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The Wikipedia Revolution: How A Bunch Of Nobodies Created The World's Greatest Encyclopedia

"Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing."--Jimmy WalesWith more than 2,000,000 individual articles on everything from Aa! (a Japanese pop group) to Zzyzx, California, written by an army of volunteer contributors, Wikipedia is the #8 site on the World Wide Web. Created (and corrected) by anyone with access to a computer, this impressive assemblage of knowledge is growing at an astonishing rate of more than 30,000,000 words a month. Now for the first time, a Wikipedia insider tells the story of how it all happened--from the first glimmer of an idea to the global phenomenon it's become.Andrew Lih has been an administrator (a trusted user who is granted access to technical features) at Wikipedia for more than four years, as well as a regular host of the weekly Wikipedia podcast. In The Wikipedia Revolution, he details the site's inception in 2001, its evolution, and its remarkable growth, while also explaining its larger cultural repercussions. Wikipedia is not just a website; it's a global community of contributors who have banded together out of a shared passion for making knowledge free.Featuring a Foreword by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and an Afterword that is itself a Wikipedia creation.

Hardcover: 272 pages

Publisher: Hyperion (March 17, 2009)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1401303714

ISBN-13: 978-1401303716

Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.2 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #707,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #101 in Books > Computers & Technology > Web Development & Design > User Generated Content #579 in Books > Reference > Encyclopedias & Subject Guides > Business #712 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Reference > History

This is the fascinating history of of a most useful website. Historians may consider Wikipedia as significant as Guttenberg printing press. Both contributed immensely to the spread of knowledge. Lih does an excellent job of conveying the history of Wikipedia and drilling down in the technicalities of this phenomenon from a cultural, software, and governance standpoints.Wikipedia was developed over numerous years through the interactions of maverick programmers. It started with Tim Berners-Lee's creation of the World Wide Web in 1990. Then in 1995 Ward Cunningham creates the WikiWikiWeb software that supports Wikipedia capabilities. This software allows to create, write, and edit webpages and saves every version of a page. Ben Kovitz introduces this wiki software to Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, the cocreators of an earlier online encyclopedia: Nupedia. In 2001, Jimmy Wales implements Cunningham's wiki software to create Wikipedia. Within less than a month, Wikipedia achieves more than Nupedia did in a year in terms of number of articles published. Soon after, a German programmer Magnus Manske far improves the wiki software by allowing Wikipedians to maintain a clean page of an article while debating issues freely on a discussion page.In 2002, Derek Ramsey finds a way to automate the creation of 33,832 articles about small towns in the U.S. by automating the extraction of data from the U.S. Census. Seth Anthony and others add actual maps to those cities. Sunir Shah creates MeatballWiki to discuss online community. It will prove instrumental for Wikipedia's future policies. Ultimately, Sanger adopts three dominant editing principle: neutral point of view (NPOV), verifiability (V), and no original research (NOR).

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