With the addition of “How to Make an Eiskaffee (Creamy Iced Coffee)” on September 21, the 25,000th article was added to wikiHow. wikiHow is a wiki whose community works to build and share the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Articles include everything from everyday tasks such as maintaining a vacuum cleaner and tying a necktie to less common activities like how to do a wall flip.
Launched in January 2005, wikiHow has since grown rapidly to become one of most popular sites on web. Every month over 5 million unique visitors come to the site, making it the 500th most popular site in the US and the 2000th internationally according to Alexa.
In keeping with its mission, wikiHow has actively worked to share its content and software with the world. All of the content is available under the CC-BY-SA-NC license and all its software modifications are available under the GPL. Some of wikiHow’s articles come preloaded on computers from the One Laptop Per Child project; all of their modifications to Mediawiki can be downloaded by anyone, and have been used by organizations such as UNICEF and MIT as well as developers all over the world.
wikiHow is a great example of the possibilities for participatory culture opened by Creative Commons licenses. According to wikiHow founder, Jack Herrick, “Creative Commons licensing has been a necessary ingredient of our success thus far. These licenses allow others to easily share, republish and modify our content which furthers our mission. In addition, the licenses provide our editors with the “Right to Fork”, which gives our community comfort that their work will always be freely available to them and others.”
Jack continues “I’m optimistic that one day wikiHow will offer accurate, helpful how-to instructions on almost every topic in almost every language. I’m looking forward to sharing a how-to manual in Arabic, Chinese, German, Hindi, Japanese, Polish and many other languages we don’t currently serve. Fortunately Creative Commons licensing exists in all these languages and will help us along this path.”
Congratulations wikiHow! Support Creative Commons today so that the commons may continue to grow!