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Wikipedia for me?[edit]

Everyone can find some use in an encyclopedia. Whether one needs to look up a biography, needs to know something about an historical event, wants to know more about some kind of dog or wants to plan a city trip. Encyclopedias contain something for everybody.

Using the encyclopedia[edit]

Using wikipedia is very simple. You use your browser, you surf to and you will be taken to the main page of the project. On the left hand side of the site you will see a search box. Wherever you are in the encyclopedia, it will be there. The search box will accept any query and you will be brought to the article of that query. In the case there is no article yet, you will have the search engines Google and Yahoo! at your disposal to look for the text you want to find in the articles of wikipedia.

This could be it, you read the article. If you are working on something, you can use the information you find in the article. You can even take over the text of the article, as long as you respect the licence of wikipedia. The GNU FDL, Free Doc Licence, allows you to redistribute the articles, but you have to keep the same license on those articles and any derivate work must also be released under the GNU FDL licence.

Editing an article is just a matter of pressing the edit button at the top of the article. Wikipedia uses a simple mark-up for editing the basic elements, text can be written like it is, if you want to make a link to a word, you place it between [[brackets]]. If you want to do something special, you can get help by following the link, Editing help, at the bottom of the page.

So I can change anything I want?[edit]

Exactly, it is you, the reader, who is in control. This may at first seem to lead to problems; everybody is editing each other's articles. But this is the powerful and fast part of it. You can just go around and edit whatever you find interesting, if you make an error, someone, somewhere will spot it and correct it. If you find an error, just go ahead and correct it. And so on.

This might indeed, from time to time, result in people destroying other people's work, called vandalism. But wikipedia has means to revert an incorrect change, and ban the vandals.

The fun of a dynamic main page[edit]

Wikipedia can be more than a way to look up information. I for one have configured my browser so that its start page is the main page of wikipedia. The main page contains a section with featured article, some article that is extremely well written. It also displays current events with some information about world events. Next to that there is also the always funny Did you know.

Going further[edit]

Logging in[edit]

You don't have to log in to read and edit the encyclopedia. However, it's still a good idea to login. This way, other users will be able to recognise you by your username when you make changes to pages. You also get an user page where you can write a bit about yourself, and a user talk page which you can use to communicate with other users. Next to that you will get the ability to rename an article, set your preferences and so on.

If you wish to log in, you can use the button marked log in at the right top of any page. If you don't have a username, you can create one here. Or else you give your username and password and you're in.


Wikipedia can't become more than an encyclopedia. Yet there are other things that could be built in the same collaborating style. So wikimedia was created, wikimedia is the non-profit organisation that runs wikipedia. Wikimedia also created wiktionary, a multilingual dictionary and thesaurus, wikibooks, a place where free textbooks and manuals are created and wikiquote, a collection of quotations.

See also[edit]

Presentation especially done for video projector[edit]

Wikipédia, history and prehistory[edit]

Paul Otlet's vision in Traité de documentation (1934 p.428)
"Here, Working Table isn't full of book. In their place stands a screen and a phone. There, far away, in a huge building, are all the books and all information, with all the space that their registration and handling requires [...] From there, questions posed by fixed telephone or wireless receive answer by transmission of books pages on the screen [...] Utopia today, because it doesn't exists nowhere, it could become tomorrow's reality if methods and instrumentation will be perfected."

Mundaneum Tiräng Karteikaarten.jpg

The rise of the personal computer (1981)

IBM PC 5150.jpg

Free software movement initiation by Richard Stallman (1983)

Wikimania stallman keynote2.jpg

Internet creation (1961 - 1992)

Internet map 1024.jpg

Wiki invention by Ward Cunningham (1995)

Ward Cunningham 1.jpg

Wikipédia creation by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger le 15 janvier 2001.

Wikipedia Michelangelo.JPG

History of Wikipedia in a 2'30 video
Main page of all linguistics Wikipedia project

More details Wikipedia history

How works Wikipedia ?[edit]

Pillars, policies and guidelines

N Lack of awareness or notoriety, unpublished work, dictionary content and so on ...
Encyclopaedic content  Done

Brockhaus Lexikon.jpg

N Auto-promotion, hidden advertisement, fanaticism...
Neutral point of view  Done

Balance scale IMGP9728.jpg

N Copyrighted content or incompatibility with free license ...
Respect of the licence  Done

NLack of etiquette, personal attacks, insults ...
Civility  Done

Hermandad - friendship.jpg

N Content without reference to a recognized source of information
Verifiability  Done


Control tools

Three Surveillance cameras.jpg

Recents changes

Who builds the encyclopedia ?[edit]


The Wikimédia Fondation[edit]

Wikimedia logo family complete-2013.svg

Wikipedia is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization that also hosts a range of other projects:

Wikimedia Foundation financial development.png

10 persons on the board (2014)
24 persons on the board of trustees (2014)
224 employés (2014)
41 National associations with 1 to 70 employees (2014)
6 701 913 registered users and potentially actives on Meta - Wiki

The issue of Wikimedia Foundation[edit]

Be an Expert on Anything
Stephen Colbert in Wired Magazine (August 2006).

Wikipedia – an unplanned miracle
Clay Shirky in The gardien (14 January 2011).

"The struggle between proprietary software and free software was the kick-off of the central conflict of the time. [...] From this struggle will depend civilized or barbaric exit of capitalism."
André Gorz in Le travail dans la sortie du capitalisme (2008)

History Wikipedia English SOPA 2012 Blackout2.jpg

And you ? Are you interested to contribute and share the Wikimedia's vision of the world ?

Others useful links in context of a Wikimedia activities presentation[edit]

Pdf and other text & image file :

Video :