It has been (already!) ten years since the Wikipedia started its activities as self-organized encyclopedia, global phenomenon gathering many volunteers world wide to collaborate in and contribute to this information and knowledge entity. As Social web researcher and an Internet Scholar I believe in the power of knowledge and collaborative ideas, actions as well as in free and open source information and knowledge, online communities and their power to make a difference. I’ve been writing (my Master thesis), blogging, participating, and contributing to this project, and for me Wikipedia is an excellent example of transparent, collaborative, and participatory information and knowledge movement and growing online community.
Working for over a decade in a related area, I perceive Wikipedia as an upgrowing phenomenon, a sustaining global change, where participation and interaction between contributors and users are very important. All of these present the future of the next generation of Web so Wikipedia has a bright future. With some concerns.
Being someone who’s involved indirectly and directly in Wikipedia and Wikimedia activities I want to emphasize three important points (not the only issues that Wikipedia has to embrace) in the years to come, as Wikipedia evolves globally sharing free information. First, it is increasingly important to have strong local chapters which are accessible to everyone. Achieving the balance is hard, but I believe that through the participation it is possible. All of you are showing every day that the focus on motivation and the mixture of the “ideology and fun” will deliver the strongest results. Beside further chapters formation, I’m also looking forward to seeing more lead initiatives in the higher education: engaging schools, universities and libraries, and social technology implemented in Wikimedia projects, which will increase the quality and the credibility of the content. And third equally important point is: I hope the focus, in the adolescence years of Wikipedia, will be on activities and projects in the developing countries, emerging, third world countries, where the access to the open and free information many times is not available. Also, I hope that the sharp divide between global West and global South and other developing ares in the world will slowly diminish.
With good hopes and good spirit, lots of good cheer, I wish everyone who is contributing to Wikipedia to stay creative, motivated, positive and inspired. I’m looking forward to collaborating with you in the upcoming years, I’m wishing you a happy birthday Wikipedia!