Wikimedia is a global movement that is dedicated to promoting free and open access to knowledge. The movement is anchored by the Wikimedia Foundation, a nonprofit organization that operates some of the world’s largest collaborative knowledge projects, including Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata, and more.
Founded in 2003 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, the Wikimedia Foundation is based in San Francisco, California, and has a global community of volunteers who contribute to its various projects. The Foundation’s mission is to “empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.”
One of the key principles of Wikimedia is the concept of open collaboration. This means that anyone can contribute to its projects, and that the content is freely available for anyone to use, share, and modify. This approach has helped to create a massive repository of knowledge that is accessible to people around the world, regardless of their background or resources.
The flagship project of the Wikimedia Foundation is Wikipedia, which is the world’s largest and most popular online encyclopedia. Wikipedia is available in more than 300 languages and contains over 6 million articles in English alone. Like all Wikimedia projects, Wikipedia is edited collaboratively by volunteers from around the world, who work together to ensure that the content is accurate, neutral, and comprehensive.
In addition to Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation operates several other projects that promote the sharing of knowledge and information. Wikimedia Commons is a repository of free media files, including images, audio, and video, that can be used in Wikimedia projects and beyond. Wikidata is a structured database that provides machine-readable data for Wikipedia and other projects. And Wiki Education is an initiative that promotes the use of Wikimedia projects in education, with a focus on improving critical thinking, media literacy, and digital citizenship.
The Wikimedia Foundation is funded by donations from individuals and organizations who support its mission. It does not accept advertising or sponsorships, and it is committed to maintaining the independence and integrity of its projects. The Foundation also works to promote access to knowledge around the world, with a focus on regions where access to information may be limited.
Overall, Wikimedia is a global movement that is dedicated to promoting free and open access to knowledge. Through its various projects and initiatives, it has created a massive repository of information that is accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world. And with its commitment to open collaboration and free licensing, it has helped to create a more equitable and informed society.