Wikipedia's Balancing Act


| 11/21/2013 3:13:00 PM


Tags: Wikipedia, Crowdsourcing, Internet, Jimmy Wales, Tom Simonite, Google, Facebook, Commons.,

 

Wikipedia's standards have never been higher, but the site needs to attract a new generation of editors to survive. 

 

Wikipedia’s launch was kind of an accident. Initially founder Jimmy Wales envisioned an online encyclopedia vetted and edited exclusively by experts—basically a free, online Britannica he called Nupedia. But it was Nupedia’s crowdsourced sister site—designed to let users create entries that experts could later perfect—that took off. It didn’t take long for Wales to dump Nupedia and embrace his radical side-project, which blossomed faster than anyone expected. Today Wikipedia is the sixth most visited website on the internet (ahead of Amazon and Twitter) and its authority online is almost without parallel. Google the Krebs cycle or the French Revolution, and Wikipedia is the first page you see.