San Francisco, January 15, 2011 — On this day ten years ago, a website with a funny name invited people everywhere to come together to create a free encyclopedia. The initial results were underwhelming. The article “Astronomer” simply said: “Scientist whose area of Research is Astronomy.” Sweden: “Country in Northern Europe. Inhabitants are called Swedes. Language spoken is Swedish. Capital is Stockholm.” Physics: “Physics is a very broad subject.”
美國 三藩市 – 十年前的今日，一個名稱古怪的網站開張了。這個網站邀請所有人合作，編寫一部免費的百科全書。網站初期的反應並不樂觀：「天文學家」的全文是「研究天文的科學家」；「瑞典」只寫道「北歐的一個國家，居民稱瑞典人，語言是瑞典文，首都設於斯德哥爾摩」；「物理」的定義為「物理是一門非常空泛的學科」。
Following these humble beginnings, Wikipedia grew quickly, and 1,000 articles were written in less than a month. Over the next five years, many new language versions were launched, and Wikipedia began to surpass traditional reference sources in breadth and depth. The secret to its success: anyone can edit any article. In January 2006, Wikipedia volunteer Gareth Owen wrote on his user page: “The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in practice. In theory, it’s a total disaster.”
Wikipedia is now consulted by more than 400 million people every month. It provides instant access to high quality and in-depth information, free of charge and free of advertising. In the last decade, a vast and unique global volunteer community has come together to create more than 17 million articles in 270 languages, advancing the cause of free knowledge for every person on the planet.
Today, January 15, the Wikipedia community is coming together in more than 200 locations all over the planet to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the free encyclopedia. From a conference in New York to a concert in Prague, from the launch of a new school project in Nairobi to a museum bootcamp in Amsterdam, from a beer-meet in Bucharest to a film screening in Tel Aviv, the events are organized by volunteers and Wikimedia chapters, as well as independent supporters. The events are open to participation by anyone and reflect the diversity of the community.
Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, recalled: “It’s hard to imagine that it’s been 10 years since I first edited Wikipedia. I remember that first day. I clicked on ‘Edit’ and I wrote ‘Hello World’, and that was the beginning of Wikipedia and all the things that have come since then. I want to thank everyone who has helped. I want to thank all the people who have edited Wikipedia, who have contributed to this great knowledge base. I want to thank everyone who is reading Wikipedia, who is really engaging with ideas and knowledge. That’s what we made it for: we made it for you to read.”
維基百科創辦人衞詹美(Jimmy Wales)憶述：「實在難以想像，我第一次編輯維基百科原來已經是十年前的事了。我記得那一天，我按下『編輯』按鈕，寫上一個『Hello World』，維基百科就此誕生。我要感謝每一個有份參與的人。我要感謝所有曾經編輯維基百科，為這龐大的資訊庫作出貢獻的人。我要感謝每一位讀者對知識的熱誠，因為這就是維基百科的存在意義：以饗讀者。」
Wikipedia is operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, a charitable non-profit organization established by Wales in 2003. It is entirely supported by donations, and just completed the most successful fundraiser in its history, with more than 500,000 individual donations totaling more than $16 million.
Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director, has ambitious goals for the future. “We want to reach a billion people by 2015. We want to persuade more readers to edit. More women. More people from the Global South. We know that the more diverse the editing community becomes, the more comprehensive, accurate and rich the encyclopedia will be.”
Jimmy Wales joined her call to action: “Even though we’ve got millions of articles, even though we’re in hundreds of languages, there’s still a lot of work to do. So, I want everybody out there, if you’ve never edited Wikipedia, try it – just click ‘edit’.”
About the Wikimedia Foundation