Saturday, 2 June 2007

A Wiki Idea!

Today I wanted to share the inspiring story of Wikipedia. If you would like to read it in more detail then just follow this link to Wikipedia's history.

Basically it began with a dream (as all great achievements do)...

A dream to provide a free encyclopedia that would be available to the world.
So Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger got together to form Nupedia. They had developed a very intricate 7 step process for writing articles. This venture began in 2000. After a year, the progress was painstakingly slow... with 30 people contributing and only 34 articles written. At this rate, it would take several life times to produce an encyclopedia!

On Jan 2nd 2001 Ben Kovitz ( a computer programer) introduced Wiki to Sanger.
The idea being that the Wiki software would truly achieve the ultimate 'open' source for contributers to the encyclopedia. Absolutely anyone could log-in, and contribute.
And as you can imagine, there was considerable resistance on the part of Nupedia's editors and reviewers to the idea of associating Nupedia with a wiki-style website. Sanger suggested giving the new project its own name, Wikipedia, and Wikipedia was soon launched on its own domain,, on 15th Jan 2001.

The project passed 1,000 articles around feb 12th 2001 and 10,000 articles around Sept 7th. In the first year of its existence, over 20,000 encyclopedia entries were created — a rate of over 1,500 articles per month (Nupedia would have taken over 588 years to achieve what Wikipedia did on average each month in it's first year!).
On Aug 30th 2002 the article count reached 40,000.
Today there are 1 811 427 articles in English!
All in all there are nearly 7 1/2 million articles and over 7 1/2 million users of Wikipedia!

As if this wasn't amazing enough... Wikipedia has been found to be 1% more accurate than the Brittanica encyclopedia (or so the rumors go)!

Isn't it amazing what happens when we are willing to let go of our control... and opt for multiplication through others!
Imagine how much more of a legacy you can have when you let go of your ministry... giftings... and even dreams etc. and focus on investing your life into others!
Imagine how much more you can accomplish when you let go of control and let God take the reigns in your life!

I absolutely can't wait to hear your thoughts on this blog : )


Christian Student Scientist said...

Good post and a great message! The problem for me is that it is one of those advices that I don't know how to implement in real life. The 'letting go' might be a beautiful thing, but it should be donee with some wisdom to discern whether your current ministry, giftings and dreams are already your life's investment into others? For example, I am on a research team that investigates a disease, cure to which could help several millions of people. As I spend long nights and weekends working on my research, am I investing into lifes of others or should I let go and feed the hungry instead?

Clive Smit said...

The idea of 'letting go' wasn't so much about not pursuing your career or interests, etc.
Rather the idea was releasing one's clenched fist, control over what you are doing... getting others involved, getting their ideas about what you are doing.

I personally think that the research you are doing is as noble and valuable as the work of a person who has dedicated their lives to serving poor people.

Thanks for your comment!