Wikimedia moves to San Fran in search of talent

Wikipedia's parent organization will move its headquarters to San Francisco to take advantage of the area's talent.

The lure of high technology has led Wikipedia's parent organization, Wikimedia Foundation, to move its headquarters to San Francisco.

The nonprofit organization announced this week it would relocate to the city from its former HQ in Florida, by early next year.

"San Francisco is the center of high-tech in the US, and will give the Foundation access to a rich array of resources, including best-in-breed online talent, top-tier universities, world-class support services and major media," said Florence Devouard, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees chair, in a press release.

Resources in the area around San Francisco will help the organization flourish, Devouard said. The San Francisco Bay Area is home to many of the IT industry's biggest names, including Oracle, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems.

Wikimedia considered six cities before settling on San Francisco, the organization said.

Wikimedia has expanded its staff over the past two years but still has only six full-time employees. The organization is adding staff for the new office, for which hiring will begin in a few weeks, the organization said. In June, Wikimedia was considering hiring for several positions, including a permanent CEO, CTO and developers, according to Wikimedia's Web site.

The Wikimedia Foundation operates a number of Web sites, including Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia with about 8 million articles in 250 languages, and Wikimedia Commons, which carries more than 1 million free images and media. It was founded in 2003 by Jimmy Wales, who now runs the for-profit Wikia, a wiki-hosting service based near San Francisco. Wales is still a Wikimedia board member.

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service

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