It's December, which means it's time to recap what's happened over the past 12 months. We've done it. Twitter's done it. Google's done it. And for the first time, Wikipedia is joining that tradition with a video that highlights some of the most memorable events of the year. One twist: Wikipedia's managed it in a uniquely encyclopedic way, putting together a video using only text, photos, and videos that were uploaded by its contributors. It's a powerful example not just of the year's news stories, but also of Wikipedia's reach as an information platform.
"It changes and grows, accommodating our human triumphs and losses."
"Wikipedia reflects the world around us. With each new event, it changes and grows, accommodating our human triumphs and losses," wrote Katherine Maher of the Wikimedia Foundation in a post about the project. One such loss is the incredible toll on human lives caused by the Ebola outbreaks in West Africa this year, prompting some 2,887 edits to that page during the year as events unfolded, with 90 percent of those being made between July and November when events were escalating.
Missing from Wikipedia's recap is some news about the site itself, including an ambitious (though ill-advised) project to make a print edition of the English version of Wikipedia, which did not meet its Indiegogo fundraising goals, as well as a statue being erected in Poland in the site's honor. Wikipedia says that more than 3 million articles were created there during the year, and more than 100 million edits were made along the way, with its pages being viewed some 250 billion times by people around the world.