Fifteen years ago today, on January 15th, 2001, Wikipedia was founded by two internet pioneers, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, although neither had any idea how ambitious their online encyclopedia would become. Today Wikipedia is the tenth most popular website in the world, with versions available in some 280 languages containing around 35m articles. Like the ancient library of Alexandria and Denis Diderot’s encyclopedia published during the Enlightenment, Wikipedia is an ever-evolving manifestation of its creators’ desire to preserve and compile knowledge.

Wikipedia was early to anticipate three important digital trends. First, people are willing to participate in global forums for nothing. Wikipedia, which is written and edited by volunteers, was an early social network. Second, Wikipedia saw that the knowledge economy was heading online. In 2012 the “Encyclopedia Britannica” stopped printing and is now only available in digital form. Third, Wikipedia showed the importance of network effects to online ventures: the more people use Wikipedia and write entries, the more helpful it has become. Younger digital firms, like Facebook and Uber, are premised on this same concept.

Here are some amazing facts you might not know about Wikipedia

In 2002, wikipedia founder- jimmy wales, announced that he will not post commercial advertisements 

The website has 38 million articles in 289 languages.

There are over 115,000 active editors and more than 27,000,000 listed editors

50 percent of the website’s traffic comes from Google

Approximately 684 million page views are recorded every year

According to a study, it would take approximately 16 years to read the entire Wikipedia.

 The most edited page ever belongs to George W. Bush.

Additional information: Economist