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Monday, December 20, 2010

Where Knowledge is Free - in fact a click away

WORLD WIDE WEB (www) needs no introduction – now a days, many of us have the habit of searching the internet for the commonest of the details.  ‘google’ has become a verb – typifying the search in the top search engine ‘’.

There is another one considered very reliant and a fund source of knowledge – with content pages of      3,507,389 in English; page edits since set up : 433,089,612 (as at this minute 20th Dec 2010) – yes  it is the “Wikipedia” – the free encyclopeadia that any one can edit.   Wikipedia is a free online English-language encyclopedia project whose articles were written by experts and reviewed under a formal process.

Before we read some details of Wikipedia here is a new one :  Their prologue reads :  Écuras born from the desire to create and disseminate knowledge with everyone and for everyone from ……  and the world.    Thanks to the contribution of our partners, to this day, December 20th of 2010, we have a total of 19,898 items .

Now - Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 17 million articles (over 3.5 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site.  Wikipedia was launched in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger and has become the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet ranking seventh among all websites on Alexa and having 365 million readers. is a Web information company and do you know what is ranked  : 3,096,321 in

In some ways, the 7th ranking is not fair to its rich contents.  The ones above Wikipedia are :  Google, Facebook, Youtube,  Yahoo, Live and Baidu. is the leading Chinese language search engine.

Not strangely, Social networking Facebook is more popular than the content rich Wikipedia.   The name Wikipedia was coined by Larry Sanger and is derivative  from wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites, from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning "quick") and encyclopedia.

Sure you know of the Republic of Cuba – an island in the Caribbean.  Havana is its capital.  To the north of Cuba lies USA, Mexico to the West, Cayman Islands & Jamaica to the South and Haiti, Dominican Republic to the Southeast.    Cuba was founded by Christopher Columbus in 1492.    Cuba  has launched  online encyclopaedia similar to Wikipedia.  The aim of Ecured is to disseminate information from a "decolonizer" point of view.  It is reportedly launched with  the goal of presenting its view of the world and history.  The new Spanish language website is already up and running with nearly 20,000 entries. The site says the aim is to spread knowledge without a profit motive.  Updates will apparently be allowed with the administrators' approval but it is not clear who actually runs the site.

The entry on the United States, for example, describes it as the "empire of our time, which has historically taken by force territory and natural resources from other nations, to put at the service of its businesses and monopolies". "It consumes 25% of the energy produced on the planet and in spite of its wealth, more than a third of its population does not have assured medical attention," the article says.  The site is reportedly operated by Cuba's Youth Computer Club, an affiliate of the Communist Youth Union.

The entry about India is (translated from Spanish to English using Google translation tool) “   India, officially the Republic of India. Country located in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country and the second most populous. It borders the Indian Ocean on the south by the Arabian Sea to the west and the Bay of Bengal to the east. India also borders Pakistan to the west, the north by China, Nepal and Bhutan and the east with Bangladesh and Burma.

Home to the Indus Valley culture and a historical region for trade routes and vast empires, the Indian subcontinent was identified by its commercial and cultural wealth in most of its long history."

-        there are various ways of finding out information and always be wary that ‘the information obtained from search contents of www may not always be the right one “.

If you still remember the Question in the middle :  3,096,321 in  is :

Regards : S. Sampathkumar.

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