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Wikimedia Foundation Inc.

Logo of the Wikimedia foundation,
designed by Wikipedia user "
Type Non-profit
Founded June 20, 2003
Location Saint Petersburg, Florida, USA
Key people Jimmy Wales, Founder; Angela Beesley, Michael Davis, Florence Nibart-Devouard, Tim Shell
Industry Internet
Products Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks (including Wikijunior and Wikiversity), Wikisource, In Memoriam 9/11, Wikimedia Commons, Wikispecies and Wikinews
Revenue non-profit
Employees  ?

The Wikimedia Foundation Inc. is the parent organization of Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks (including Wikijunior and Wikiversity), Wikisource, In Memoriam 9/11, Wikimedia Commons, Wikispecies, Wikinews. It is a non-profit corporation based in Saint Petersburg, Florida, USA, and organized under the laws of Florida. Its existence was officially announced by Wikia CEO and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales on June 20, 2003


Foundation goals

The goal of the Wikimedia foundation is to develop and maintain open content, wiki-based projects and to provide the full contents of those projects to the public free of charge. In addition to the already developed multilingual general encyclopedia Wikipedia, the Foundation manages a multi-language dictionary and thesaurus named Wiktionary, an encyclopedia of quotations named Wikiquote, a repository of source texts in any language named Wikisource, and a collection of e-book texts for students (such as textbooks and annotated public domain books) named Wikibooks. Wikijunior is a subproject of Wikibooks for children and teenagers.

The Foundation also manages a memorial collection of articles about the September 11 attacks. The continued growth of each of the Wikimedia projects is dependent mostly on donations but the Wikimedia Foundation tries to increase its revenue by finding alternative means of funding such as grants and sponsorship.

Foundation history and growth

Projects at a glance
Wikipedia An encyclopedia containing more than 2 million articles in over 100 languages.
Wikimedia Commons A repository of images, sounds and videos containing more than 200,000 files.
Wikibooks A collection of free educational textbooks and learning materials.
Wiktionary A dictionary cataloging meanings, synonyms, etymologies and translations.
Wikinews A news source containing original reporting by citizen journalists from many countries.
Wikisource A project to provide and translate free source documents, such as public domain books.
Wikiquote A collection of quotations structured in numerous ways.
Wikispecies A directory of species data on animalia, plantae, fungi, bacteria, archaea, protista and all other forms of life.
Meta-Wiki Wikimedia project coordination.

The name "Wikimedia" was coined by Sheldon Rampton in a post to the English Wikipedia's mailing list in March 2003. It is occasionally considered a poor naming choice for its similarity to the name of Wikipedia and the software it runs on, MediaWiki; this can lead to confusion among people new to the project.

With the Foundation's announcement, Wales also transferred ownership of all Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Nupedia domain names to Wikimedia along with the copyrights for all materials related to these projects that were created by Bomis employees or Wales himself. The computer equipment used to run all the Wikimedia projects was also donated by Wales to the Foundation. The domain names and were secured for the Foundation by Wikipedia contributor Daniel Mayer. Wikimedia's bandwidth and power are covered by donations to the project from various companies and individuals.

In January 2004, Jimmy Wales appointed his business partners Tim Shell and Michael Davis to the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation. In June 2004, an election was held for two user representative Board members. Following one month of campaigning and two weeks of online voting, Angela Beesley and Florence Nibart-Devouard were elected to join the board; they were re-elected in July 2005. Wales and Beesley later launched a startup company, Wikia, which is affiliated with neither Wikimedia nor Bomis, though it donates to Wikimedia.

Later, other official positions were developed: Tim Starling was appointed Developer Liaison to help improve the organisation of the development of the MediaWiki software, and Daniel Mayer was appointed Chief Financial Officer to help keep a budget and coordinate fund drives.

Recent project history

Board of Trustees


External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Personal tools