Wikimedia To Launch A Commercial Product For Tech Giants
The Wikimedia Foundation, which operates the Wikipedia project in more than 300 languages as well as other wiki-projects, is announcing the launch of a commercial product, Wikimedia Enterprise, as reported by Wired.
The new service is designed for the sale and efficient delivery of Wikipedia’s content directly to these online behemoths (and eventually, to smaller companies too).
“This is the first time the foundation has recognized that commercial users are users of our service,” says Lane Becker, a senior director at the foundation, who has been ramping up the Enterprise project with a small team. “We’ve known they are there, but we never really treated them as a user base.”
For years now, Wikipedia has made freely available a snapshot of everything that appears on the site every two weeks—a so-called “data dump” for users—as well as a “fire hose” of all the changes as they are happening, delivered in a different format. This is how big companies typically import Wikipedia content into their platforms, with no special help from the foundation.
“They all have teams dedicated to Wikipedia management—big ones,” Becker said, adding that making the different content speak to each other required “a lot of low-level work—cleaning and managing—which is very expensive.”