Web

Wikipedia is losing contributors, says Jimmy Wales

wikipedia is losing contributors says jimmy wales jimmywalesWikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia that seems to turn up on the first page of every Google search anyone ever does, is losing contributors.

Founder Jimmy Wales told the Associated Press on Thursday that some volunteers who provide content for the site have grown tired of the laborious editing procedures.

Wales, who is attending the website’s seventh annual get-together in Haifa, Israel, called the methods used to contribute and edit material “convoluted,” adding: “A lot of editorial guidelines….are impenetrable to new users.”

According to AP’s report, as of March this year the site had around 90,000 contributors, which sounds pretty healthy to us. It’s not clear at what rate they’re leaving the site, but Wales would like to increase the count by some 5,000 by June 2012.

While the website is used by many people around the world, Wales described the typical contributor as “a 26-year-old geeky male” who eventually gets married and moves on to other things. Wales is hoping to change this.

One of the ways it’s planning to increase numbers is through the expansion of a program which has professors at universities in a number of countries encouraging students to write articles for the website.

The online encyclopedia occasionally comes under fire for being unreliable, and is sometimes targeted by jokers changing entries. However, tighter controls have been introduced over the years to improve content, prompting Wikipedia’s executive director Sue Gardner to say in a speech at the conference on Thursday: “Making fun of Wikipedia is so 2007.” The problem might be that it’s the tightening of controls to prevent rogue articles that has caused the contributing/editing process to become so convoluted.

Jimmy Wales was keen to point out that the drop in the number of contributors was nowhere near turning into an emergency situation for the site. “It is not a crisis, but I consider it to be important,” he said.

The non-profit online encyclopedia website launched just over ten years ago and is currently home to over 3.7 million English-language articles. Overall there are 19 million articles in 282 languages. It is currently the fifth most visited website on the Internet.

Image: Joi Ito

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Social Media

‘Superwoman’ YouTuber Lilly Singh taking a break for her mental health

Claiming to be "mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted," popular YouTuber Lilly Singh has told her millions of fans she's taking a break from making videos in order to recuperate.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Mobile

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.
Mobile

Google honors Veterans Day by highlighting military service stories

For Veterans Day, Google is honoring the heroes that served the country with a new Google Doodle that highlights the stories of five veterans from the five different branches of the military.
Emerging Tech

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sale smashes online shopping records

The annual online shopping frenzy that is Singles' Day this year raked in $30.8 billion, up from $25 billion last time around. The Alibaba-organized event generates more in sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
Mobile

Apple to boost its Amazon presence with listings for iPhones, iPads, and more

Apple is about to start offering more of its kit on Amazon. The tech giant currently only has very limited listings on the shopping site, but the deal will see the arrival of the latest iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and more.
Computing

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.
Computing

Will Chrome remain our favorite web browser with the arrival of newest version?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
News

Zoom in on famous works through the Art Institute of Chicago’s new website

Art lovers, listen up. The Art Institute of Chicago has given its website a serious makeover with new features that let you get up close and personal with more than 50,000 artworks by famous (and not so famous) artists.
Computing

Over a million veterans now eligible for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program

Comcast's low-cost Internet Essentials program, which provides internet access for just $10 per month, has expanded to include U.S. veterans. One million veterans now qualify for the service.
Computing

Google’s Squoosh will get an image web-ready with in-browser compression

Google's latest web app development is an image editing and compression tool, Squoosh. In just a few clicks, it can take a huge image and make it much lighter and web-friendly, all in your browser.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Smart Home

Amazon has a huge team dedicated to enhancing Alexa and Echo

An Amazon executive on Tuesday, November 13 revealed the huge size of the team that's tasked with developing the Echo, the company's smart speaker, and Alexa, the digital assistant that powers it.