Wikimedia press releases/English Wikipedia hits milestone 1 million articles
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English Wikipedia Publishes Millionth Article
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, March 1, 2006
The Wikimedia Foundation announced today the creation of the 1,000,000th article in the English language edition of Wikipedia. The article is about the Jordanhill railway station in Scotland, and it was started by Wikipedia contributor Ewan MacDonald, whose username is Nach0king. Wikipedia is a free, multilingual, online encyclopedia with 3.3 million articles under development in more than 125 languages.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales commented, "We are thrilled that our millionth article in English is about the Jordanhill railway station. This is not something which would appear in a traditional encyclopedia, and it shows how Wikipedia reflects the needs and interests of people everywhere, and not just the dictates of what academics and cultural mavens claim is worthy of an encyclopedia."
The full text of the English Wikipedia is located at en.wikipedia.org. In addition to articles, the English Wikipedia offers dozens of graphical timelines and subject-specific portals. Its media repository includes four hundred thousand images and hundreds of full-length songs, videos, and animations, many of which are available for free distribution.
Although its method of editing is new and controversial, Wikipedia has already won acclaim and awards for its detailed coverage of current events, popular culture, and scientific topics; its usability; and its international community of contributors. BBC News has called Wikipedia "One of the most reliably useful sources of information around, on or off-line." Daniel Pink, author and WIRED Magazine columnist, has described Wikipedia as "the self-organizing, self-repairing, hyperaddictive library of the future," and Tim Berners-Lee, father of the Web, has called it "The Font of All Knowledge."
Wikipedia is among the world's most popular websites, receiving tens of millions of visitors every day. It is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation, and has spawned sister projects, including a dictionary, a library of textbooks, a compendium of quotations, a news site, and a media repository. These projects are all run using the open source MediaWiki software.
Other articles created literally seconds later include an overview of the Tennessee Commissioner of Financial Institutions, biography of professional baseball player Aaron Ledesma, and a look at cellular architecture. In all, over one hundred articles were contributed in the same second as Jordanhill railway station, as many editors waited anxiously for the opportunity to post the millionth article.
In response to the landmark in the English Wikipedia's history, brief translations had been included in Wikipedia's Alemannisch German, Arabic, Chinese, Danish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai and Welsh versions.
The original goal for Wikipedia was to create 100,000 articles. This number was reached on 23 January 2003.
- Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing. -- Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation
Started in January 2001, Wikipedia is the world's most current, fastest-growing, and largest encyclopedia. It is created entirely by volunteers who contribute, update, and revise articles in a collaborative process. The English language edition contains 20 million internal links, and incorporates 65,000 edits and 1,700 new articles each day.
Wikipedia's content is written for a general audience, and is continually revised for clarity, readability, and accuracy. Original text, images and sounds contributed to Wikipedia are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation Licence (GFDL), which lets users copy and modify each other's work based on a principle known as "copyleft." The entire database can be freely downloaded in full.
Though the project faced criticism in 2005 for factual inaccuracies in some articles, the science journal Nature published a study in December which found Wikipedia's science content to have only slightly more errors per article than that of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Other, less formal external peer reviews have been generally positive.
The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is an international non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively-edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, one of the 25 most visited websites. Wikipedia and Wikimedia's awards include the Webby Award, the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica, the Japan Advertisers Association's Web Creation Award, and the World Technology Award in Communications Technology.
The Wikimedia Foundation was created in 2003 to manage the operation of existing projects, and is based in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA. Wikimedia has local chapters in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Serbia and Montenegro, and Poland. Chapters in Canada, India, China, Australia and the Netherlands are among those currently in development.
Most of the Foundation's operations are funded by reader and contributor donations, usually of $50 USD or less. Its 2005 budget was $739,200 USD, and based on traffic growth, the 2006 budget is expected to be significantly higher.
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For questions and interviews, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or (in English only) contact directly:
Jimmy Wales, Chair, Board of Trustees, Wikimedia Foundation
Email: jwales (at) wikia.com
Angela Beesley, Board of Trustees, Wikimedia Foundation
Email: abeesley (at) wikimedia.org
Other regional contacts are also available.
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