For about the last five years, Wikipedia has had trouble getting and keeping new volunteer editors. The foundation behind Wikipedia has made building up the editor base a major goal, and is attacking it from all angles, such as encouraging a culture that is friendlier to newbies, creating an easier sign-up page, and making the editing process more intutitive.
But what if the decline in engagement has little to do with culture or the design of the site? What if, instead, it's that there's just less for new Wikipedians to do?
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has joined the opposition to the Communications Data Bill that was proposed by the UK government earlier this year. Civil rights groups have raised the alarm about provisions that could require British ISPs to keep records of every website their customers visit for 12 months. Now Wales is threatening to enable encryption on Wikipedia for UK Web users to protect their privacy.
Online encyclopaedia Wikipedia was knocked offline on Monday thanks to two accidentally cut cables near a data centre in Florida.
The site, and various associated services, were inaccessible or extremely sluggish for over two hours beginning at around 1430 BST on Monday.
A status web page showed various parts of the Wikimedia network as suffering performance issues. Wikipedia ruled out any suggestion of malicious intent being behind problem. The two cables, which stretched between Tampa and Virginia, were broken for an hour and six minutes, the site said.
Visitors to Wikipedia who see advertisements on the site have most likely fallen victim to a browser-based malware infection, Wikimedia Foundation, the organization operating the website, said on Monday.
"We never run ads on Wikipedia," said Philippe Beaudette, director of community advocacy for the Wikimedia Foundation, in a blog post. "If you're seeing advertisements for a for-profit industry ... or anything but our fundraiser, then your web browser has likely been infected with malware."
In the days of my youth, we didn't have “the Internet” to just go and Google stuff. Back then, it was either go to the library (yes, that funny place with books), or if you were lucky enough, you had a an encyclopaedia set at home. Those days are long gone.