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Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia founded on January 15, 2001[1] with the money obtained through the Bomis[2] web portal by two American citizens, Internet entrepreneur and bond trader Jimmy Wales and philosophy professor Larry Sanger. It is controlled by the United States-based Wikimedia Foundation. Although it has editions in 250 languages, only 130 have more than 1000 articles.[3] After about four years from the date of its foundation, Wikipedia had about 450,000 articles,[4] and after six years it had about 2 million entries.[5]


In 1996 an American citizen named Jimmy Wales, who made money through bond trading, moved to San Diego, California, to found the Bomis web portal[6] In March 2000, Wales founded Nupedia, an English language free content online encyclopaedia, with Larry Sanger as editor-in-chief. Nupedia was organized in a manner so that articles were to be written by experts and to be reviewed under a formal process. By January 2001, less than twenty four articles were completed in that project, and Sanger proposed supplementing Nupedia with an open-source encyclopaedia. On January 15, 2001, Wikipedia was launched as a feature of, but following objections from the advisory board, it was relaunched some days later as an independent website. In its first year, Wikipedia expanded to some 20,000 articles in 18 languages. In 2003, Nupedia was closed down and all its articles were moved into Wikipedia.[6]


In 2004, Wales and then-fellow member of the WMF Board of Trustees Angela Beesley founded the for-profit company Wikia.[7] [8] [9] [10]

Is wikipedia free?[edit]

It receives support from Bomis Inc. in the form of free bandwidth and this connection with a for-profit corporation is seen as a burden affecting the functioning of Wikipedia as a free encyclopedia as it claims to be.


Wikipedia is criticized for exhibiting systemic bias and inconsistency.[11] Many university lecturers prohibit students from citing Wikipedia.[12]


  1. Morley Winograd, Michael D. Hais, Millennial Makeover, pp 237, Rutgers University Press, 2008, ISBN 9780813543017
  2. Wikipedia at a crossroads. Archived from source 2012-09-16. Mail Tribune
  3. List of Wikipedias - Wikimedia, accessed August 1, 2008.
  4. Aaron Weiss, The Unassociated Press, N.Y. Times, Feb. 10, 2005, at G5.
  5. English Wikipedia statistics
  6. 6.0 6.1 Wikipedia. Archived from source 2012-06-04. Britannica Online
  7. McNichol, Tom (May 1, 2007). "Building a Wiki World". Business 2.0 (CNN). Archived from the original on 2012-09-16. Retrieved October 31, 2007. </li>
  8. Sidener, Jonathan (December 6, 2004). "Everyone's encyclopedia". The San Diego Union-Tribune: p. C1. Archived from the original on 2012-05-26. Retrieved April 22, 2009. </li>
  9. Getz, Arlene (February 1, 2007). "In Search of an Online Utopia". Newsweek ( Archived from the original on April 18, 2007. Retrieved October 31, 2008. </li>
  10. Sanger, Larry (April 18, 2005). "The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia: A Memoir". Slashdot. Archived from the original on 2012-07-11. Retrieved October 31, 2005. </li>
  11. Who knows?. Archived from source 2012-07-15.
  12. A Stand Against Wikipedia. Archived from source 2012-06-05.
  13. </ol>

External links[edit]