17 August 2009: English Wikipedia reaches 3 million articles

Monday, August 17, 2009

And you can also find close to the same number of articles online right now asking why Wikipedia is slowing down, since the first two million articles happened quite quickly whereas the next million took something around two years after that. This was bound to happen after most major subjects have been covered and those without a specialized knowledge in a subject find themselves unable to contribute, although I do admit that there seems to be quite a bit more protectionism by users of pages that they keep an eye on. I once got into a silly edit war with one editor over whether Ashton Kutcher was "most known" for his first character on That 70s Show, because here in Asia he's hardly known for that while his movies are - asking most people in Asia they would probably answer that he was best known for his role in The Butterfly Effect. After a bit of back and forth over that I decided that it wasn't worth the time and thus the page still proudly states that he is best known for this role.

Personally I've also found myself more interested in smaller language Wikipedias and rarely contribute to the English version anymore, since it seems to be doing fine by itself whereas bringing smaller Wikipedias up to snuff is a good way to promote Wikipedia within those communities. It has just started to get quite good in Korean for example and now has a lot of detailed information that you can't find elsewhere. People still generally prefer Naver's 지식인 (a question and answer service) to get information but now Wikipedia is far more detailed.

Edit: if you can read Spanish you might be interested in this discussion on the milestone, which naturally includes quite a bit of discussion about the state of the Spanish Wikipedia as well. There really isn't anything for Spanish language advocates to be concerned about as the Spanish Wikipedia is actually in fourth place in terms of edits, which is much more accurate than simple article count in determining the quality of a Wikipedia.

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