Wikimedia Foundation partners with Digicel for Wikipedia Zero

“We are committed to ensuring that people not only have access to the knowledge on Wikipedia without barriers on mobile phones with no data charges, but that they can become knowledge creators themselves, and build strong communities of the future. We are therefore very excited about the collaboration with Digicel where the potential to open up the knowledge on Wikipedia to new audiences is immense, and the impact in communities such as Haiti could be transformative.” 

Head of Global Partnerships with the Wikimedia Foundation, Carolynne Schloeder, commenting on the partnership with Digicel for Wikipedia Zero

Happy Year of the Sheep 2015, my dear readers! I bring you good tidings that’ll make Digicel fans please like puss now!

This as the Big Red Telecom Provider has announced the roll-out of free access to Wikipedia Zero, Data-plan free App for the free online encyclopedia on Wednesday December 31st 2014 as per their announcement on their Digicel Jamaica website.

Geezam - Digicel makes Wikipedia Zero available sans a Data Plan on your Digicel smartphone - 11-01-2015 LHDEER


Wikipedia Zero, Wikipedia’s Data plan free app that’s now available to some 400 million mobile subscribers via 41 Telecom operators in 34 countries according to the Wikipedia Foundation, has now landed on the Google Play Store officially on Friday January 9th 2015 as per the Press Releases in both the Gleaner and the Jamaica Observer.

Wikipedia Zero – The Other free App aside from Facebook Zero

Aside from Facebook Zero, this should be the other free app that you download to your DL900 which is now all the rage as my article Digicel launches DL900 aka Alcatel Pop C7 as Digicel DL750 on sale for Christmas 2014 traffic suggests.

So says CEO of Digicel Jamaica, Barry O’Brien, quote: “With the recent expansion of our 4G data network, which now covers 92 per cent of our population, and the growing number of users who have smartphones, mobile phones are now an essential part of education and learning. As such, we are delighted to be bringing Wikipedia’s knowledge base to our customers at no charge.”

So what exactly is Wikipedia and more importantly Wikipedia Zero?

Well, it’s not exactly Instagram or Facebook, but I’ll certainly make it easier for you to be globally aware, minus a few mistakes in their entries.

Wikipedia droolworthy stats – Yes, they totally cribbed the idea from Facebook Zero

In case you’re still not with the school and knowledge-learning thing, Wikipedia is the world’s largest collaboratively edited and updated Encyclopedia. If you’re worried about its professional integrity, fret not; it’s maintained by some 70,000 academics, scholars and experts each month and it’s so accurate, I use it all the time for mathematical and scientific references.

Plus it’s blogger gold! It’s got some droolworthy stats that’ll make any blogger envious:

  • 33.5 million articles
  • 280 language versions
  • 500,000,000 million unique visitors every month
  • 20 billion monthly page views

Wikipedia Zero was an initiative launched back in 2012 to make Wikipedia free knowledge available in countries that challenges as it relates to access to reliable Internet. According to Wikipedia, they won the 2013 SXSW Interactive Award for activism for their idea for Wikipedia Zero. And yes, in case you were chewing your cud and wondering, they cribbed the idea from Facebook Zero. 

Wikipedia the Wiki Encyclopedia – How you can STILL use it as a reference for schoolwork

Despite the fact that your teacher may tell you that Wikipedia is inaccurate and prone to falsification, that’s not entirely true. It’s accurate enough for scientific knowledge and anything quoted from a Newspaper, which would already be suspect.

Its falls down on historical information, as editors with a political bias may see Wikipedia as a means of editing the future and making sure their side of the story is prominently told and not what really happened.

Still, it’s got hyperlinked references at the end of most of their 33.5 million articles; once you know the APA or MLA style Guide for Internet sources, you can just use those resources as references, provided that they are relevant.

This as if you Google the information you need for your research, you also find the same article; Wikipedia just has them conveniently sitting in one place!

Thus I recommend that strategy to any high school student  whenever teachers challenge their use of Wikipedia. I do that all the time at MICO University College and my work get the grade all the time, as truth be told, even the .edu websites themselves are prone to the same political bias as the 70,000 academics, scholars and experts that edit Wikipedia.

Having a PhD and publishing work on an .edu mean you can’t be swayed by a large enough sum of money to bias the results of your scientific study, especially as lecturers tend to earn less than even Football players.

So scoot on over to the Google Play Store or the Apple iTunes Store. You have no excuse, as no Data Plan is required!

Here’s the link:

Wikipedia Zero on Google Play

Wikipedia Zero on Apple iTunes

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.