“Market Cap $15.21 B As of May 2014
At a Glance
- Industry: Telecommunications services
- Founded: 1989
- Country: Netherlands
- CEO: Eelco Blok
- Website: www.kpn.com
- Employees: 23,451
- Sales: $13.22 B
- Headquarters: The Hague
#811 Global 2000
- #725 in Sales
- #660 in Assets
- #736 in Market value
Royal KPN NV provides telecommunications services. The company operates through the following segments: The Netherlands, Mobile International, and Other Activities. The Netherlands segment consists of the following sub segments: Consumer Mobile, Consumer Residential, Business, Corporate Market, NetCo. The Consumer segment offers wire line services such as internet, telephony and television, and retail and wholesale wireless services. The Consumer Residential segment provides internet and TV, fixed telephony. The Business segment offers voice, Internet, data network services, workspace management, and data center services. The Corporate Market segment operates an ICT services and offering end-to-end solutions in infrastructure and network-related. The NetCo segment engages in the activities for the Dutch networks (both fixed and mobile), IT services. The Mobile International segment covers the following sub segments: Germany, Belgium, and Rest of the World. The Germany segment includes E-Plus, Blau Mobilfunk and Magnum. The Belgium segment includes KPN Group Belgium and Ortel Belgium. The Rest of the World segment includes Ortel Mobile – virtual network operator offering mobile services though its own brand and partners. The Other Activities segment comprises the results of KPN’s corporate center and the call center activities of SNT Germany. The company was founded in 1852 and is headquartered in Hague, the Netherlands.“
Wikipedia began as a complementary project for Nupedia, a free online English-language encyclopedia project whose articles were written by experts and reviewed under a formal process. Nupedia was founded on March 9, 2000, under the ownership of Bomis, a web portal company. Its main figures were the Bomis CEO Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, editor-in-chief for Nupedia and later Wikipedia. Nupedia was licensed initially under its own Nupedia Open Content License, switching to the GNU Free Documentation License before Wikipedia’s founding at the urging of Richard Stallman. Sanger and Wales founded Wikipedia. While Wales is credited with defining the goal of making a publicly editable encyclopedia, Sanger is credited with the strategy of using a wiki to reach that goal. On January 10, 2001, Sanger proposed on the Nupedia mailing list to create a wiki as a “feeder” project for Nupedia.
Wikipedia gained early contributors from Nupedia, Slashdot postings, and web search engine indexing. On August 8, 2001, Wikipedia had over 8,000 articles. On September 25, 2001, Wikipedia had over 13,000 articles. And by the end of 2001 it had grown to approximately 20,000 articles and 18 language editions. It had reached 26 language editions by late 2002, 46 by the end of 2003, and 161 by the final days of 2004. Nupedia and Wikipedia coexisted until the former’s servers were taken down permanently in 2003, and its text was incorporated into Wikipedia. English Wikipedia passed the mark of two million articles on September 9, 2007, making it the largest encyclopedia ever assembled, surpassing even the 1407 Yongle Encyclopedia, which had held the record for 600 years.Wikipedia was formally launched on January 15, 2001, as a single English-language edition at www.wikipedia.com, and announced by Sanger on the Nupedia mailing list. Wikipedia’s policy of “neutral point-of-view” was codified in its first months. Otherwise, there were relatively few rules initially and Wikipedia operated independently of Nupedia. Originally, Bomis intended to make Wikipedia a business for profit.
Citing fears of commercial advertising and lack of control in Wikipedia, users of the Spanish Wikipedia forked from Wikipedia to create theEnciclopedia Libre in February 2002. These moves encouraged Wales to announce that Wikipedia would not display advertisements, and to change Wikipedia’s domain fromwikipedia.com to wikipedia.org.
Though the English Wikipedia reached three million articles in August 2009, the growth of the edition, in terms of the numbers of articles and of contributors, appears to have peaked around early 2007. Around 1,800 articles were added daily to the encyclopedia in 2006; by 2013 that average was roughly 800. A team at the Palo Alto Research Center attributed this slowing of growth to the project’s increasing exclusivity and resistance to change. Others suggest that the growth is flattening naturally because articles that could be called “low-hanging fruit” – topics that clearly merit an article – have already been created and built up extensively.
In November 2009, a researcher at the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid (Spain) found that the English Wikipedia had lost 49,000 editors during the first three months of 2009; in comparison, the project lost only 4,900 editors during the same period in 2008. The Wall Street Journal cited the array of rules applied to editing and disputes related to such content among the reasons for this trend. Wales disputed these claims in 2009, denying the decline and questioning the methodology of the study. Two years later, Wales acknowledged the presence of a slight decline, noting a decrease from “a little more than 36,000 writers” in June 2010 to 35,800 in June 2011. In the same interview, Wales also claimed the number of editors was “stable and sustainable,” a claim which was questioned by MIT’s Technology Review in a 2013 article titled “The Decline of Wikipedia.” In July 2012, the Atlantic reported that the number of administrators is also in decline. In the 25 November 2013 issue of New York magazine, Katherine Ward stated “Wikipedia, the sixth-most-used website, is facing an internal crisis. In 2013, MIT’s Technology Review revealed that since 2007, the site has lost a third of the volunteer editors who update and correct the online encyclopedia’s millions of pages and those still there have focused increasingly on minutiae.”
In January 2007, Wikipedia entered for the first time the top-ten list of the most popular websites in the United States, according tocomScore Networks. With 42.9 million unique visitors, Wikipedia was ranked number 9, surpassing the New York Times (#10) and Apple(#11). This marked a significant increase over January 2006, when the rank was number 33, with Wikipedia receiving around 18.3 million unique visitors. As of the start of February 2014, Wikipedia was the sixth most popular website worldwide according to Alexa Internet,receiving more than 2.7 billion US pageviews every month, out of a global monthly total of over 12 billion pageviews. On 9 February 2014, The New York Times reported that Wikipedia has 18 billion pageviews and nearly 500 million unique visitors a month, “according to the ratings firm comScore.”
On January 18, 2012, the English Wikipedia participated in a series of coordinated protests against two proposed laws in the United States Congress—the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA)—by blacking out its pages for 24 hours. More than 162 million people viewed the blackout explanation page that temporarily replaced Wikipedia content.
Loveland and Reagle argue that, in process, Wikipedia follows a long tradition of historical encyclopedias that accumulated improvements piecemeal through “stigmergicaccumulation”.
On 20 January 2014, Subodh Varma reporting for The Economic Times indicated that not only had Wikipedia growth flattened but that it has “lost nearly 10 per cent of its page-views last year. That’s a decline of about 2 billion between December 2012 and December 2013. Its most popular versions are leading the slide: page-views of the English Wikipedia declined by 12 per cent, those of German version slid by 17 per cent and the Japanese version lost 9 per cent.” Varma added that, “While Wikipedia’s managers think that this could be due to errors in counting, other experts feel that Google’s Knowledge Graphs project launched last year may be gobbling up Wikipedia users.” When contacted on this matter, Clay Shirky, associate professor at New York University and fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for internet and Security indicated that he suspected much of the page-view decline was due to Knowledge Graphs, stating, “If you can get your question answered from the search page, you don’t need to click [any further].”
*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org
**Video published on YouTube by “talmontv“