Wikipedia raises $20m record
Posted: 5th Jan 2012
Scourge of the encyclopedia industry and provider of comprehensive knowledge to all, Wikipedia has announced that it’s annual fundraising drive throughout December and November has raised a record $20m, enough to guarantee the site’s existence for another year.
Anyone who’s used Wikipedia – which is more or less everyone – throughout the last couple of months will have been greeted by a banner at the top of the screen featuring a personal plea for funding by one of the founders of the site.
Although most of the writing and editing on Wikipedia is produced for free, and anyone can suggest changes to articles, running the servers in San Francisco costs the organisation $30m a year. Over a million people donated during the fundraising drive, their way of saying thank you for access to the 20million articles in 280 languages that the site provides.
There are over 100,000 regular contributers and editors to the site, a number that Wikipedia hopes it can double in the forthcoming year.
First founded ten years ago, Wikipedia’s social editing and free at the point of use model revolutionised the way people thought about the value of information online. By providing a comprehensive and – despite its detractors mostly reliable – source of information on subjects as diverse as the economical history of Zambia to the wavelength of Alpha rays, Wikipedia has become the first point of reference for many internet users looking for facts online.
According to figures from comScore, nearly half a billion people used Wikipedia during November. If you were one, you can give something back by helping to edit an article about which you have expertise or donating to help keep it going here.