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Wikipedia: Celebrating Past 15 Years & Striving to Prove its Worth for the Coming 15 Years


Human civilization is always hungry for knowledge and this desire and appetite for knowledge has been aptly satisfied by the Wikipedia. The internet’s free of cost encyclopedia which lists all the major happenings of humankind in absolute real time celebrated its fifteen years on 15th January 2016. Initially, it was known as Nupedia and the articles on the site were written by experts and professionals. But Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, the creator of Wikipedia decided against their initial decision and allowed the public to contribute to the site as they believed that this would accelerate the growth of the site. In fact, the “free encyclopedia” hurried the end of Microsoft’s Encarta encyclopedia and succeeded Britannica as the most referred for reference work in the English language.

But, in the present times, Wikipedia has come face to face about certain important questions about its future presence and identity. Wikipedia is still putting in efforts to add enriched media like video to its site so that it can go beyond text-based articles. There is a huge amount of video content on YouTube, Facebook, and many others but it is mind boggling to observe the inferior quality and scarce video in Wikipedia. Wikipedia also lacks any interactive gadgets that will help explore physics and civil engineering models and it also far behind when it comes to delving into the world of virtual reality and 3D objects.

The loyal visitors to Wikipedia have always helped to place the site among the most visited site globally. But, after steady growth for years, it has stagnated in the last year in spite of exponential growth in the number of internet users.

But the most encouraging news is that a project by the Wikimedia Foundation known as Wikipedia Zero has acknowledged the massive shift towards mobile devices as the primary source of information. Under this project, the organization, and its professionals has been successful in convincing the mobile network operators to relinquish data charges for the users who are visiting the Wikipedia from the mobile devices. In the developing nations, this waiving of data charges can yield incredible result in terms of availability of learning resources to millions of individuals.

Author: Soumya Banerjee

Soumya Banerjee is the General Manager of Sketch Web Solutions, a mobile & web development company based in India. He has been adeptly handling this role for over five years now and has advised his professionals on many advanced and complicated IT projects. You can follow Mr. Banerjee on Facebook or LinkedIn.

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