From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Type of site
Online encyclopedia
Created byRick Gates
LaunchedOctober 25, 1993; 30 years ago (1993-10-25)

Interpedia was one of the first-proposed online encyclopedia which would allow anyone to contribute by writing articles and submitting them to the central catalogue of all Interpedia pages.



Interpedia was initiated by Rick Gates, who posted a message titled "The Internet Encyclopedia" on October 25, 1993 to the PACS-L (Public-Access Computer Systems Forum) Listserv.[1] That message included the following musings:

The more I thought about this, the more I realized that such a resource, containing general, encyclopedic knowledge for the layman, would be an important tool for some types of research, and for the Net.Citizenry in general.

Ahh.. but what about contributors... where will you find authors to write the short articles you need? Well, I'd first have to start out by finding some way of communicating with an extremely diverse set of people... everyone from linguists, to molecular biologists, from animal rights activists to zymurgists, and from geographers to gas chromotographers. Guess what? :-) The Net provides just such an arena! So I thought about it some more...and came to the conclusion that this is a good idea!

In November 1993, discussions moved to a dedicated mailing list,[2] supplemented later by Usenet newsgroup comp.infosystems.interpedia.[3][4]

Several independent "Seal-of-approval" (SOAP) agencies were envisioned which would rate Interpedia articles based on criteria of their own choosing; users could then decide which agencies' recommendations to follow.[5]

The project was actively discussed for around half a year, but never left the planning stages, perhaps partly due to the unprecedented growth of the World Wide Web.[6]

See also



  1. ^ PACS-L Listserv message "The Internet Encyclopedia", Oct 25, 1993 (archived)
  2. ^ PACS-L Listserv message "Internet Encyclopedia (Interpedia) group project and mailing list", Nov 17, 1993
  3. ^ "RFD: comp.infosystems.interpedia". Archived from the original on November 6, 2001. Retrieved 2003-01-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ Interpedia FAQ (February 1994)
  5. ^ Interpedia FAQ 15-MAR-94, section 4.2: "What are Seals of Approval (SOAP)?"
  6. ^ Joseph Reagle: Wikipedia's heritage: vision, pragmatics, and happenstance — section 3.2, Interpedia

Further reading

  • Interpedia's disclaimer by John Hunt
  • Boldt, Axel. "Charter Directory > Interpedia - comp.infosystems.interpedia". Univ of California, Santa Barbara, Dept of Mathematics. This is a Request for Discussion (RFD) about the creation of a new newsgroup for discussion of the proposed Internet Encyclopedia, or Interpedia, which may begin by adding new textual reference material to the Internet and may become a general interface to all Internet services and all information available on the Internet, based on an encyclopedia metaphor.