Wikipedia is a collaborative online platform where individuals from around the world can create, edit, and maintain articles on virtually any subject. It is a freely accessible resource that aims to provide accurate and up-to-date information to a global audience. The name "Wikipedia" is a portmanteau of the words "wiki" (a type of collaborative website) and "encyclopedia."
2. History[edit | edit source]
Wikipedia was officially launched on January 15, 2001, by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. It was inspired by the idea of creating a digital encyclopedia that could be continuously updated and expanded by a community of volunteers. Since its inception, Wikipedia has grown exponentially, and it now encompasses millions of articles in numerous languages.
Wikipedia's growth and success can be attributed to its open-editing model, which allows anyone with internet access to contribute to and edit its content. This model is based on the principle of the "wisdom of crowds," where collective knowledge and collaboration lead to the creation of a valuable resource.
3. Principles and Guidelines[edit | edit source]
3.1 Neutral Point of View (NPOV)[edit | edit source]
Wikipedia operates on the principle of neutrality, meaning that articles should be written in a balanced and impartial manner, presenting multiple perspectives and viewpoints on a subject without taking a position.
3.2 Verifiability[edit | edit source]
All information on Wikipedia must be verifiable, meaning that it should be based on reliable sources that are cited in the articles. This ensures that readers can check the sources for accuracy and credibility.
3.3 No Original Research (NOR)[edit | edit source]
Wikipedia content should not contain original research, unpublished theories, or personal opinions. Instead, it should summarize existing knowledge from reputable sources.
4. Content and Structure[edit | edit source]
4.1 Articles[edit | edit source]
Wikipedia articles are the core of the platform, covering an extensive array of topics. They are organized into a hierarchy of categories and can range from short entries to comprehensive, in-depth resources.
4.2 Media and Files[edit | edit source]
In addition to text, Wikipedia supports the inclusion of images, audio, video, and other media to enhance articles and provide a more comprehensive understanding of the topics.
[edit | edit source]
Wikipedia articles are categorized to facilitate navigation and discovery. Readers can explore related topics and find articles of interest through a structured system of categories.
5. Community and Contributors[edit | edit source]
5.1 Editors and Administrators[edit | edit source]
Wikipedia is maintained by a diverse and global community of editors and administrators who volunteer their time and expertise to ensure the quality and accuracy of its content.
5.2 Talk Pages and Discussion[edit | edit source]
Discussion pages and talk pages provide a platform for editors to discuss changes, resolve disputes, and collaborate on improving articles.
5.3 WikiProjects[edit | edit source]
WikiProjects are collaborative groups of editors focused on specific subjects or topics, working together to improve content quality within their areas of interest.
6. Languages and Internationalization[edit | edit source]
Wikipedia is available in numerous languages, with each language version operating independently. The English-language version is the largest, but there are thriving communities of editors in other languages as well.
7. Impact and Criticisms[edit | edit source]
7.1 Accessibility and Reliability[edit | edit source]
Wikipedia's accessibility has made it a valuable resource for millions of people worldwide. However, concerns about the reliability of its content have led to criticisms and debates about its accuracy.
7.2 Cultural Influence[edit | edit source]
Wikipedia has had a significant impact on internet culture and the way information is disseminated and consumed. It is often referenced in academic, professional, and popular contexts.
7.3 Controversies and Vandalism[edit | edit source]
Wikipedia has faced challenges related to the reliability of its content, edit wars, and vandalism. Its community of editors works diligently to combat these issues.
8. See Also[edit | edit source]
- Wikimedia Foundation
- Open Access
9. References[edit | edit source]
This Wikipedia page on Wikipedia aims to provide an overview of the platform, its history, principles, and impact. For detailed information on specific topics related to Wikipedia, it is advisable to explore the references section, which includes academic articles, books, and online resources.