Wikipedia Announcements/November 2001

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November 29, 2001

Join The Wikipedia Militia, recently created. The Militia is a (humorous!) organization committed to converging on Wikipedia whenever an enormous media- (or other-) inspired influx of traffic temporarily increases the potential for the abuse of the system. If Time magazine does a big writeup on Wikipedia and our population quadruples overnight (for example), we'll "call out the Militia" and gently assimilate the new contributors, whom we love (really!).

November 28, 2001

On Saturday, Dec 1, 2001, our glorious leader (well, chief administrator at least) Larry Sanger is casting off the mantle of bachelor freedom and entering into the eternal covenant of wedded bliss (ie. Larry's getting married!). Our congratulations and best wishes to them both. Please feel free to sign the Wedding card at /Larrys Wedding Card - MMGB

November 27, 2001

The new Wikipedia logo candidates are listed here:

http://meta.wikipedia.com/wiki.phtml?title=Logo_suggestions

There are a half-dozen or so that I would be perfectly happy with. Send me your opinions either on the "Logo Suggestions" page itself or privately in e-mail (lsanger at nupedia dot com). I will use my best judgment in coming to a decision, and do my best to make the most people happy. --LMS

November 26, 2001

We've received a whole bunch of traffic (over 2,500 visitors) over Sunday and Monday from http://www.bluesnews.com/ , where Wikipedia is the "link of the day." Blue's News is a gaming website. So keep on top of the recent edits made to gaming articles--they're likely made by new folks (who are very welcome!).

November 23, 2001

In a strange twist of fate, the Microsoft Encarta's search for "History of Microsoft Windows" results in high placement, a not insignificant amount of traffic, for Wikipedia's History of Microsoft Windows article.

November 20, 2001

We are looking for a new logo. See [1].

If you're looking for starry-eyed idealism and general inspiration, you could do far worse than Larry Sanger's "How a Giant, Free Encyclopedia Might Transform Learning" recently posted on OpenSourceSchools.org.


November 9, 2001

After some deliberation on Wikipedia-L and an essay, we have installed a new wiki, http://meta.wikipedia.com/, separate from the main Wikipedia wiki, for purposes of Wikipedia discussion and essay-writing and such. The purpose of our doing this is twofold: to keep meta-discussion separate from article writing (and thus to emphasize the importance of article writing) and to test out (and get used to) the Wikipedia PHP script. So please do visit http://meta.wikipedia.com/ both to get an idea of how the new software might work and, if you wish, to engage in meta-discussion.

Also, if you have essays linked from your personal pages (e.g., Larry Sanger/Columns) or from Wikipedia commentary, could you please move that content to http://meta.wikipedia.com/ ?

November 6, 2001

Wikipedia can now include TeX or LaTeX formulas (as PNGs) in articles. If you would like to have a formula turned into a PNG, go to http://www.wikipedia.com/wiki/Edward_O'Connor/TeXinbox and add it to the list!

Size of Wikipedia: 16,000 articles announced. Although we have grown faster in the weeks following September 11, press coverage and Slashdotting, we now--without help from significant press coverage--seem to be growing at a steady rate of somewhat better than 2,000 articles per month. At this rate, we will have 25,000 articles by next April and 40,000 articles by next November. (Of course, no one really knows if this rate is sustainable, but it could be--for all we know, it will increase!)

Announcement from Larry Sanger:

I think we've discussed subpages quite a bit--certainly enough to air the issues and give people a chance to state their views and change their minds--and in view of this, I've decided to get rid of them.

Let me explain this decision--I'm done arguing for it, but of course you are owed an explanation, since the issue has been very controversial.

Examining the various pages on which people have discussed them, it seems there is at least a majority of people in favor of getting rid of them or who are amenable to the idea of getting rid of them. I think it's pretty important, although perhaps not absolutely essential in every case, that we at least not contradict majority opinion, when a consensus cannot be arrived at. The majority includes many old hands who have had more experience with the problems associated with subpages than some of their newer advocates, which I also think is important. Finally, and probably as importantly as anything else, my well considered opinion is that the arguments in favor of getting rid of them are much, much stronger than the arguments in favor of keeping them. I predict yer gonna thank me in a year. (Maybe not all of you. :-) ) --Larry Sanger

See also Wikipedia subpages pros and cons, Larry Sanger/Why I am suspicious of subpages, Larry Sanger/Accidental linking and hard-wired category schemes, Larry Sanger/The case against subpages, Wikipedia commentary/Get rid of subpages entirely.

November 5, 2001

Wikipedia front page has now a PageRank (Google Rank) of 7/10.

November 2, 2001

Wikipedia statistics: Jimbo's been looking at various Wikipedia statistics, and one interesting statistic has surfaced: the number of people (unique IPs) that have edited Wikipedia on any given day of October ranged from 96 to 236, with the vast majority of days between 130 and 180. After the recently increased traffic from Google, it seems we can expect an average number of daily editors of about 170. We can expect this number to continue to climb, however, as the virtuous cycle of content-traffic-contributors-more content continues into the indefinite future.

The number of unique visitors (editors or not) ranged from 3,112 to 7,983 in October, with a pre-October 28 average of about 5,000; the post-October 28 average is shaping up to be something like 8,000. The latter is not expected to decline, because it is not due to press coverage, but instead to (we expect) stable and growing factors related to the amount of traffic Google sends us.

While we're at it, pageviews ranged from 21,491 (on a very slow weekend day) to 48,321. They are now very much on the high end of this range.

All of these statistics are, by the way, enormous increases over just, say, three months ago.