Some time back, a composing assignment begins my method. It has to do with offering little biographies of some 1000-odd characters. The place to try to find details, my assigner informs me, is the age-old Wikipedia. The task requires me to refer Wikipedia day in day out, and I’m overawed more than ever by the richness of resources it provides.
Prior to this, I did have occasional peeks at it, however those were simple skimming the surface. The more I now dig into Wikipedia, the more I end up being convinced that there’s no other resource quite like it, not maybe even the ubiquitous Encyclopedia Britannica. When my son’s school asks him to do his task deal with the assistance of Wikipedia, I understand for sure it is the numero-uno location for major information-seekers. Little marvel then that it is the 17th most gone to website worldwide.
Exactly what it is that is so attracting about Wikipedia? It does not need my telling, for I make certain my readers will have respectable knowledge about it. Rather, I’ll concentrate on some lesser-known aspects that, assembled, speaks a lot eloquent about it.
Wikipedia has almost a million posts in English language alone, the total of which represents just about one-third of total contents. It accommodates at least 48 languages, each of which having not less than 10,000 articles.
Wikipedia depends upon some 2000 to 3000 strong core community that has actually taken upon itself to voluntarily keep and improve it. It’s they who do the majority of new material addition in English in addition to corrections and modifications of existing matter as needed.
Though always an open source venture, Wikipedia does not earn revenues from any ad-network. It does not show any advertisement on its pages, which is rather remarkable, because if it does so, it will not need to depend upon voluntary contribution, which is normally around $50 to $100 each.
Wikipedia’s budget is modest compared to the volume it deals with and the service it uses. Its 2005 budget plan was $750,000 and this year it’s likely to be $1.5 million, a tidy 100% jump. But that without doubt is needed since it wants to find ways to enhance quality of contents that is better than Britannica, and naturally include more and more fresh contents. Besides, there might be other revenue-generating plans. For example, extracting posts on request from its repository to be offered in print or DVD/CD.
The one aspect that is really worth seeing is how its contents stand on controversial issues. This is where neutrality emerges from pushes and pulls of the neighborhood members. So be it Iraq War or the notorious World War II holocaust, Wikipedia has them all with no scope for preventing the realities. Simply this quality makes it the most distinct one can envision and a treasure-trove of details hunters (or, will I say truth-seekers) worldwide.
By now, if you think Wikipedia needs to a huge organization, you are mistaken. For all that it uses, apart from Jim Wales, the creator, Wikipedia writers has only 4 more full-time staff on its rolls, a CEO, a supervisor and 2 programmers, one in US, the other in Australia. Quite a feat that for a website fetching near 48,000 visitors daily, don’t you believe?