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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Wikipedia and Other Wiki-Winners

I’ve recently promised several people links to Wikipedia and related sites so thought I’d post them here instead. These are all collaborative projects online that anyone can edit and contribute too:

  • Wikipedia - The biggest open access encyclopaedia on the internet. It's multilingual, has over 750,000 articles and is still growing!

  • Wikibooks - Free textbooks and manuals
  • Wikibooks has a collection of open-content textbooks that anyone can edit. It was set up on July 10, 2003 and since then, volunteers have written around 10,752 book modules in a multitude of books.

  • Wiktionary - Dictionary and thesaurus
  • This is a collaborative project to produce a free multilingual dictionary in every language, with definitions, pronunciations, quotations and synonyms.

  • Wikiquote - Collection of quotations
  • Wikiquote is a free online compendium of quotations in every language, including sources (where known), translations of non-English quotes, and links to Wikipedia for more information.

  • Wikispecies - Directory of species
  • Wikispecies is a free directory of life. Wikispecies covers animalia, plantae, fungi, bacteria, archaea, protista and all other forms of life.

Some people have said to me that they are still a bit sceptical about whether collaborative efforts like this actually work in practice. I personally think that a community of people interested in a particular project or subject will work hard together at it which in turn drives its success.

For example, here’s an article from Paul Graham, about Open Source not Wikipedia, but it says that…

  • “People have always been willing to do great work for free, but before the Web it was harder to.
  • People work a lot harder on stuff they like.
  • People working for love often surpass those working for money.”
I totally agree.


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