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Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Happy Birthday ... Wikipedia!

On 15th January 2001, Wikipedia came on line for the first time!

If Wikipedia was a person in the UK, they would be an adult, would be able to vote, and could buy an alcoholic drink in a public house.

Wikipedia was launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, and its name is a portmanteau word that combines the words wiki (which is derived from the Hawaiian word for quick) and encyclopaedia. Wales and Sanger had previously been involved in the development of Nupedia, an earlier online encyclopaedia that operated from October 1999 until 26th September 2003.

6 comments:

  1. That recently? How quickly it has wormed its way into society.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ross Mac,

      It surprised me as well. I think that quite a few people would be lost without Wikipedia.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  2. I'm just picturing a drunk wikipedia...

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    Replies
    1. StuRat,

      I can imagine it staggering up to people and saying, 'Do you want to know something? Just ask me ... just ask me ... and I'll tell you 'cos you're my best mate.'

      All my best,

      Bob

      Delete
  3. I use Wikipedia a lot; I've even done a bit of editing.

    However, my feelings about it are a bit mixed. It's not only that you need to be very careful when consulting articles where there is active political dispute but there are times when I miss the editorial control that curated encyclopedias provided.

    I've just spent some time reading about personalities involved in the first Spanish Republic and their earlier history in the Carlist wars. Unfortunately, not only was the english terrible - which to some extent can be forgiven as it's obviously the writers' second language - but the articles were often ambiguous and in some parts incomprehensible. To all intents the community editorial control that is supposed to ensure the quality of the content does not exist.

    Maybe it's still really an awkward and somewhat stroppy teenager?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike Hall,

      Like you, I use Wikipedia quite frequently and have also made some contributions and done some editing, especially on wargame-related entries. Most famously, my addition of a entry about Wargame Developments was removed several times by another editor who did not like the group. In the end I and other contributors stopped bothering to submit an entry.

      Wikipedia is by no means perfect, and you are probably right that it is still rather immature.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete

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