The Straits Times
Published on Dec 13, 2012

Wikipedia sees future - and threat - in cell phones


NEW YORK (AFP) - Cell phones could be Wikipedia's path to global domination, but may also pose a risk to the crowdsourcing culture the online encyclopedia relies on, chief executive Sue Gardner says.

On one hand, says Ms Gardner, who is also executive director of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, cell phones are by far the best way to reach vast new audiences in the developing southern hemisphere where people rely heavily on handheld devices, rather than desktops or laptops.

Right now, "Wikipedia is most popular and most effective in richer countries, because they have fast band, good Internet penetration and people own lots of devices", she told AFP in New York.

"In developing countries, people are going straight to the Internet only with mobile phones."