Everipedia

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Everipedia
Everipedia logo.svg
Type of site
Online encyclopedia[1]
Available in Majority in English[2]
Founded December 2014; 3 years ago (2014-12)[3]
Headquarters Westwood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.[4]
Coordinates 34°03′42″N 118°26′28″W / 34.0617020°N 118.4412350°W / 34.0617020; -118.4412350[5]
Area served Worldwide[6]
Owner Sam Kazemian, Theodor Forselius[6]
Founder(s)
  • Sam Kazemian[7]
  • Theodor Forselius[7]
  • Travis Moore[7]
  • Mahbod Moghadam[7]
  • George Beall[8]
  • Christian Deciga[9]
Key people Larry Sanger[10]
Industry Dot-com company[11]
Website everipedia.org
Alexa rank Increase 18,298 (As of 15 February 2018)[12]
Registration Required for editing[13]
Users 17,000 registered[11]
2,000 active[11]
Current status Active[1]
Content license
Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Int'l
(user generated content[14])[15]
Written in Python language[16]

Everipedia is a for-profit, wiki-based online encyclopedia[1] launched in December 2014[3] as a fork of Wikipedia.[18] The site's name is a portmanteau of the words "everything" and "encyclopedia."[19] The website is owned by Everipedia, Inc.[5] The company is headquartered in Westwood, Los Angeles, California.[4] As of December 2017, Everipedia is the biggest English-language encyclopedia,[20] according to The Next Web, and has over six million articles, according to The Block.[21] The site allows for a significantly larger range of articles than in the English Wikipedia because its inclusion criteria for notability are lower.[10]

Everipedia was co-founded by Sam Kazemian, Theodor Forselius, Travis Moore, Mahbod Moghadam,[7] George Beall,[8] and Christian Deciga,[9] with Kazemian serving as president,[22] Forselius serving as chief executive officer,[6] Moore serving as chief technology officer,[6] Moghadam serving as community manager,[23] and Deciga serving as executive editor[3] and iOS developer.[24] In December 2017, the site announced that co-founder of Wikipedia Larry Sanger joined as chief information officer.[11]

Everipedia aims to build the most accessible online encyclopedia, and not be as restrictive as Wikipedia.[13] The company aims to address the critical factors commonly cited for Wikipedia's downturn in participation, such as deletionism.[1] The site's interface is akin to Facebook, as opposed to Wikipedia's complicated wiki markup syntax.[25] Everipedia adapted social media elements such as letting celebrities communicate with fans.[25] Everipedia allows users to create any page on anything[1] and anyone can contribute to a page by registering an account.[13] The site has been criticized for presenting false information early on in wiki pages on breaking news events.[7]

On December 6, 2017, the company announced plans to convert to using EOS blockchain technology, and work on a cryptocurrency token called IQ to encourage generating information.[26] The IQ tokens are intended to be exchangeable for Bitcoin.[23] One of the goals of the company is to stop certain countries from blocking the content, by the integration of the blockchain model.[27] Once Everipedia is decentralized and hosted on the EOS platform, countries like Turkey and Iran that block Wikipedia will no longer be able to block it, via Everipedia's fork.[11]

History[edit]

Background[edit]

Everipedia is for-profit, not a foundation.[28] In English, Everipedia is pronounced ev-ree-pee-dee-a.[3] The site's name is a portmanteau of the words "everything" and "encyclopedia."[19] The website is owned by Everipedia, Inc.[5] The company is headquartered in a two-story penthouse in Westwood, Los Angeles, California, near UCLA.[4] Its founders called the site a "thugged-out Wikipedia".[7] The site depicts itself as "the encyclopedia of everything".[17]

Origins[edit]

Everipedia was founded in December 2014.[3] In 2015, the site began with an intention to be a more innovative and inclusive alternative to Wikipedia, according to the company.[6] It started as a small project of two men: Iranian-American Sam Kazemian and Swedish Theodor Forselius in Kazemian's college dormitory room at UCLA in December 2014.[29][30][not in citation given] Forselius was visiting Kazemian at UCLA.[7] Kazemian and Forselius recognized rather quickly that they had the same foresight for how they believed the Internet would change in the coming years and thus they set forth to start a project that would subsequently become Everipedia.[31] In 2015, Mahbod Moghadam was speaking at UCLA when Kazemian approached him and showed him the Mahbod Moghadam entry on Everipedia.[32] Moghadam had been frustrated that the Wikipedia article about him kept getting deleted.[32] In May 2015,[not in citation given] after finding the first investor for Everipedia,[30] Moghadam joined Everipedia as a co-founder.[citation needed] Travis Moore joined at the same time.[30][4][31][not in citation given]

Dave Liebowitz began editing Everipedia in 2016 after reading a Facebook post from Moghadam regarding internships.[29] After recognizing the company could be a great opportunity for him he spent his summer learning how to be a skilled contributor on the site.[29] Liebowitz is an executive editor at the company, a position that was offered to him in 2016 by Moghadam.[29] Navin Vethanayagam is an executive editor and one of the founding team members at Everipedia since 2016.[9] Romi Ezzo is an executive editor at Everipedia.[33] Angel Ordaz is an executive editor at Everipedia.[34] In October 2015, George Beall was introduced to the founders of Everipedia at a conference at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.[13] After departing from Touch Tiles,[24] Beall joined the group of co-founders in January 2016.[35] Beall planned to go back to the University of Pennsylvania by the fall of 2016 to continue his education.[13] Beall is no longer at the company.[36] As of June 2016, there are six male co-founders.[37] Co-Founder Travis Moore, an Italian-American dual citizen, is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO).[38] In January 2017, they had eight full-time workers including two developers.[34] As of February 2018, they have 14 full-time workers,[39] the vast majority of whom are men, aside from Millie Efraim.[40][not in citation given]

Statistics[edit]

In November 2015, Everipedia stated it had 10,000 pages,[23] and by March 2016 said it had about 200,000 published pages.[13] It reported roughly 100,000 page views per month in November 2015.[23] As of December 2017 it reported it has about 2 million to 3 million distinct users monthly and about 3.5 to 5 million page views monthly.[41] The Alexa ranking of web traffic is at 6,306 in the US, as of 15 February 2018.[12] The site in 2015 had a small community of US editors.[23] There are communities in Brazil, China, Germany, and India.[34] The majority of articles are in English.[2] The company said in 2017 it has 17,000 registered editors and 2,000 active editors.[11] The site has readers in more than 100 countries.[42]

Search engine results[edit]

Everipedia observed that Wikipedia’s model for search engine prevalence is ripe for disruption and change, according to Forbes.[42] Everipedia intends to redesign the online encyclopedia and in order to do this, "they are required to command a powerful search engine authority similar to Wikipedia’s dominant presence throughout Google’s results," according to Forbes.[42] "All of our pages on mobile are built with Google’s Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) framework which gives our pages priority in Google’s SERP over competitors. The AMP framework also significantly improves our page speeds on slow 3G/4G connections which in turn decreases the bounce rate and signals Google that the page is user friendly," Forselius said.[42] The site has oftentimes appeared in mainstream coverage.[7] The site frequently appears as a top search result for college-associated news and people.[1]

Seed funding and revenue model[edit]

The company has raised capital and brought in angel investors.[4] In July 2015 the company got its first seed funding from Mucker Capital.[29] As of April 2016, the company had raised $120,000 from Mucker Capital and $400,000 from angel investors.[4] They raised close to $130,000 on Wefunder.[43] As of January 2017, they raised $700,000 from angel investors.[34] Angel investors include David Segura and David Petersen, the co-founder and CEO of BuildZoom.[41] It was announced on February 8, 2018 that the company raised $30 million in funding headed by Galaxy Digital's EOS.io Ecosystem Fund.[44] The company plans to use the finances to initiate its peer-to-peer network and to expand the community globally.[45]

The company stated in 2016 Everipedia is worth $10 million.[13] The company in 2017 was valued at $22 million, according to Forbes.[42] As of November 2015, the revenue model was to publicize business's Everipedia articles on other articles under a "see also" section.[23] As of June 2016, the site had around three advertisements on selected articles.[37] In 2016, the site generated most of its income from advertisements.[29] In 2017, banner advertisements generated around $150 to 300 every day.[46] In 2017, there had been at the bottom of every article stating, "Advertise" that directed to information for potential sponsors.[7]

Blockchain[edit]

"Wikia, like Wikipedia, uses really old software that was built in 2001. Meanwhile there are all these new, modern crowd-knowledge sites like Rap Genius, Quora and StackOverflow, but nobody ever tried to attack the original beast - a wiki of everything - with the new, modern tools. That is what Everipedia aims to do."

 —Sam Kazemian, told to Boing Boing in 2017[1]

On December 6, 2017, the company announced plans to move to generating edits and storing information using the EOS blockchain.[26] The blockchain is a secure, visible and decentralized cloud storage and transmission technology.[47] They plan on working on a cryptocurrency token called IQ to encourage the generation of content.[26] Steemit, that gives cryptocurrency to users who provide content to a social network, is the model Everipedia wants to employ for their encyclopedia.[48] They will be combining the EOS blockchain and the InterPlanetary File System, which is somewhat of a decentralized server, that will be used to house the heavier data files such as video and images.[26] On December 6, 2017, Everipedia also stated they are building a peer-to-peer wiki network that adds an incentive system.[6] They are utilizing the concept of Bitcoin by incentivizing editors with tokens that have legitimate monetary value.[10] Eventually, the tokens can be bought and sold on exchanges.[10] Every account receives IQ for its editing, which are intended to be redeemable for Bitcoin or equity in Everipedia.[23] After the blockchain is implemented, the company will convert the points into a token currency.[49] The tokenized system lets every user become a stakeholder in the wiki network.[6] Each editor will put their token into play for each edit.[49] If their contribution is accepted, the user gets back the token, which will have obtained value in proportion to the content added.[49] If the edit is not accepted, the user does not get their token back.[11] The company hopes this tokenized system will produce more accurate and reliable information compared with a conventional wiki, which does not provide any such monetary compensation for editors.[50]

An unpublished draft of Everipedia’s whitepaper given to CoinDesk in 2017 states, no less than half of the entire 100 million IQ tokens will be allocated in an initial coin offering (ICO) and 30 percent will be minted across the next 100 years to pay contributors and validators for their edits.[51] 20 percent of the tokens will be reserved to cover development costs.[51] The tokens will not be distributed as initial coin offering (ICO) but rather as an airdrop.[52] "IQ Tokens will be airdropped into the EOS distribution list in late February," Forselius, told to Inverse in February 2018.[52] "The Everipedia Network is planned launch together with the EOS main net in June 2018," Forselius, told to Inverse in February 2018.[52] The tokens are planned to be allocated for free to anyone who at the time have tokens on the Everipedia site.[53]

In September 2017, the co-founder of Wikipedia, Larry Sanger, became the chief information officer of Everipedia.[54] On December 6, 2017, they announced that Sanger joined the company as chief information officer.[6] Sanger joined Everipedia because the blockchain enables the site to get past the limitations that resulted in him leaving Wikipedia.[11] Sanger writes, "We'll not only make Everipedia more comprehensive than Wikipedia; in my role, I'll help create a neutral framework enabling the world to find the best encyclopedia articles on every topic."[6] Everipedia hopes that by storing information in a peer-to-peer network, which gets rid of hosting costs, will reduce the need to backup its content with advertisements and donations.[20] The blockchain model does not have centralized servers, therefore eliminating the cost of servers.[55]

Websites such as Google, Facebook, and Wikipedia can have their assigned server IP addresses blocked by governments.[56] By decentralizing via blockchain, the content cannot be censored.[57] In Turkey, for instance, Wikipedia is blocked, but if it were decentralized, the government would not be able to stop its people from accessing the site because it would have to block a countless number of addresses.[57] "Technically, it becomes impossible to censor these websites. As soon as we launch, people will be able to access Everpedia articles – and Wikipedia articles – and there’s absolutely nothing these countries can do about it," Forselius stated in 2017.[20] "With censorship, there are mirror-sites, but those are mostly read-only. By moving to blockchain, we are not only readable, but also effectively writable as well, so someone who is accessing us from a censored area can also contribute," Travis Moore told to VatorNews in 2018.[58] The blockchain will be initiated in early 2018.[59] Earlier in 2017, Lunyr first proposed plans for a blockchain-centered encyclopedia.[11]

Content[edit]

Accessibility and article development[edit]

The company's intention is to be the most accessible online encyclopedia and to share and generate information in a manner that is not as restrictive as Wikipedia.[13] It aims to address the critical factors commonly cited for Wikipedia's downturn in participation, such as deletionism, inferior mobile editing choices, and a lack of excitement for inclusiveness.[1] Everipedia intends to build a different group of editors.[11] "We allow more information, more pages, and have a better user interface than Wikipedia and tackle the innate bias of Wikipedia's ‘legitimacy' rule," George Beall said.[60] "Wikipedia is largely older white men," Forselius said.[11] "We’ve tried to focus on getting a lot of female edits, younger editors, and diverse background and ethnicities," Forselius added.[11] "Some people say Wikipedia determines who gets a page on their site if they are white and a male," Moghadam stated in an interview in 2016.[32] "Our focus every day is on how to improve the user experience and make things like registering for an account, building a comprehensive wiki article, and engaging other users in the community as easy as possible," Moore said.[42]

The largest distinction between Everipedia and Wikipedia is resemblance to popular sites, such as Facebook.[25] Wikipedia does not have social elements on its pages, as opposed to Everipedia uses social media elements which, for instance, allow celebrities to communicate with fans.[25] As it feels like Facebook feels, it provides a facet of adherence for consumers, which lets them to adopt to products faster.[25] The site attempts to put back the fun into collaborative editing, such as the gamification of writing, where contributors earn IQ scores for edits, according to Boing Boing.[1] Hip-hop culture gets a significant amount of coverage on the site, as a result of its college-age editors and their interests.[1] This is also because of the interests of Moghadam, who co-founded Rap Genius.[1] Articles contain images, videos, and GIFs.[42]

Everipedia's blockchain is intended to allow the presentation of competing articles rather than presenting, for example, a single "France" article.[18] By the end of June 2018, editors will be able to rate competing articles and come to a conclusion, on the top article.[10] The company is working on creating a framework for rating articles.[18] Participants and Everipedia will determine the ratings of articles, and the order of placement for each article, according to Sanger in 2017 in TechRepublic.[61] They are working on developing a set of procedures for editors and article raters to tag themselves and to be recommended by others, similar to LinkedIn.[18] The site intends to let editors to tag themselves with their field of expertise, which include affiliations, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, party affiliation, ideology, and philosophy.[18]

Registration and article creation[edit]

Anyone can contribute to a page by registering an account.[13] As of June 2016, between 10 to 20 people registered an account every day.[37] One of the ways the site verifies the validity of the content is after a registered account adds 15 pieces of information the account is locked until the contributions are reviewed.[37] New accounts are not granted full editing rights very quickly.[42] They have to build their IQ numbers and status before their privileges increase.[42] The site has more simplified rules for contributing to articles than Wikipedia.[62] On Wikipedia, about a thousand articles are deleted each week.[25] In contrast, Everipedia allows users to create any page on anything as long as the content is cited[1] and neutral,[29] even on non-notable topics;[7] conversely, uncited articles are deleted.[1] Startups, celebrities and other contributors are permitted to create their own articles, as long as the content is sourced.[42]

Acceptable sources include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.[7] Pictures, videos, biodata, and files relevant to an article are also permissible.[7] Editors can also add GIFs to articles.[63] Everipedia cannot be used as a primary source except for Verified Accounts with a blue checkmark, in which case they are permitted to "self-cite" regarding topics where they have personal knowledge.[1] There are Verified Accounts for academics, celebrities, and journalists.[64] The Everipedia community can up and downvote any citation and when one receives too many downvotes it gets deleted.[1] The format is intended to make editing as simple as posting on Facebook.[10] The interface is easy enough that content can be added using a phone.[25] Everipedia places more attention on improving mobile workability and usability than with desktop.[42] Anyone can add comments directly to the articles.[65] Everipedia can eventually hire more than a few of their most committed editors as community managers, since they are for-profit.[1] Editors can get merit badges for their work.[34] Editors who create a significant number of college-related articles can be designated Campus Reps.[25] As of June 2017, there are around 20 Campus Reps.[1]

Everipedia provided a paid service called Everipedia Plus.[66] Kazemian told to Wefunder in 2017, "paying customers can get a professionally edited and done encyclopedic article about themselves".[66] According to the company, customers receive a verified blue check that the content is verified and correct as well as properly sourced.[66] The service offered a tailored Everipedia entry that gets "full-time monitoring for updates and preventing vandalism."[7] The service is now called Everipedia+, which is headed by Liebowitz.[67]

Forking content and range of articles[edit]

As of October 2017, the vast majority of pages on Everipedia were copies of Wikipedia articles.[7] A live bot forks Wikipedia content.[11] The forked English-language Wikipedia articles are reorganized and redesigned.[42] As of October 2017, articles were not updated as regularly as Wikipedia, according to The Outline.[7] As of December 2017, a live bot had compared changes, and updated changes but gave preference to edits on Everipedia, according to Wired.[11] As of December 2017, the site has over six million articles, more than in the English Wikipedia,[21] according to The Block and over 1 million original articles created by the Everipedia community, according to Forbes.[42] As of December 2017, Everipedia is the biggest English-language encyclopedia, according to The Next Web,[20] Inverse,[10] Money.it,[68] and High Tech.[69] The site allows for a significantly larger range of articles than in the English Wikipedia because its inclusion criteria for notability is lower.[10] Everipedia could host hundreds of millions of articles,[10] and it is possible that it will contain the type of information only available in specialized encyclopedias in libraries, according to Sanger.[20] The tokenized system is intended to give an incentive for individuals to participate in a cooperative effort to exceed the work produced by both Encyclopædia Britannica and Wikipedia, according to The Next Web.[20]

Criticism[edit]

Mistakes will inevitably be introduced into articles because Everipedia is a wiki, according to Moghadam in 2017 in Paste.[64] Several dozen vandals have been banned from the site.[1] The Everipedia community normally identifies a vandal in 5 minutes, according to Kazemian in 2017 in Boing Boing.[1] The company has a group of editors who review the activity on the site, and content that they consider sketchy is deleted.[13] The site frequently focuses on trending topics.[70] The site has been criticized for initially presenting false information in wiki pages on breaking news topics.[7] The incidents were identifying the wrong people in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting[71] and the United Express Flight 3411 incident.[17]

References[edit]

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