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Wikimedia, the essential infrastructure for open knowledge
Florence Devouard has been a major player in the Wikimedia world for 22 years. She was the second Chairperson following founder Jimmy Wales. Today, the Wikipedia is one of the top 5 websites used in the world. Florence talks about how they achieved this, becoming a trustworthy source of verified and referenced information.
The 2030 mission is ambitious and inclusive – way beyond the online encyclopedia we all know. The most striking ideas in our conversation are her thoughts about the challenges that lie ahead:
- Finances –making information available free for everyone costs money
- New user habits – sharing in a media that fits today’s world of video and audio, chunked, short pieces
- AI – the current spread of generative AI, and how people are using chat GPT to get info, decreasing the use of the Wikipedia that has actually been scraped by AI providers
- Freedom in the world in particular what has been happening with the Wikipedia in Russia the last few years
- Getting data about climate change out into the open
The sidebar offers more information about Florence as well as links to some of the Wikimedia Foundation initiatives.
Photo credit: Bijay Chaurasia. CC BY SA 4.0
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Links to explore
Articles about Wikimedia world
Florence Wikimedian in Residence at WIPO
World Intellectual Property Organization
WikiChallenge African Schools by the Orange Foundation
My conversation with Florence 2 years ago