Wikipedia was born in 2001: it happened today

Wikipedia was born in 2001: it happened today
Wikipedia was born in 2001: it happened today
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Wikipedia is now the largest online encyclopedia ever written, with more than 55 million entries written in over 300 languages. Launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in 2001, Wikipedia is among the top 10 most consulted websites in the world.

It was Sanger who suggested the name, born from the fusion between the root “wiki” (which in Hawaiian means “fast”) and the suffix “pedia”, deriving from the Greek “paidea” and that is “formation”. Today is the anniversary of the birth of this important ally who supports billions of people around the world every day. Let’s retrace the steps that led Wikipedia to be what it is today.

Wikipedia, from its origins to the Guinness Book of Records

Initially Wikipedia consisted of a complementary project to another already existing platform: Nupedia. It was a free online encyclopedia project whose entries were written by volunteer experts through a formal review process. Wikipedia was instead launched on January 15, 2001 and a few months later – in May – the first registered users arrived. During the same year the editions were developed in French, German, English, Catalan, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese and Italian. During its first year of life, the portal counted almost 20,000 entries and 18 editions in different languages. The success was such that it prompted the administrators of Nupedia to shut down its servers and redirect them to Wikipedia.

Starting from 2004 Wikipedia recorded a boom in membership never seen before, to the point that it doubled its speed of expansion: reaching an increase in entries from 1,000 to 3,000 in one day. Thanks also to its peculiarity of being quickly modifiable and updatable by anyone, Wikipedia soon became the emblem of Web 2.0. In September 2007, the English edition reached 2 million entries, surpassing the record – unbeaten for 600 years – of the Chinese encyclopedia Yongle, drawn up in 1407. So in 2008 Wikipedia was included in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest searchable encyclopedia in the world. Today Wikipedia can count on several “brother” projects, such as Wiktionary, Wikibooks, Wikisource, Wikispecies, Wikiquote, Wikinews, Wikiversity and Wikivoyage, children of the “Wikimedia Foundation”, non-profit organization that supports the world’s largest encyclopedia.

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The article is in Italian

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