Wikipedia. Another point of view and some numbers.

libre software, mswl, mswl-cases, mswl-comm, mswl-intro

Hi mates!!!

After the last talk about how Wikipedia is organized, its principles, the story, etc. given by Miguel Vidal, now continuing with the series of talks about FLOSS case studies and more concretely about Wikipedia case, now it’s the turn of the lecturer Felipe Ortega talking about Wikipedia from another perspective (from an external point of view, about the data, numbers, etc.)

Felipe is a researcher in Libresoft group from the Rey Juan Carlos University who I already meet him because he was my teacher in some of my subjects of the first year of my M.Sc. in Free Software.

Felipe also dis his Phd thesis regarding a researching of the effort in the Wikipedia which was really famous (he appeared in newspapers, radio shows, etc.) and he is an expert about all that it something to see with Wikipedia.

So here we go!!

Wikipedia is the encyclopedia which everybody can collaborate, but it doesn’t mean Wikipedia doesn’t have rules and organization.

Wikipedia has changed many things of our lives, now in the discussion with friends, quickly you can take a look to Wikipedia and finish the discussion in a minute because the answer, probably, will be in Wikipedia.

Felipe says one of the most important things in Wikipedia is the consensus, for instance a sysop in Wikipedia is nominated by consensus.

Wikipedia has changed also the way other encyclopedias works, for instance, Microsoft Encarta closed, Britannica built an online edition, but the most important thing is Wikipedia is update every time because is built by people and if an event happens quickly, someone will edit or will create an article regarding that.

This way to be update make the competition impossible for the competence.

The idea of a free encyclopedia is not new, in 1993 Rick Gates proposed the first free encyclopedia, but in that date the technology that they have didn’t give the possibility to create it.

In 1995, Ward Cunningham created the WikiWikiWeb a technology which allows users to edit content in real time in a website.

In March 2000 is created.

!5th January 2001 is the creation of Wikipedia.

In March/May 2001 started to grow Wikipedia in different languages.

In February 2002 started Wikipedia in Spanish.

In August 2002 Wikipedia changes its domain from .com to .org to give clearly in the non profit purpose.

In June 2003 it was created the Wikimedia Foundation.

In March 2006 Wikipedia reached 1 million articles in English.

In April 2008 it reaches 10 million articles (in all languages).

15th January 2011 was the 10th anniversary.

Wikipedia is available in 278 different languages.

How many languages have exceeded 300K articles? 13 languages.

How many languages have exceeded the million articles?
3 languages (English, German and French)

How many different editors (with an account) have edited Wikipedia in English?
More than 4 million.

How many editions have been registered in Wikipedia in English until October 2011?
More than 418 million.

How many contributions have been done the most active editor in Wikipedia?
More than 819K editions (User: Koavf).

Wikipedia has tools to facilitate the collaboration in the website.

Articles can contain links to other Wikipedia pages or another Internet websites.

Categories classified the entries by similar ones.

In the community there are different  collaboration strategies.

Wikiprojects are small projects inside Wikipedia which allows the users to work in a concrete topic.

An interesting way to group articles with a common topic is the use of portals per content.

The life cycle of the articles follows the following scheme:

  • Strab, a little draft starting the fill article, as the seed of the full and complete article.
  • Start, it’s the beginning of the article, in this stage the editors can set the stuff around the article.
  • C-Class, B-Class and A-Class are the different levels of the articles rating.
  • In these classes the community can discriminate from good quality articles to the bad or medium quality articles.

Wikimania is an annual event which meets Wikipedia collaborators from the whole world.

Wikimedia Foundation is the foundation behind Wikipedia which tries to ensure the sustainability of Wikipedia and other projects around it (as Wikibooks, Wikimedia Commons, etc.).
Develops initiatives in a global scale.
There are 31 local chapters (in different countries included Spain).

Wikimedia Strategy was an initiative to create a strategy plan for Wikipedia to improve it more.

The things Wikipedia wants to improve and work on them are:

  • Improving the quality of many articles.
  • Adding entries about more specific topics.
  • Increasing the content in more languages.
  • Improving the wiki editor making it more user friendly.
  • Improving support for non contextual content.
  • etc.


1-What does it happen when in an article in Wikipedia we need to use a logo of a company?
In Wikipedia in English the use fair-use right, but in other versions we have to check the legislation.

2-Do you know something about the donations?
Wikipedia is maybe the FLOSS project with more small (micro) contributions.
They need more donations because year by year the needs growing.

3-What kind of tools Felipe used in his study?
Wikipedia has an API to get the different stats about it.
And this year Wikimedia Foundation has a plan to publish the content in an easier and better way.

4-Is FLOSS all Wikipedia software?
Yes, absolutely.


This talk has given me another point of view of Wikipedia, this point of view more external and less about the organization has given me interesting data about the evolution of Wikipedia and interesting numbers about numbers of articles, languages, etc.

Wikipedia is for sure one of the most, or the most important Free project in Internet, with millions of contributions, millions of users everyday, now the world as we know is impossible to think without Wikipedia, so is incredible to think about how a free and collaborative project can change the world and our lives.

You can find the talk here and the slides used during the same here.

And that’s all!!

See u my friends!!


One thought on “Wikipedia. Another point of view and some numbers.

  1. Hi there it’s me, I am also visiting this web site regularly, this website is truly pleasant and the users are actually sharing pleasant thoughts.

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