Blogs » Digital Babble » Wikipedia: Encyclopedia by the Public


I commented on another blog about how much I used Wikipedia. Let me explain what it is.

The content on Wikipedia is based on a wiki, which is a web application that allows users to add and edit web content.

Wikipedia was created on January 11, 2001 by founders Jimmy Wales, Larry Sanger, and some enthusiastic collaborators. Three years later, as of December 2004, there were 13,000 active contributors working on over 1,800,000 articles in more than 100 languages. As of today, there are 712,535 articles in English; every day hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world make tens of thousands of edits and create thousands of new articles to enhance the amount of knowledge held by the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

All the text in Wikipedia, and most images and other content, is covered by the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). Contributions remain the property of their creators, while the GFDL license ensures the content will remain freely distributable and reproducible (see the copyright notice and the content disclaimer for more information).


Anyone can contribute to Wikipedia by clicking on the edit tab in an article. Before starting to contribute however, you should check out some handy helping tools such as the tutorial and the policies and guidelines, as well as our welcome page.

I like going to Wikipedia when I need to find information on various things, such as Hurricane Katrina, anything relating to various pop culture topics, or food, and technology.

Since the contributions are open to the public, you need to be aware that some entries may be fictitious or may not be suitable for the youngins. Wikipedia now has a page for suspect entries, entries which are being considered for deletion.

Check it out if you get a chance, some good info can be found there.

Be sure to take a look at a list of their other projects which include Wiktionary, WikiBooks, Wikinews, WikiQuote, and much more. Of interest is Wikipedia Commons, a project that provides a central repository for free images, music, sound & video clips, texts and spoken texts, used in pages of any Wikimedia project. They also have Wikipedia in other languages.

The great thing about Wikipedia is that all this information is available for free, but they do accept donations to keep the site running.