Like billions of us who benefit from the extensive knowledge repository, Elon Musk is also glad that Wikipedia existed.
Wikipedia aims to reach more readers
Wikipedia celebrated its 20th anniversary on Friday and the collaborative, volunteer-produced internet encyclopedia aims to spend the next 20 years further expanding free access to information.
Founded on January 15, 2001, by the American-British entrepreneur Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia is now the seventh-most popular website in the world, with its over 55 million articles being consulted 15 billion times every month.
The website started in English but within two months had already launched in German and Swedish. It is now available in 309 languages.
But Wales doesn't intend to stop there, with the languages of the developing world in the website's sights.
"That's really important that the next billion people, two billion people who come online are going to want to participate in Wikipedia, to grow their own storehouse of knowledge, and they're going to rely on us to support that work, and that's a big part of how I think about the future," Wales told AFP in an interview.
In 2006, Wales set the goal of having 100,000 entries in Wikipedia for every language with more than one million speakers, but he recognised that Wikipedia is still at least 20 years from achieving that.
Wikipedia's non-profit status nature makes it an outlier among today's internet dominated by the likes of Google and Facebook and hark back to the web's early idealistic days when the open-source movement harnessed the talents of volunteers to offer free access to tools and knowledge.
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