This is a draft. Your improvement is welcome.
Wikipedia is a project to build free encyclopedias based on a neutral point of view in all languages of the world by collaboration of people using wiki technology. The name Wikipedia is a coinage of wiki and encyclopedia.
Wiki is a technology which allows everyone to edit pages on a website. It makes editors possible to do their collaborative works. Everyone can edit Wikipedia articles and most of Wikipedia articles have multipul authors. If a mistake is found, everyone can correct it in any time.
The project started with the English-language Wikipedia on January 15, 2001. It was soon joined by a French edition, and shortly afterwards by many other languages. Large efforts are underway to highlight the international nature of the project.
On September 20, 2004 Wikipedia reached a total of 1,000,000 articles in over 100 languages. While the English Wikipedia is still the largest with close to 500,000 articles, there are well over 700,000 articles in 190 other languages, some quite large, and others just starting, with one or two articles.
As of March 2005, there are 78 Wikipedias which have more than 100 articles, 22 of which have over 10,000 articles, and seven of which have over 50,000 articles. Following the English language Wikipedia, the German and Japanese editions have over 100,000 articles each.
Wikipedias with more than 50,000 articles (March 4, 2005)
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A full list of languages is also available.
As of December 30, 2004, 36,377 registered users had made at least five edits since the start of the project, though it is unknown how many of users registered on several projects at once. Almost 18% of all edits are submitted anonymously from users without accounts. Statistics suggest that anonymous viewers make up one fourth of total readership. As of March 2005, roughly half a million registered user accounts have been created in total.
Some Wikipedia have a plan of snapshop release. In October 2005, German Wikipedia CD which had 131,976 articles and almost 1,200 images was released in collaboration with Directmedia Publishing and DVD release is on-going, which will be released at the middle of March, 2005 at Leipzig Book Fair. Those stable versions are extracts from Wikipedia and reviewed carefully before publification.
French Wikipedia has a similar plan in collaboration with Mandrake Soft.
Wikipedia is also known with its community. In 2004 Wikipedia won the Webby Award for "Communuty" and the Prix Ars Electronica for "Digital Communities".