2011 is looking up for Wikipedia, the collaborative free-content internet encyclopedia.
On January 1, co-founder Jimmy Wales announced in a blog post that the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia's non-profit parent company that also manages other free Wikis (such as Wiktionary, Wikiquote and Wikimedia Commons), had reached its yearly fundraiser goal in record time.
"Even though we raised more this year than any other year--$16 million--it was also the shortest fundraiser we've ever had," wrote Wales. He also wrote that more than 500,000 donations were made to the Wikimedia Foundation.
Frequent users of Wikipedia will recall that a banner bearing the face of Jimmy Wales--and an "appeal" for user donations--appeared on the website back in November. According to ReadWriteWeb, "the Jimmy Wales banner was so effective that Wikipedia raised in a week what took a month in 2009."
International Business Times notes that the $16 million will keep Wikipedia ad-free for all of 2011, during which Wikipedia will celebrate its 10th anniversary.
"Wikipedia is now the fifth most visited website in the world," Wales also wrote in his blog post, "but our staff, infrastructure and budget are just a fraction of any other top 10 website's [...] This fundraiser had all the ingredients of what we love about Wikimedia projects: people come together, contribute what they have, and together we do something amazing."