#WikipediaDay – Wikipedia turns 18

Wikipedia birthday cakes made for Wikipedia’s 16th birthday – image by Beko CC BY-SA 4.0

By John Lubbock, Wikimedia UK Communications Coordinator

January 15 is the anniversary of the day on which Wikipedia was launched in 2001. I first got involved with Wikipedia in 2011, when I volunteered at a party organised by a friend of mine for Wikipedia’s 10th anniversary. 18, although a coming of age in many countries, doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as the 10th or 20th anniversary, and so there’s no big party this year, but we are marking it on social media anyway with the hashtag #WikipediaDay, and asking people to send us messages about why they value Wikipedia, why they think others should value Wikipedia, and what they would say to someone to encourage them to become a Wikipedia editor.

We’ve also released a video interview with Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, which is on our YouTube channel, as well as on Wikimedia Commons, where you can download it to reuse however you want.

We’d love to hear how everybody else is celebrating Wikipedia Day, and what you are looking forward to doing or working on with any of the Wikimedia projects this year. There are lots of important Wikimedia events coming up this year, and we hope to work with more academic and cultural institutions than ever before to grow Wikipedia and help people use it in an effective way. The Structured Data on Commons will hopefully finish, which will lead to big improvements on Commons, and there will be lots of work to promote and document Wikidata as it continues to evolve into an important project in its own right. So send us a message on social media and tell us what you’re doing and what you’re looking forward to!