(Wikipedia corrects its unique visitors figure to 410 million
from 440 million in paragraph 3)
* Emerging markets viewed to reach goal of 1 bln users
* Online encyclopedia vows to maintain non-profit status
By Daniel Trotta
NEW YORK, Jan 12 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 on Saturday, also vows to reach that goal in the next
five years while maintaining its status as a non-profit
Wikipedia claims 410 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
"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 on Tuesday. She spoke on
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
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.
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
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.
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.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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