, 200,000 in Poland to be gassed had been are. Although there is no doubt that it has given to the concentration camp at Warsaw, this was not a extermination camp, how to read for 15 years, in the English Wikipedia was. “There is a dark shadow on the history of Wikipedia to have in this Central case, over such a long period of time failed,” writes the judge.

After all, the contribution to the Warsaw stock is also proof that in the case of important Wikipedia articles, sooner or later, the quality control works. Wikipedia-researchers Dobusch sees the risk of error in the case of small contributions is higher than in the case of large topics: “When I use Wikipedia, then I must be aware of the fact that the Wikipedia is more trustworthy, the more popular and important a topic is. Because it means more people interested, more people read the article, look over it, or error-complain and correct.”

Co-founder Wales is often emphasised that the functioning of Wikipedia Communities are the prerequisite for quality assurance: “Communities in which the members are respectful and friendly with each other; Communities that are open to people from every Religion, every gender, every political orientation and social origin.” However, the Wikipedia does not come with this challenge for years of the body. Around 90 percent of the writers are men, most of them from Western industrialised Nations. And not a few believe that the culture of debate in the Wikipedia community is strongly in need of improvement.

An impulse for the future viability of Wikipedia comes from the German-speaking Community, namely Wikidata. “That’s the idea behind Wikipedia is only for machine-readable knowledge base,” explained Richter in an interview with the dpa. The future will belong to the artificial intelligence. “That is actually agreed.” With Wikidata, a large and important Basis, namely, the structured, machine-readable Knowledge will be provided, from the very beginning, a non-profit Basis, and through the power of a strong Community. “This does not mean that we come as a society in the dependence on Google, Facebook and Alibaba and other Internet giants.”


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