Wikipedia began with its first edit on 15 January 2001, two days after the domain was registered by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. Its technological and conceptual underpinnings predate this; the earliest known proposal for an online encyclopedia was made by Rick Gates in 1993, and the concept of a free-as-in-freedom online encyclopedia (as distinct from mere open source) was proposed by Richard Stallman in December 2000.

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  • Wikipedia began with its first edit on 15 January 2001, two days after the domain was registered by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. Its technological and conceptual underpinnings predate this; the earliest known proposal for an online encyclopedia was made by Rick Gates in 1993, and the concept of a free-as-in-freedom online encyclopedia (as distinct from mere open source) was proposed by Richard Stallman in December 2000. Crucially, Stallman's concept specifically included the idea that no central organization should control editing. This characteristic greatly contrasted with contemporary digital encyclopedias such as Microsoft Encarta, Encyclopædia Britannica, and even Bomis's Nupedia, which was Wikipedia's direct predecessor. In 2001, the license for Nupedia was changed to GFDL, and Wales and Sanger launched Wikipedia using the concept and technology of a wiki pioneered in 1995 by Ward Cunningham. Initially, Wikipedia was intended to complement Nupedia, an online encyclopedia project edited solely by experts, by providing additional draft articles and ideas for it. In practice, Wikipedia quickly overtook Nupedia, becoming a global project in multiple languages and inspiring a wide range of other online reference projects. According to Alexa Internet, as of September 2018, Wikipedia is the world's fifth-most-popular website in terms of overall visitor traffic. Wikipedia's worldwide monthly readership is approximately 495 million. Worldwide in September 2018, WMF Labs tallied 15.5 billion page views for the month. According to comScore, Wikipedia receives over 117 million monthly unique visitors from the United States alone. (en)
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  • 2019-11-17 02:39:51Z (xsd:date)
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  • 2019-11-17 02:39:40Z (xsd:date)
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  • Wikipedia began with its first edit on 15 January 2001, two days after the domain was registered by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. Its technological and conceptual underpinnings predate this; the earliest known proposal for an online encyclopedia was made by Rick Gates in 1993, and the concept of a free-as-in-freedom online encyclopedia (as distinct from mere open source) was proposed by Richard Stallman in December 2000. (en)
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  • History of Wikipedia (en)
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