Wikipedia:Press releases/March 2006
Wikipedia Publishes Millionth Article in English
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 was about "XXXX". Wikipedia is a free, multilingual, online encyclopedia that has won acclaim and awards for its detailed coverage of current events, popular culture, and scientific topics; its usability; and its international community of contributors. It receives tens of millions of visits each day.
In addition to articles, The English Wikipedia offers dozens of graphical timelines (example) and subject-specific portals. Its media repository includes forty thousand images and hundreds of full-length compositions, videos and animations.
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 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, a news site, and a media repository. These projects are all run using the open source MediaWiki software.
Wikipedia is available free of charge and free of advertising from its website, en.wikipedia.org. Would-be contributors can visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Introduction to learn how to add to the encyclopedia.
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 the world's most current, fastest-growing, and largest encyclopedia, with 3.3 million articles under active development in over 125 languages. 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 is freely downloadable.
Though the project faced mounting criticism throughout 2005 for factual inaccuracies in some articles, the science journal Nature deemed Wikipedia's science content to have only slightly more errors per article than those of the veteran publication Encyclopedia Britannica. All of these specifically identified errors have since been fixed in the Wikipedia articles. 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.
It was founded 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 and the Netherlands are among those currently in development.
Most of the Foundation's operations are funded by reader and contributor donations, usually of USD$50 or less. Its 2005 budget was USD$739,200.
For questions and interviews, please contact (in English only):
David Gerard, Communications Committee member (Walthamstow, London)
Email: wp (at) davidgerard.co.uk
Mark Pellegrini, Communications Committee member (Hockessin, Delaware, USA)
Email: Mapellegrini (at) comcast.net
Kat Walsh, Communications Committee member (Herndon, Virginia, USA)
Walter Vermeir, Communications Committee member (Belgium)
Email: walter (at) wikipedia.be