Wikimedia Foundation

From Free net encyclopedia

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Projects at a glance
Wikipedia An encyclopedia containing more than 3 million articles in over 100 languages.
Wikimedia Commons A repository of images, sounds and videos containing more than 430,000 files.
Wikibooks A collection of free educational textbooks and learning materials.
Wiktionary A dictionary cataloging meanings, synonyms, etymologies and translations.
Wikinews A news source containing original reporting by citizen journalists from many countries.
Wikisource A project to provide and translate free source documents, such as public domain books.
Wikiquote A collection of quotations structured in numerous ways.
Wikispecies A directory of species data on animalia, plantae, fungi, bacteria, archaea, protista and all other forms of life.
Meta-Wiki Wikimedia project coordination.

The Wikimedia Foundation Inc. is the parent organization of Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks (including Wikijunior and Wikiversity), Wikisource, In Memoriam 9/11, Wikimedia Commons, Wikispecies, and Wikinews. It is a non-profit corporation based in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, and organized under the laws of Florida. Its existence was officially announced by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales on June 20, 2003. Its approval by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, by letter in April 2005, as an educational foundation in the category "Adult, Continuing Education" means all contributions to the Wikimedia Foundation are tax deductible for U.S. federal income tax purposes.


Foundation goals

The goal of the Wikimedia foundation is to develop and maintain open content, wiki-based projects and to provide the full contents of those projects to the public free of charge.

In addition to the multilingual general encyclopedia Wikipedia, the Foundation manages a multi-language dictionary and thesaurus named Wiktionary, an encyclopedia of quotations named Wikiquote, a repository of source texts in any language named Wikisource, and a collection of e-book texts for students (such as textbooks and annotated public domain books) named Wikibooks. Wikijunior is a subproject of Wikibooks for children.

The Foundation also manages a collection of articles about the September 11 attacks. The continued growth of each of the Wikimedia projects is dependent mostly on donations but the Wikimedia Foundation tries to increase its revenue by finding alternative means of funding such as grants and sponsorship.

The Wikimedia Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a vision to bring a free encyclopedia to every single person on the planet. This includes people who currently do not have electricity, computers, internet, or even clean drinking water. All proceeds from donations, as with all proceeds from all our fundraisers, will be fully dedicated to that charitable purpose.

Foundation history and growth

The name "Wikimedia" was coined by Sheldon Rampton in a post to the English Wikipedia's mailing list in March 2003 [1]. It is occasionally considered a poor naming choice for its similarity to the name of Wikipedia and the software it runs on, MediaWiki; this can lead to confusion among people new to the project.

With the Foundation's announcement, Wales also transferred ownership of all Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Nupedia domain names to Wikimedia along with the copyrights for all materials related to these projects that were created by Bomis employees or Wales himself. The computer equipment used to run all the Wikimedia projects was also donated by Wales to the Foundation. The domain names and were secured for the Foundation by Wikipedia contributor Daniel Mayer. Wikimedia's bandwidth and power are covered by donations to the project from various companies and individuals.

In January 2004, Jimmy Wales appointed his business partners Tim Shell and Michael Davis to the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation. In June 2004, an election was held for two user representative Board members. Following one month of campaigning and two weeks of online voting, Angela Beesley and Florence Nibart-Devouard were elected to join the board; they were re-elected in July 2005. Wales and Beesley later launched a startup company, Wikia, which is affiliated with neither Wikimedia nor Bomis, though it donates to Wikimedia.

Later, other official positions were developed: Tim Starling was appointed Developer Liaison to help improve the organisation of the development of the MediaWiki software, and Daniel Mayer was appointed Chief Financial Officer to help keep a budget and coordinate fund drives. Erik Möller had been the Chief Research Officer, but resigned in August 2005 due to differences with the board. [2] James Forrester was subsequently appointed to the position.

Recent project history

External links

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