It’s a Wiki world
A self proclaimed obsessive reader, Jimmy Wales loved encyclopaedias as a kid. “I didn’t got o a fancy school. I went to a small school in the neighbourhood run by my mother and grandmother, but I used to read a lot,” says Wales, “But learning was fun because it was not regimented.” This was precisely the reason why he founded Wikipedia in 2001. Wikipedia – to make learning more fun.
For the uninitiated, Wikipedia is a multi-lingual, web-based, free-content encyclopaedia project. It is written and edited collaboratively by volunteers from all around the world. Since its inception, Wikipedia has grown into one of the largest reference websites and its statistics show more than 75,000 active contributors.. Visitors do not need specialised qualification to contribtue, since their primary role is to write articles that cover existing. This means that people of all ages, cultural and social backgrounds can write Wikipedia articles.
“When I create something, I want to create something cool and fun, that I would enjoy using”, he says about Wikipedia’s various applications. Wiki is also in the process of setting up a Wikipedia Training Academy where Wiki users can also learn how to contribute content to the website. “Many people use Wikipedia, but how many write in? Wikipedia’s content is entirely user generated; so as to make it more effective, we need more and more users to contribute,” he says. The techies behind Wiki are also in the process of making the software simpler and more user-friendly.
Ask him about his success mantra and he laughs and says, “I’m just a really friendly person. Honestly, there’s no real success mantra. You just need a big picture vision. If I said I wanted to make an information website, it sounds like an unexciting venture, but if I say let’s develop free encyclopaedis for every person in the planet, you’re suddenly excited. It’s all about the vision” he signs off.