It has provided an electronic forum space for easy accessibility of nearly all information ranging across all the disciplines that have ever been discovered. Wikipedia is a web encyclopedia that brings together writers, authors, content developers and any other person with academic information to avail them in a more harnessed and collaborated manner. ‘Wikipedia’ is etiologically a combination of two. ‘Wiki’ and ‘pedia’. Wiki is a web application that allows users to be able to put , edit, or even delete content on an online electronic space while ‘pedia’ is derived from the Greek word ‘paedia’ which means knowledge. A combination of these two, therefore, means Wikipedia is an online web page that allows users referred to as ‘Wikipedians’ to add, edit o even remove content that contributes to knowledge. It is essential to note that this is a free online encyclopedia and users can access it at any time without paying for anything (Watts, 2007:23).
Brief History of Wikipedia
Wikipedia has undergone multiple decadal milestones since its official launch on January 15th, 2001 although it technologically dates older than this. Rick Gates is known to have first conceptualized an idea about the online encyclopedia in 1993 although, in 2000, Stallman proposed the need for not just a mere online encyclopedia but free one that its content can be edited and updated with the changing times. His (Stallman) idea was that no single person or individual should have the sole responsibility and authority to completely run the online encyclopedia and this was in great contrast with the encyclopedias such as Microsoft Encarta, Nupedia among others that existed at that moment (2000). This saw a number of changes made including the changing of Nupedia’s license to become GFDL and Wikipedia were launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger changing the initial objective of being a foil for Nupedia (which was written only by experts who controlled its use).