Google may host encyclopedia project

The group behind the Wikipedia online effort says the search giant offered to host some of its content on company servers.

Matt Hines Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Matt Hines
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Matt Hines
Wiki Media Foundation, the group behind the Wikipedia online encyclopedia project, said Friday that search giant Google has volunteered to host some of its content on company servers.

In a notice posted to the nonprofit organization's Web site, the group, also known as Wikimedia, said its board of directors is currently considering the terms of Google's offer and plans to meet with the search company sometime in March.

The group was quick to point out that any relationship established with Google would not require it to begin advertising on its Web site.

Google representatives refused to confirm a deal with Wikimedia but indicated that the company plans continued support for the effort and its various projects.

"While we don't have anything specific to announce today, Google and the Wikimedia Foundation are collaboratively evaluating creative ways to support Wikipedia.org and its community," a Google spokesman said.

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia project written and edited by thousands of volunteers. The effort is built around Wiki technology--Web pages designed to let people edit and contribute to projects on a common interface.

The group also has announced plans to launch a news service known tentatively as Wikinews that will offer people the chance to create, edit and share their own news sites.