– Wikipedia closes its twentieth anniversary year by auctioning the beginning of its story. The ‘Birth of Wikipedia’ sale in which two ‘objects’ belonging to Jimmy Wales are up for grabs will end on December 15th at Christie’s: the Apple iMac Strawberry computer, on which the founder with Larry Sanger of the first free online encyclopedia launched the site on January 15, 2001, and an NFT of the first entry, the greeting “Hello World!”, which the 55-year-old web guru put on the title page of the newborn ‘creature’.
The ‘non fungible token’ preserves the layout of the original home page whose code has never been touched so far, but there is also a dynamic element that will allow the buyer to modify the page and then, if he wants, bring it back to how it was in the beginning. “Making it editable is the right way to artistically express that moment of potential and excitement: when you knew you could create something extraordinary or make a total flop”, said Wales: “I hope the audience will understand and react: that wasn’t today’s mature Wikipedia, it was Jimmy’s crazy idea on a funny January morning. ” At the origins of Wikipedia, Wales, a former stock trader converted to the Enlightenment cause of knowledge for all, personally monitored the encyclopedia from home, watching for potential vandal interventions. When the strawberry-colored iMac became obsolete, the webmaster packed it into the original box which was included in the sale.
“It’s been nearly twenty years since I first wrote the words ‘Hello World!’ and still today I am amazed by the size and breadth of what we have created “, said Wales, hoping to raise enough funds for his new pilot project: WT.Social is an attempt to create a healthier alternative. and non-toxic of existing social platforms through a decentralized and non-commercial network, without advertising, tracking, collection of user information and disinformation.
When Wikipedia was born on January 15, 2011, no one knew, and Wales like the others, if the ‘wiki’ contribution mechanism, inspired by the software created by programmer Ward Cunningham, would work, and if the contents would be reliable. Today the online encyclopedia has become the largest online source of free information, published in over 300 languages, patrolled by thousands of volunteers who check its contents and read for free by billions of people looking for information. In order to further guarantee the reliability of the site, the Wikimedia Foundation published a global code of conduct against abuse, disinformation and manipulation of news last February.
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