Talk:Wikimedia press releases/Second press release

Not ready for release


Wait for Wikimedia's first press release to get out there, and for another major event, e.g. reliably getting into the top 1000 web sites. Press releases should always be planned out as a series in advance, as it usually takes a couple before someone chooses to write about it.

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Wikimedia's third press release should probably be about the Wikipedia3 software and planning for its successors, other projects using it, and inviting other projects to use it, and volunteers to help improve it. Maybe best to plan that for most attention on slashdot.


{insert date here}, 2003 (The Internet): Wikipedia (, the only totally-volunteer-written and contributor-edited multilingual online encyclopedia, is now one of the top 1000 web sites.

The project's goal is a complete and freely redistributable encyclopedia in every language - including very obscure ones: a Simple English version was recently launched specifically to provide articles that are easy to translate into any language. One risk of such a project is that it will simply turn into a broadcast of the beliefs of major languages like English or French. Therefore the project is calling for contributors in all 22 of its presently supported languages.

In a recent interview for Alternet, founder Jim Wales noted that there were 600 regular and 7000 irregular contributors. The project is easily the largest collectively authored work in the world, and stands poised to break another milestone: as of August 5th, 2003, it stood 1057th on's list of most popular websites. It is expected to break into the top 1000 before Labor Day.

The non-profit Wikimedia Foundation ( was created to manage and fund these and the related operations of Wikipedia, its sister project Wiktionary (a multilingual dictionary and thesaurus at and its new siblings Wikiquote (an encyclopedia of famous quotations at and Wikibooks (a collection of e-book resources aimed toward the needs of students at

The Wikimedia Foundation is also recruiting a board of directors. Visit to nominate names to the search list.

Wikipedia and its sister projects are public WikiWikiWebs, websites where anyone can, with one click, edit nearly any page at any time (Wiki means quick in Hawaiian). Users build upon each other's edits, incorrectly edited pages are quickly repaired, errors corrected, and controversial claims moderated or removed. This process has proven to yield high quality especially on the more controversial subjects, which attract more contributors and watchfulness.

From the beginning, founders Jim Wales and Larry Sanger believed that it was absolutely necessary that all participants be committed to what they call "neutral point of view": rather than taking stands on issues of controversy, participants work together to prepare descriptions of the controversy that are fair to all points of view. Sanger explains: "If we were to permit Wikipedia to take controversial stands, it would be virtually impossible for people of many different viewpoints to collaborate. Because of the neutrality policy, we have partisans working together on the same articles. It's quite remarkable."

It seems also to be quite trusted as a starting point or "portal". Earlier this year Wikipedia surpassed in terms of Internet traffic - the project seems well on its way to competing with proprietary encyclopedias to be a standard reference. It has been the subject of major media articles, been cited as a source in major publications, e.g. the Sydney Morning Herald, and links to its pages are becoming increasingly common. There is reason to belive that almost every Internet user will eventually encounter a Wikipedia page.

It is of increasing interest to journalists, students, and researchers, who are encouraged to quote from, and contribute their research directly to, articles.

Release of materials under its "GNU Free Documentation License" guarantee the right not only to quote from one's own contributions, but all others made by all contributors, with the further right to distribute proprietary comments or analyses or critiques as a "Secondary Section", which may be an "Invariant Section" if required to credit sources or editors and indicate which version of an article the comments cite or describe. Its provisions are similar to those of the very successful "free software" movement and fit the Internet's ethic of widespread sharing. The care put into this license was a main driver of success. So are "community standards" of quality, civility and neutrality.

With edits being made every minute of every day, it is impossible to predict where Wikipedia and its sister projects will be one year from now. Thanks to the GNU FDL license, however, one thing is certain: The truth will be here, free.

Additional information


For questions and interviews, please contact:

Jimmy Wales
Phone: (+1)-727-527-9776

For further background information, please see:

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