Wikipedia aims for World Heritage Site status
Wikipedia is applying to UNESCO to earn a spot on one of the world heritage lists and would be the outfit's first digital entity.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit, is among the top five websites in the world with over 410 million unique visitors across over 270 languages. India with its diversity of languages and being the second largest country in terms of population is now a key focus area for Wikimedia - the foundation that runs the Wikipedia project. In just 10 years, Wikipedia has become a phenomenon and a ready reckoner for knowledge in the world, not just in English, but in over 270 different languages spoken by human kind.
There are already 20 Indic language Wikipedia's and another 20 are in incubation. Wikipedia has launched a campaign to be listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Lists. According to the release, it states that Wikipedia is a pioneering project of the digital age has carried the ancient idea of common and free knowledge over into the third millennium. Thus it would seem to be predestined to become the first ever digital World Heritage Site. Wikimedia proposed the idea at the global Wikipedia conference in Berlin in March and got a go-ahead from all the 30 chapters from across the country.
“It started with a simple idea: Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. In the beginning this idea was considered utopian and being smiled upon for its idealism. In just ten years we all have made big steps towards reaching this goal. Ten years in which this simple idea evolved into nothing less than the greatest collection of human knowledge. Ten years in which the vision of free knowledge has evolved into a system of sharing knowledge beyond national and cultural borders.” says the campaign page.
The Wikipedia page explaining the campaign also lists appreciation for Wikipedians, higher attention for Wikipedia in the public and increasing awareness of free knowledge as a benefit. The organization has set up an online campaign for people to register their support for the initiative and the petition will run until January 15, 2012.