The Wikimedia Foundation Inc. is the parent organization of Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, Wikisource, In Memoriam 9/11, Wikimedia Commons and Nupedia. It is a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of Florida, USA. Its existence was officially announced by former Bomis CEO and Wikipedia co-founder Jimbo Wales on June 20, 2003.
The goals of the foundation are 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 managing the already developed multilingual general encyclopedia Wikipedia, there is 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 resources aimed specifically toward students (such as textbooks and annotated public domain books) named Wikibooks. The Foundation also manages a memorial collection of articles about the Sept. 11. attacks and the operations of the largely dormant Nupedia project (which is not a wiki but is open content). The continued growth of each of the Wikimedia projects is dependent on donations. The Wikimedia Foundation aims to increase revenue by finding alternative means of financing, including grants and sponsorship.
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 wikimedia.org and wikimediafoundation.org were secured for the Foundation by Wikipedia contributor Daniel Mayer. As of June 2004, Wikimedia's bandwidth and power is donated to the project by Bomis.
In January 2004, Jimmy Wales appointed 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. Further, Tim Starling was appointed Developer Liaison to help improve the organisation of the development of the MediaWiki software.
The name "Wikimedia" was coined by Sheldon Rampton in a post to the English Wikipedia's mailing list in March 2003. It is occasionally criticised for its similarity to the name of Wikipedia which leads to confusion among people new to the project.
- Wikimedia Foundation website
- Wikimedia Foundation bylaws (PDF file)
- Corporate Charter of Wikimedia Foundation Inc. two page TIFF file located on Florida Department of State, Divisions of Corporations web site
- Public Record for Wikimedia Foundation Inc. from Florida Department of State web site
- Announcement of Wikimedia's founding
- Wikimedia's meta page
- Sheldon Rampton's WikiEN-l postca:Wikimedia
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