Wikipedia Publishes 500,000th English Article
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, March 18, 2005
The Wikimedia Foundation announced today the creation of the 500,000th article in the English-language Wikipedia, its project to create a free, multilingual, online encyclopedia. The article was about "Involuntary settlements in the Soviet Union." Wikipedia is a comprehensive online reference that has won acclaim and awards for its detailed coverage of current events and popular culture, its usability, and its community of contributors. It receives millions of visits each day.
Daniel Pink, author and WIRED Magazine columnist, recently described Wikipedia as "the self-organizing, self-repairing, hyperaddictive library of the future." BBC News calls it "One of the most reliably useful sources of information around, on or off-line," and Tim Berners-Lee, father of the Web, has called it "The Font of All Knowledge."
Wikipedia is the first and best-known project of the Wikimedia Foundation. It has spawned sister projects, including a dictionary, a library of textbooks, a compendium of quotations, and a news site. These projects are all run on the open source MediaWiki platform.
Wikipedia is available free of charge and free of advertising from its website, en.wikipedia.org. Interested contributors can visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Introduction to learn how to add to the encyclopedia. DVD releases in English, German and French are planned for later this year.
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, Wikipedia founder
Started in January 2001, Wikipedia is currently the world's fastest-growing, most current, and largest encyclopedia, with 1.5 million articles under active development in over 120 languages. It is created entirely by volunteers who contribute, update, and revise articles in a collaborative process. The English-language edition contains 10 million internal links, and incorporates 25,000 edits and 1,000 new articles each day.
Wikipedia's content is written for a general audience, and is continually being 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 is freely downloadable.
The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit corporation based in Florida, USA. It was founded in 2003 to maintain and develop free-content projects like Wikipedia, and to provide the full contents of those projects to the public free of charge.
The Foundation recently concluded a fund drive which raised over US$90,000 (£55,000 or €80,000), primarily through individual donations of US$50 or less. It has national chapters in Germany and France.
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For questions and interviews, please contact (in English only):
Jimmy Wales, Chair, Board of Trustees, Wikimedia Foundation
Angela Beesley, Executive Secretary, Board of Trustees, Wikimedia Foundation