Wikimedia Foundation. Wikimedia, which oversees Wikipedia and its sister sites, launched its 8th annual fundraiser on November 16. That's why Jimmy Wales is staring at you from the top of every Wikipedia page.The Brin Wojcicki Foundation, created by Google co-founder Sergey Brin and 23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki, has given a $500,000 gift to the
Wikimedia's annual spending tops $20 million, and the campaign funds a majority of its operations. So the Brin Wojcicki gift isn't a majority stake, but it's surely appreciated. The gift is not affiliated with Google directly, but it's worth noting that Google once donated $2 million to Wikimedia. As the end point of so many search queries, donations are not the only way Google supports Wikimedia's websites.
Wikimedia sites receive 477 million unique visitors a month, according to comScore, and is the fifth most popular website in the world. It is available in over 280 languages, and it contains over 20 million articles supported by more than 100,000 volunteer contributors.
But the site is under stress. There's an enormous backlog of unfinished editorial work, and one in 20 articles are missing references entirely. Furthermore, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has admitted that difficult controls and an inscrutable markup language are "discouraging people from writing and editing Wikipedia's entries." In short, if you use Wikipedia, it could use your help.
Despite its challenges, Wikipedia is working on some truly cool stuff. It introduced a program called QRPedia in September that lets mobile users easily link to Wikipedia entries for real-world things they come across. It's also busy building out a new mobile interface to go along with it. Wikimedia is building the future, and Brin and Wojcicki have decided to help.
What do you think? Is Wikipedia worth it? Before you answer, go check your Web history and see how many Wikipedia pages are in it.