Sun, Jul 08, 2007 - Page 2 News List

`Wikipedians' to flock to Taipei for Wikimania 2007

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

More than 500 "Wikipedians" -- volunteers around the world working to compose and update the online encyclopedia Wikipedia -- are scheduled to meet in Taipei next month.

The opportunity to host Wikimania 2007, the third annual international Wikipedia conference, was made possible through the work of 20 or so Taiwanese Wikipedians, Wikimedia Taiwan said.

On its Web site, Wikimedia Taiwan, which is affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation, said the Taiwanese team beat teams from Egypt, Hong Kong, Turkey, the US, England and Italy in a Wikimedia Foundation fund-raising competition last year.

Founded in 2003, the foundation is in charge of collaborative online projects. Wikipedia is one of them.

Wikimedia Taiwan chairman Teng Jie (鄧傑), known as "Theodoranian" among Wikipedians, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

However, in a television interview with the Taiwan Broadcasting System this month he stressed the value of cooperation among people around the globe to collect information.

"In the past, people thought nothing good would come out of a bunch of Internet surfers getting together," he was quoted as saying in the news clip. "Wikipedia proves otherwise and shows that two heads are better than one."

As a non-profit organization, the team in Taiwan was able to garner support from local sponsors such as Chunghwa Telecom.

The main conference will be held from Aug. 3 to Aug. 5.

Jimmy Wales, one of Wikipedia's founders, and Joichi Ito, an advocate of shared economy, are also expected to attend.

From Aug. 1 to Aug. 2, the organizer has arranged for technology and media personnel to meet for a series of discussions on issues related to their fields.

Wikipedians around the world first gathered in 2005 in Frankfurt, Germany.

The conference was then held in Boston, Massachusetts, last year.

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