Its name is derived from “Wiki” which is a Hawaiian word for “quick” and of course “pedia” is short for encyclopedia. The website was launched in 2001. Wikipedia is one of the products of the Wikimedia Foundation which is a non-profit organization located in San Francisco.
Wiki is an open source (mostly anonymous volunteers), website meaning anyone can contribute to its content through its web portal but with various restrictions to ensure the integrity of the information. There are around 70,000 active contributors which is why the website is so fast at updating information. For example when Carrie Fisher died I was able to go to Wiki that same day and found information about what happened.
There are approximately 41 million articles written in 294 languages which to me is mind blowing. All someone has to do is go to Wiki’s website and choose a language and millions of articles pop up. Of course if someone is French the articles are more applicable to that country and in this case there are around two million articles written in French compared to over five million articles in English. If you use Wiki you also know that within each article are many links that helps the user drill down further on people, places, and things of interests.
I’m so thankful that someone had the vision to create a free on-line encyclopedia that is loaded with outstanding and credible information. By the way you can go to places like www.encyclopediabritannica.com for information as well but I prefer Wiki’s site for the more extensive content and numerous links.
Since I research and write a lot Wiki is a godsend to me because before 2001 I was mostly at the library looking through encyclopedias; I was too cheap to buy my own set. :)