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Wikimedia

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Wikimedia.png
Logo of the Wikimedia foundation, designed by Wikipedia user "Neolux"

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, Wikinews, and Nupedia (defunct). It is a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of Florida, USA. Its existence was officially announced by Wikia CEO and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales on June 20, 2003 [1] (http://mail.wikipedia.org/pipermail/wikipedia-l/2003-June/010690.html).

Contents

Foundation goals

The goals of the Wikimedia foundation are 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 already developed 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 related project for children and teenagers.

The Foundation also manages a memorial collection of articles about the September 11 attacks and the operations of the largely dormant Nupedia project (which is not a wiki but is open content). The continued growth of each of the Wikimedia projects is dependent mostly on donations (http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Fundraising) but the Wikimedia Foundation tries to increase its revenue by finding alternative means of funding such as grants and sponsorship.

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. It is occasionally criticised for its similarity to the name of Wikipedia which leads 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 wikimedia.org and wikimediafoundation.org 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. Since that time, Wales has employed Beesley in several for-profit enterprises.

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.

In Memoriam 9/11 (http://sep11.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Memoriam) was started soon after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. Many articles about 9/11 victims were being written for Wikipedia, but many felt they were not suitable for an encyclopedia, and thus were copied over to a new wiki. Since then, the site has failed to gain popularity. [2] (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1&safe=off&q=link:xjRw03JvWzsJ:sep11.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page)

Recent project history

Board of Trustees

2004-2005

External links

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