Wikipedia`s English version crosses 3 million articles mark

More than three years after it was launched, online encyclopedia Wikipedia has crossed the three million articles mark in English.

Updated: Aug 26, 2009, 11:59 AM IST

Chennai: More than three years after it was launched, online encyclopedia Wikipedia has crossed the three million articles mark in English and the site`s further growth is likely to be spurred by contributions from countries like India and China.
The three million articles have emerged through contributions of more than 10 million registered users. Out of these, over 146,000 are active Wikipedians--having made at least one edit in the last one month, well-known Wikipedia Evangelist Kiruba Shankar said.

The site, launched by American web entrepreneur Jimmy Wales and others in January 2001, achieved the first million mark after five years, the second in just 17 months and the next in nearly two years.

Shankar admits that the rate of growth may have slowed down, but it is nowhere close to stagnating. He believes that the next growth would come in from emerging countries like India and China.

"We are just beginning to latch on to the concept of knowledge sharing. Once the number of contributions in these countries begin to grow, it will have an overall positive effect on Wikipedia`s growth," Shankar told reporters.

Stressing the importance of increasing awareness of knowledge sharing projects like Wikipedia in India, Shankar said starting this year, there will be a lot of outreach programmes to achieve this objective. "Wikipedia academies have already started functioning in many cities," he said.

Asked if the site`s operations had changed from an open door policy, allowing anyone who had the time and energy to contribute to becoming more exclusive one now, he said it was still open to anyone who wants to add or edit information.

"There has been corrective steps implemented to reduce vandalism and unnecessary negative edits. These steps will actually help in increasing the accuracy and richness of
information," he said.

On whether the site had become a battleground with one section of editors trying to tighten control on contributions and another believing in the motto that more the articles the better it is, Shankar, also a Wikipedia editor here, said both groups would continue to co-exist.

"A tussle for both openness and quality will continue to happen and it is a sign of a healthy system," he said.

Asked if any `Wikicamps` were being organised, Shankar, who has organised many Wikipedia `unconferences`, where all participants would interact freely in an informal session, said some Wikicamps would be planned.

While Wikipedia`s English version remains the largest, the German wikipedia is nearing the one million mark. The site also include articles in Indian regional languages such as
Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu.

Bureau Report