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By 14 January 2011 | Categories: news

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Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, is celebrating its tenth birthday tomorrow.

To celebrate its first decade of operation, Wikimedia, the non-profit company that runs Wikipedia is organising a number of events to commemorate the historic day. Birthday events will be held around the world, with every continent being represented. If you're a South African Wikipedia fan and supporter and would like to join in the celebrations, local events are being planned in Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Pietermaritzburg.  
 
The website was founded on the 15th of January 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, and over its ten year history it has become the most widely used general reference website on the internet (a.k.a, in the world). Wikipedia is the eighth most popular site on the web sporting an incredible 365 million monthly readers.
 
The Wikipedia name was originally coined by Larry Sanger and is a combination of the Hawaiian word 'wiki', meaning 'quick' and encyclopedia. The website sports over 17 million different articles, with over 3.5 million written in English, all provided by unpaid volunteers and regular people passionate about a particular subject.
 
Wikipedia is offered to users free of charge and is one of the few major websites to be advertisement free, Wikipedia relies on contributions and donations from the public and is classified as a non-profit organisation.
 
The beauty of Wikipedia is that it's an open project, almost anyone with access to the site has the ability to edit and add their knowledge to articles.

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