A new podcast launched today by Crowd Network explores the never-before-seen sides of the digital world and the people behind the most popular internet communities.
dot com, hosted by broadcaster and podcaster Katie Puckrik, delves into the weird and wonderful World Wide Web. It explores the people behind the world’s biggest websites, revealing the faces of the internet in a bid to give us hope for its future.
The first series untangles the internet’s biggest encyclopaedia, Wikipedia, which celebrated its 20th anniversary earlier this year. The fifth-most-visited website in the world, Wikipedia is an entirely user-generated and community-driven archive of more than 50 million articles in more than 300 languages – everything from the history of the universe to the list of people that died on the toilet.
Using a mixture of original research, archive material and never-before-heard interviews from the likes of Steven Pruitt, the world’s number one Wikipedian, Katie dives into the history and communities that have made Wikipedia the site it is today – a place run by volunteers where free knowledge for all is the ideal, but that occasionally struggles deeply with bias and lies.
Over the course of the six-episode series, Katie talks to volunteers from around the world who welcome her into the ‘movement’, including the site’s founders Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, the computer scientists who were there at the start of the World Wide Web and people on the ground about censorship of Wikipedia in countries like China and Turkey.
Katie Puckrik, host of dot com, said: “It’s easy to feel like the internet is a faceless wilderness, so we wanted to zero in on the actual people behind it. And an exploration of Wikipedia is the perfect way to do this, as it is entirely people powered.
“It’s been fascinating to burrow down into the histories and controversies surrounding a website that most of us take for granted but use every day. Delving into the matrix of Wikipedia reveals the molecules that make up the monolith: the tireless volunteers behind the millions of constantly edited pages.
“I take a huge delight in the weird and nerdy aspects of the internet, and there are few weirder or nerdier than those that can be found in Wikipedia’s nooks and crannies. And what a beautiful paradox that technology’s most advanced information source is only made possible by humankind’s most ancient network! A group of like-minded individuals painstakingly putting in thousands of hours towards an altruistic goal. What I love most, though, is that this podcast shines a light on the unsung heroes who have helped Wikipedia endure for the last 20 years.”
dot com is available on all podcast streaming platforms, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify, from today, 19 October. Future series will focus on Reddit and the ‘cult’ of cryptocurrency.