[Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Celebrating ten years of Wikimedia Foundation

Victor Grigas vgrigas at wikimedia.org
Thu Jun 20 21:16:35 UTC 2013

I had the opportunity to interview Jimmy last year about starting the
foundation (The interview was used for editor engagement and fundraising

I think that this is appropriate for today :)

(press play)

Thanks Jimmy for the interview

On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 1:21 PM, Jay Walsh <jwalsh at wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Dear friends,
> I have the awesome pleasure of notifying everyone today of a special
> anniversary. Ten years ago today, Jimmy Wales announced the creation
> of the Wikimedia Foundation on the still pretty new Wikipedia-l
> mailing list.
> Today you'll find a blog post (also posted below) that looks back on
> an extraordinary 10 years of growth for the Foundation, our projects,
> our movement organizations, and our volunteer community.
> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/06/20/ten-years-of-supporting-free-knowledge
> Birthdays are often one-day-focused things, but like our recent ten
> year anniversary of Wikipedia, I know we'll be thinking about this
> incredible milestone over the entire coming year. We look forward to
> hearing your reflections and thoughts about the Foundation - whether
> your contact with the org started ten days ago or ten years.
> Thank you for being a part of the Foundation and part of the Wikimedia
> movement. Here's to another huge ten years!
> ---
> Ten years of supporting free knowledge
> Posted by Jay Walsh on June 20, 2013
> Ten years ago today, on June 20, 2003, Jimmy Wales announced the
> founding of the Wikimedia Foundation. He entrusted the new nonprofit
> with the operation of Wikipedia, launched two and a half years prior.
> Wales recalled the early days of Wikipedia and marveled that it has
> grown to be such an important and ubiquitous source of free
> information for the world. “It is hard to imagine that in 2003,
> Wikipedia was still running on just two servers – which I used to
> administer myself in the beginning,” said Wales, who noted that he
> founded the Wikimedia Foundation because he believed Wikipedia would
> need the support of a stable and trusted institutional base for years
> to come.
> The Wikimedia Foundation’s second Board of Trustees (photo taken at
> Wikimania 2006). From left to right: Tim Shell, Florence
> Nibart-Devouard, Jimmy “Jimbo” Wales, Michael Davis, Angela Beesley
> “Ten years later, the Foundation continues to fulfill that role,
> thanks to the trust of our millions of donors, the hard work of its
> staff, the thoughtful oversight enacted by my fellow Board of Trustees
> members and last but not least the many thousands of volunteers who
> not only manage and build our projects, but also take an active part
> in the governance of the Foundation,” Wales said.
> Those two early servers, which belonged to Jimmy Wales’ company at the
> time, have now grown to more than 800 servers operated by the
> Wikimedia Foundation. They are the backbone of the free knowledge
> projects that serve over half a billion readers each month, with 21
> billion monthly pageviews. The Foundation also provides the legal
> basis for projects, defending them against legal threats and
> protecting the trademarks that have come to represent the global
> community’s work.
> The name “Wikimedia” had been suggested earlier in 2003 by Wikipedia
> editor Sheldon Rampton for an endeavour that would “use Wiki-style
> rules to enable public participation in the creation and editing of
> all kinds of media: encyclopedias and other reference works, current
> news, books, fiction, music, video etc.”
> During the following decade, Wikipedia was joined by several sister
> projects to realize parts of the vision of a world in which every
> single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. The
> Foundation continues to work on creating a richer Wikimedia experience
> beyond text, making use of the web’s expanding possibilities. It has
> also taken on the challenge of sustaining and increasing editor
> participation, with projects such as the VisualEditor, the most
> complex software development project undertaken by the Foundation so
> far, which is already being live-tested on numerous language versions
> of Wikipedia, and slated for a full rollout next month.
> As part of its commitment to increase access to free knowledge, the
> Wikimedia Foundation has launched Wikipedia Zero, a program to
> convince telecommunications operators to waive data charges to
> Wikipedia for the billions of people around the world whose primary
> opportunity to access the internet is via a mobile device. Keeping up
> with the mobile revolution on the internet, the Foundation has
> upgraded Wikipedia’s interface for mobile users, including introducing
> a “Nearby” feature and starting to enable contributions from mobile
> devices.
> Wikimedia Foundation staff (September 2012)
> Erik Möller, a volunteer Wikipedian in Germany in 2003, and today the
> Deputy Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, highlighted the
> importance of this programmatic work. “Today, the Wikimedia Foundation
> is well positioned to modernize the user experience and the
> infrastructure supporting our projects, while dedicating all its
> efforts to the public, working transparently, and releasing code as
> open source,” said Möller. “This wouldn’t be possible if Jimmy hadn’t
> laid the foundation 10 years ago to dedicate the operation of
> Wikipedia and our other projects to a non-profit organization,
> supported by a community of donors.”
> The Foundation works with a global network of chapters, affiliates and
> volunteers in achieving its mission. Several grants programs exist to
> support smaller projects by individuals and groups. Last year saw the
> launch of the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC), entrusted with
> reviewing larger funding requests from movement organizations and
> giving recommendations on the most effective use of donation money to
> achieve the movement’s goals. The FDC is volunteer-driven, and two of
> its seats are currently up for election by the community, as are three
> seats of the Board of Trustees. If you are an eligible Wikimedian,
> don’t forget to cast your vote until June 22!
> As for Wales, who could have made Wikipedia a commercial venture and
> monetized the site’s content with advertising, the decision to
> safeguard the future of the Wikimedia projects with a non-profit
> couldn’t have been a wiser. “Wikipedia is something special. I like to
> compare it to a temple for the mind: A place we can all go to think,
> to learn, to share our knowledge with others,” he said.
> “The Wikimedia Foundation is here to preserve and nurture that place,
> and make sure that Wikipedia remains a shining example of openness and
> freedom, a public good that is part of many people’s daily life around
> the globe.”
> Jay Walsh
> Senior Director, Communications
> --
> Jay Walsh
> Senior Director, Communications
> WikimediaFoundation.org
> blog.wikimedia.org
> +1 (415) 839 6885 x 6609, @jansonw
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*Victor Grigas*
Storyteller <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Knv6D6Thi0>
Wikimedia Foundation
vgrigas at wikimedia.org
+1 (415) 839-6885 x 6773
149 New Montgomery Street 6th floor
San Francisco, CA 94105

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