WikiXDC_Cupcakes_c.jpgToday (January 15) Wikipedia is celebrating its 11th year on the web. Happy Birthday, Wikipedia! Look who/what else you share your birthday with.

Last year was a big one for Wikipedia, rounding out an incredible decade of growth and impact around the world. Over 450 parties took place across virtually every continent, and the world had an amazing story to tell.

Just a year later and we’ve already seen more milestones achieved and records broken. In 2011 Wikipedia blew well past the 20 million article mark, now pushing towards 21 million articles. Wikimedia Commons, the repository of media files for Wikipedia and its sister projects broke 10 million files in 2011. The global page view from unique visitors count leapt up to and over 400 million, and our individual page requests across all Wikimedia projects broke 16 billion per month (see more of our updated stats here). Access on mobile platforms is skyrocketing, and Wikipedia is currently available in 282 languages.

Our global community of volunteers and chapter organizations are also celebrating. Get-togethers are planned around the globe, including meet-ups, hack-a-thons, a bicycle rally, a kite festival in India, and a picnic in Caracas. It’s not too late to host an event in your own neighborhood.

Here in the United States, and certainly in many other parts of the world, Wikipedia Day is also taking on a new meaning and urgency. The US House of Representatives is reviewing a new piece of legislation, the Stop Online Piracy Act, that – if passed – would hurt the free, open, and secure web. This topic has already been explored on our blog – here and here. Wikimedia Foundation is joining a long list of other web organizations in opposition to SOPA, and today the global community of Wikipedia volunteers is talking about a day of protest here in the US against SOPA. You can join the conversation and voice your thoughts. On January 18 – just a few days after Wikipedia Day, make your views on SOPA known.

Wikipedia was born in a free and open web, and its future and success in all parts of the world is at stake. Let’s make sure our project is as strong and free for Wikipedia Day in 2013 as it is today.

Jay Walsh, Communications