Wikipleadia: The promise and perils of crowdsourcing content

It may not stir up international outrage like its semi-namesake WikiLeaks, but Wikipedia sparks debate. The free online encyclopedia, which celebrates its tenth birthday on January 15th, is a symbol of unpaid collaboration and one of the most popular destinations on the internet, attracting some 400m visitors a month. It also faces serious charges of elitism.Wikipedia offers more than 17m articles in 270 languages. Every day thousands of people edit entries or add new ones in return for nothing more than the satisfaction of contributing to the stock of human knowledge. Wikipedia relies on its users’ generosity to fill its coffers as well as its pages. Recent visitors to the website were confronted with images of Jimmy Wales, a co-founder (pictured), and a request for donations. The campaign was annoying but effective, raising $16m in 50 days.

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