From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Logo of the Wikimedia foundation, designed by Wikipedia user "Neolux"
The Wikimedia Foundation Inc. is the parent organization of Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, Wikisource and Nupedia. It is a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of Florida, USA. Its existence was officially announced by Bomis CEO and Wikipedia co-founder Jimbo Wales on June 20, 2003. The name "Wikimedia" was coined by Sheldon Rampton in a WikiEN-l mailing list post in March 2003. Subsequently, the domain names http://wikimedia.org and http://wikimediafoundation.org were secured for the Foundation by Wikipedia contributor Daniel Mayer.
The goals of the foundation are to encourage the growth and development of open content, WikiWiki-based projects and to provide the full contents of those projects to the public free of charge and without advertising. In addition to managing the already developed multilingual general encyclopedia and almanac named Wikipedia, there is a multi-language dictionary and thesaurus named Wiktionary, an encyclopedia of quotations named Wikiquote and a collection of e-book resources aimed specifically toward students (such as textbooks and annotated public domain books) named Wikibooks. The Foundation also manages the operations of the largely dormant Nupedia project (which is not a wiki but is open content).
With the Foundation's announcement, Wales also transferred ownership of all Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Nupedia domain names to Wikimedia along with the copyrights for all materials related to these projects that were created by Bomis employees or Wales himself. The computer equipment used to run all the Wikimedia projects was also donated by Wales to the Foundation.
Wales previously mentioned on several occasions that bandwidth and power will continue to be provided by Bomis free of charge for these projects. It is hoped that the existence of the non-profit foundation will make it possible to generate enough revenue through donations and grantss to ensure the continued growth of each of the Wikimedia projects.
There had already been extensive discussions of the responsibilities of a board, and attempts to start to write a board manual. More egalitarian methods of governance had also been explored. It is not clear how these will influence the new Wikimedia process.