Wiki Legacy: The Wikimedia Foundation

Most people know about Wikipedia; however, I’m not sure how many are aware of the Wiki :Legacy and what it has to offer. And it is a legacy with much to offer contributors and users a like.

The Wikimedia Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. It operates some of the largest collaboratively edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, a top-ten internet property.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? These are, after all, the people who bring us the ever-popular Wikipedia. But it’s so much more than that, and one glance at the Meta-Wiki is rather telling.

Meta-Wiki, the global community site for the Wikimedia projects and the Wikimedia movement in general. Meta-Wiki’s discussions range from coordination and documentation to planning and analysis of future Wikimedia activities.

Although there are many projects, here are some of the best-known ready resources. 

Wikipedia really is the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. It is the people’s version of the Encyclopedia Britannica, including classic as well as pop-culture entries and references. Make no mistake, this site is heavily edited and monitored. Incorrect information or claims that cannot be cited don’t stay. As with any heavily-trafficked community, those who don’t self-police are often corrected. Misinformation doesn’t last here so it’s a fairly informative (and often entertaining) source for whatever you might be looking for.

Wikiversity is a Wikimedia Foundation project devoted to learning resources, learning projects, and research for use in all levels, types, and styles of education from pre-school to university, including professional training and informal learning. Teachers, students, and researchers are invited to join in creating open educational resources and collaborative learning communities. To learn more about Wikiversity, try a guided tour or start editing now.

Wiktionary, the English-language, is a collaborative project to produce a free-content multilingual dictionary. It aims to describe all words of all languages using definitions and descriptions in English. Designed as the lexical companion to Wikipedia, the encyclopedia project, It has grown beyond a standard dictionary and now includes a thesaurus, a rhyme guide, phrase books, language statistics and extensive appendices. The aim is to include not only the definition of a word, but also enough information to really understand it. Thus etymologies, pronunciations, sample quotations, synonyms, antonyms and translations are included.

Touted as the free library that anyone can improve, Wikisource is a wonderful collections of texts, documents, poetry, laws, scientific and research papers, and general literature.

The site translates to several languages and is often cited as source for Wikipedia articles, and is sorted by author, works, books and portals. Users are also able to pull up random entries as well as random works. New features and highlights are listed on the home page.

Wikispecies, the free species directory that anyone can edit. It covers Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Bacteria, Archaea, Protista and all other forms of life. So far we have 382,742 articles Wikispecies is free, because life is in the public domain!

The site can be read in multiple languages. The home page offers a standard community portal, recent pages, random changes and random page choices.

Wikiquote is a free online compendium of sourced quotations from notable people and creative works in every language, translations of non-English quotes, and links to Wikipedia for further information.

The main page includes Quotes of the Day, new pages and selected pages. Main categories include authors, occupation, nationality, films, literature, television, lists, proverbs and themes.

Wikidata is a free knowledge base that can be read and edited by humans and machines alike. It is for data what Wikimedia Commons is for media files: it centralizes access to and management of structured data, such as interwiki references and statistical information. It contains data in every language supported by the MediaWiki software. You can read the introduction to learn more about Wikidata or visit the help portal. To see Wikidata in action, view the item about Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Wikinews is the free news source you can write! It includes featured news, interviews and reports. The home page displays recent interviews, original reporting, best work and popular articles. Categoreis include Crime and law, Culture and entertainment, Disasters and accidents, Economy and business, Education, Environment, Health, Obituaries, Politics and conflicts, Science and technology, Sports, Wacky news and Weather. Location choices (Africa • Asia • South America • North America • Europe • Middle East • Oceania) are also offered.

Wikibooks is a Wikimedia project for collaboratively writing open-content textbooks that anyone, including you, can edit right now by clicking on the edit link that appears near the top of each Wikibooks page. You can easily browse available books by subject. Wikibooks has two sub-projects; Wikijunior which is aimed at children and the Cookbook collection of recipes and culinary topics. Contributors maintain the property rights to their contributions, while the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License and the GNU Free Documentation License makes sure that the submitted version and its derivative works will always remain freely distributable and reproducible. Wikibooks went online on 10 July 2003.

Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to everyone, in their own language. It acts as a common repository for the various projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, but you do not need to belong to one of those projects to use media hosted here. The repository is created and maintained not by paid archivists, but by volunteers.

Unlike media files uploaded to other projects, files uploaded to Wikimedia Commons can be embedded on pages of all Wikimedia projects without the need to separately upload them there. Launched on 7 September 2004, Wikimedia Commons hit the 1,000,000 uploaded media file milestone on 30 November 2006 and currently contains 19,426,612 files and 113,345 media collections. Unlike traditional media repositories, Wikimedia Commons is free.

MediaWiki is a free software open source wiki package written in PHP, originally for use on Wikipedia. It is now also used by several other projects of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation and by many other wikis, including this website, the home of MediaWiki. Use the links below to explore the site contents. You’ll find some content translated into other languages, but the primary documentation language is English

And now, my brand-new favourite… 

Welcome to Wikivoyage—the travel guide anyone can edit! We, the Wikivoyagers who’ve made it, hope that you enjoy what you see and that you join us in making a free, up-to-date, complete and reliable worldwide travel guide.

No, really do it. It’s a bucket of awesome.

Follow Wikimedia on Twitter and donate directly to the foundation. We do. 

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