Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Canada’s most-awarded
newsroom for a reason
Stay informed for a
lot less, cancel anytime
“Exemplary reporting on
COVID-19” – Herman L
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation Sue Gardner takes part in a photo session during an interview with Agence France-Presse, in New York, January 11, 2011.Wikipedia, the fifth most visited website in the world, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary.

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP / Getty Images

With China virtually cut off and Western markets maturing, Wikipedia is targeting India first and possibly Brazil next to reach its goal of 1 billion users, Executive Director Sue Gardner says.

The San Francisco-based online encyclopedia, which turns 10 years old Saturday, also vows to reach that goal in the next five years while maintaining its status as a non-profit organization.

Wikipedia claims 440 million unique visitors a month -- fifth most in the world -- making it the envy of many for-profit rivals in the Silicon Valley who aspire to generate such numbers.

Story continues below advertisement

"We're a little bit confounding to folks in Silicon Valley because they look at us and see the potential for monetization, just because their entire world is geared toward monetization," Gardner told Reuters in an interview Tuesday. She spoke Tuesday but her remarks were embargoed until Wednesday.

"We don't move in the world of IPOs and valuation and investment," said Gardner, who runs the non-profit foundation behind Wikipedia. "We never talk about it, we never think about it."

For now Wikipedia is content to function on its operating budget of about $20 million a year, raised mostly through donations, with the primary goal of adding more readers.

INDIA, THEN BRAZIL

This year it will open its first overseas office, in India, where Wikipedia hopes to increase readership and articles in English and several Indian languages, she said. Among 316 events marking the 10th anniversary in 104 countries, 60 events were scheduled inside India.

"Our main strategic focus right now is on India and other countries in the developing world. Massive numbers of people are starting to get connected to the Internet, mostly through mobile phones but also through traditional PCs," she said.

"Brazil is provisionally next," Gardner said.

Story continues below advertisement

China will have to wait until Wikipedia has guarantees its content will not be censored.

Wikipedia has opted against moving servers into China because of the condition it would have to agree to government limits on publishing.

"We made a decision that we weren't going to collaborate in our own filtering," she said.

The company relies on some 100,000 regular contributors who work for free -- "Isn't it amazing?" Gardener said -- and the general public to write and edit its articles in 270 languages.

The site carries 17 million articles in English, adding 1,100 per day.

Although Wikipedia allows virtually anyone to add or alter entries without oversight, the journal Nature reported in 2006 its accuracy was close to that of Encyclopedia Britannica.

Story continues below advertisement

Wikipedia, which says its quality controls stop most "vandals" from posting maliciously inaccurate articles for very long, was also working with 12 universities to increase the quality of articles about public policy, Gardner said.

"Over time, people are trusting us more," she said.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies