A victory for the open source community, Wikipedia has officially entered the top 10 most trafficked websites in the U.S. on Alexa. Jimmy “Jimbo” Wales’ open source encyclopedia joins the rankings of Amazon, Craigslist, Facebook, YouTube, eBay, MSN, MySpace, Google and Yahoo. Wikipedia receives over 42.9 million unique visitors per month.
Where does Wikipedia traffic come from? In the U.S., I’m guessing that search engine optimization (SEO) and school students looking to fill up paper bibliographies play a major role in Wikipedia’s growth. Let’s say that you are a high schooler and you are in a biology class that requires you to write a paper about whales. You type in “whale” on Google and the very first result is Wikipedia.
Wikipedia’s donations currently amount to over $1.1 million, including an anonymous friend’s $286,000 donation, but some Wikipedia fans (including the Wikimedia, Chairwoman Florence Nibart-Devouard) fear that once funding runs out or slow down, Wikipedia may have to go offline until there is another funding option.
In response: “I don’t worry about the future.Â Raising enough money to keep Wikipedia going is a big job, but we feel confident that we will continue to be able to do it [source: Arstechnica],” stated Jimbo Wales.Â This is definetely an admirable move by Wales.Â Contextual advertising could help the company raise 9 digits per year easily, but Wales clearly cares more about what the community sees when visiting his creation.