The founder Wikipedia will be in Bristol today to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the of online encyclopaedia.
Jimmy Wales founded Wikipedia 10 years ago, and has turned it into an apparently limitless trove of online information which has grown to 17 million articles and attracts a monthly audience of 400 million users, making it the fifth most popular website in the world.
Speaking to The Independent last month, Wales, 44, admitted that the scale of Wikipedia’s growth has outstripped even his famous self-confidence. “[With] 400m people a month visiting the site it has become really a fundamental part of the information infrastructure of the world,” he said.
“I didn’t imagine this. It just didn’t occur to me, sitting at my computer, that I would end up travelling all over the world. That bit escaped my thought process.”
Organised by Bristol City Council, in association with Bristol Festival of Ideas, BBC Anchor Trust and Wikimedia UK, the special event this lunchtime at the Victoria Rooms, University of Bristol will mark 10 years of Wikipedia with the man behind the project.
Cllr Mark Wright, Cabinet Member for Efficiency and Value for Money said: “I am delighted that Jimmy Wales, the Founder of Wikimedia has chosen to visit Bristol and give a lecture as part of their 10th birthday celebrations.
“I am delighted that the council is supporting this event, which will help to cement the city’s reputation as a leading digital city.”
A decade ago the idea of a constantly updated online encyclopaedia, which would be collaboratively written by tens of thousands of people and read by hundreds of millions, was a dream.
Since then, Jimmy Wales has inspired others to join him, and has formed a 100,000-strong online volunteer community, which has built Wikipedia into a worldwide force for free learning and general education, run with
modest resources, engaging communities worldwide.
The event is sold out, but you can watch Jimmy Wales’s speech live on Bristol24-7. Click here to watch the webcast and take part in the online discussion…