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Wikipedia has big plans for India: Co-founder

Nov 19, 2011 07:42 AM IST India India
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Mumbai: When looking for a one stop source of information on virtually anything under the sun, more often than not people turn to Wikipedia, a site on which ordinary people who are armed with simple internet access can update information as it happens when it happens.

Co-founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales, who is in India for the three-day Wiki conference, said that the idea for the online encyclopaedia came to him at a time when the internet was full of pop-up ads.

Wales said, "At this time of course the internet was full of pop up ads and people selling dog food and all of the things from the dot com boom. And I thought we should do something more useful with the internet and that was the original thought behind the site."

Wales believes India with its billion plus people can drive the global information highway in the future.

"We have over 60,000 entries in Hindi for example, but if you compare it with the number of people speaking Hindi it's actually not really as big as it could be. I think it's an exciting time for India as the next huge wave of people is coming online," he said.

In Mumbai, over 600 contributors are celebrating the Wiki conference. Such is the fervour behind the conference that some participants, like Anirudh, are visually impaired but excited to be there.

"Thousands of contributors around the world are creating something that will only be useful to us in the future," said Anirudh.

On the flip side of course accessing the information from Wikipedia can be simply a lazy research. This is because a matrix as complicated as Wikipedia and as accessible to all, can result in hoaxes.

There are many reports of fake or fake information on the one-stop online encyclopaedia, for example, a call centre employee in Scotland claimed to be a war hero fooling many.