When you think of the Wikimedia Foundation, what comes to mind? For us it’s immediately Wikipedia and Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales who started the foundation. It’s based in San Francisco, and the foundation operates several wiki projects including the ever-so-popular Wikipedia. Wikipedia is obviously the most popular site that’s part of the foundation, but there are other projects that are gaining some ground. Today we’ll be taking a look at some of the Wikimedia Foundation Projects that are currently going on, aside from their most popular, Wikipedia. They include: Wikiversity, Wikiquote, Wiki Books, and Wikispecies.
Wikiversity is a place to go when you want to find educational types of resources. For educators, there’s nothing better than free learning materials and activities. There are two main goals of the site:
- Create and host a range of free-content, and multilingual learning materials/resources for all age groups in all languages
- Host scholarly/learning projects and communities that support these materials
At this point Wikiversity is available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Greek, and other languages will be added in the future. It launched back in August of 2006.
By visiting the homepage, you’ll gain a wealth of knowledge just from taking a look at some of the information they have featured.
One area of the site we recommend visiting is the Featured Content Section where you can explore featured content. They provide a tour for it which helps you come across information you may not have discovered otherwise. You can find it here.
For those of you who like quotes, Wikiquote is going to be one of those pages that you’ll want to bookmark. It’s a free online collection of quotes from various people and in various languages. Within the quotes you may find links to Wikipedia for more information on a certain topic, which is nice.
Each day they have a quote of the day displayed on the Main Page, and then they also have a page for each month where you can view “quotes of the day” from each day in the month. In the left sidebar under the “navigation” section you’ll notice a random page link (as with all other Wiki sites). Clicking it will provide you with a random page with quotes.
One area of the site we recommend visiting is their TV Shows section. Here you’ll find lists of quotes for various TV shows. For an example, we clicked on the Big Bang Theory section and it pulled up quotes from the show organized by which episode it came from. Some shows have quite a few more quotes than others.
Some of you may not have known that Wikbooks even exists yet it’s been around since the Summer of 2003. The purpose of Wikibooks is to provide a place for the creation of free content textbooks and annotated texts that, like other wikis, anybody can edit. (Source)
Out of all of the different Wiki’s, this is the one we were least familiar with so we turned to none other than Wikipedia to learn more about it. We were wondering if all content was new and specific only to Wikibooks or not, and we found our answer. They say, “While some books are original, other began as text copied over from other sources of free content textbooks found on the Internet.”
The one downside to Wikibooks is the fact that the content is written and edited by volunteers which means you may come across incomplete books. The other issue is quality. Not every book you come across would be considered quality content.
Despite these criticisms, they must be doing something right because they have over 30,495 pages of content that people have written. Searching and browsing through content is easy because they break things down into categories, subjects, alphabetically, by the Dewey Decimal classification, and by the Library of Congress classification.
Now this is one we didn’t even know existed, probably because we’ve never really had a use for it. Wikispecies, like the other wiki-based projects we included today, is free and includes a wealth of information. In this particular situation, it’s a wealth of information about species. I guess you could say Wikispecies isn’t for your average joe, and instead is more focused towards those in the science field.
It’s been around only since 2004, but it has grown pretty steadily since. They say they cover Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Bacteria, Archaea, Protista and all other forms of life. Since 2004 they have been able to collect 143,657 “taxonomic articles.”
If Science is your forte and you’re wanting to learn more about all of the various species, Wikispecies is for you.