Tag Archives: wikimedia UK

A Liberal Wikipedia event

wikipedia

One of the enduring appeals about Wikipedia for me has always been not just its laudable status as a free-at-the-point of access and advert free educational resource, but the still exciting fact that it’s a community-written and maintained site. Yes, that can have drawbacks in the form of heated editing wars over punctuation or articles being targeted by online wags or trolls, much like the LDV comments section at times! Generally however its success is demonstrated by just how relied upon and ubiquitous it’s become – I’m pretty confident most reading this will have read a Wikipedia article recently too.

The irony is however that although very many people read Wikipedia’s content (half a billion people a month or thereabouts) very few actually engage in creating it. In the UK there are perhaps only around 15,000 editors, and of these the majority only occasionally chip in to correct a typo or add a link. Despite its breadth and reach (more than 5 million English language articles, articles in more than 120 languages, multiple linked projects to cover not just encyclopedic content but images, quotes, data sets, educational resources and news articles) it is still very much in its infancy with vast swathes of history, science, philosophy and art untouched or poorly covered.

This is the challenge that a little-known charity, and my other volunteering love beside the Lib Dems, is trying to meet. Wikimedia UK works with institutions and groups across the UK, trying to get people editing and contributing specialist knowledge. It’s probably at about this point in the article you might legitimately be questioning why this is of interest to Lib Dem Voice readers.

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