Wikipedia talk:Press releases/January 2003

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Put in articles here

Heise (German)

Gnuheter (Swedish)

Slashdot (English)

Wired (English),1284,57364,00.html

Is it possible to say exactly which article is the 100.000th?

I am a journalist and have a question: You need hardware and lots of traffic. Who pays for it today? When will Wikipedia reach the border?

The owner the server is Bomis, a small dot com company run by Jimbo Wales. The bandwidth and servers are essentially paid for through his generosity. Jimbo has stated that, at least with current levels of usage, he is quite happy to continue funding it this way. For the longer term, there are serious proposals for a not-for-profit foundation to be set up to help. If you have any more questions, feel free to post them at the Wikipedia:Village pump or the Wikipedia mailing lists. Enchanter

For starters, for some inane reason people put new text on the bottom, which is stupid because on a long talk page you have to wait for the whole document to load, but anyways. Wikipedia is run, as far as I can tell, entirely by Jimbo Wales and I have no idea what equipment or funds he has. I saw a picture of him on a boat and he hasnt been asking for donations, so I assume he is well off. Vera Cruz

On talk pages, it makes sense to add to the bottom because people can read through the discussion and follow it through logically. After all, on normal article pages, it's good to have a record of the various debates that have helped form how the page looks today. --Sam

We do not know if we will be able to determine which article is the 100,000th. Vera Cruz

I think we can; check the mailing lists, I think someone there said which it is. -- Sam

Thanks for your answers.

How can something that is GNU be used commercially? Vera Cruz

Print it out and sell it, put it on a CD and sell it etc.; the GNU FDL does not prohibit this. +Eloquence

I see, so I could walk around saying, "hey d0000dz, u wantz sum wiki mon?" and if they were dumb enough I could make some $ huh...niz Vera Cruz

Someone actually did something similar. There was a site that copied all the Wikipedia contents and plastered huge banners all over the place. However, the FDL license always remains the same, so no commercial user can sue you for copying Wikipedia. -Eloquence

Please add to and copyedit the text on this page so that it will be ready when the English Wikipedia reaches the 100,000 article milestone. The first paragraph is below and can be worked-on separately for submission to [ Slashdot] and Kuro5hin. But since we don't have any money to properly publish this press release all references and links to the press release should point to this article.

I'll be out of town for the next several days so I will not be able to submit anything to Slashdot or Kuro5hin if we hit the 100,000 mark while I am gone. But Slashdot at least, tends to respond to several different people submitting similar stories (hint ;-) --mav 09:57 Jan 16, 2003 (UTC)

Suggested text to send to Slashdot and Kuro5hin (please edit this text directly):

With more than 135,000 articles spread across 28 languages, <a href="">Wikipedia</a>, a community-created free content encyclopedia, is celebrating its second anniversary ("Wikipedia Day," January 15) by <a href="">announcing</a> that the English edition of the project has reached its 100,000 article milestone. Wikipedia is run as a WikiWikiWeb on free software, meaning that anyone can edit any article at any time. All articles in Wikipedia are licensed under terms of the <a href="">GNU Free Documentation License</a>.

Kuro5hin doesn't publish press releases, and certainly not one-paragraph-summaries, but Slashdot might take it. K5 has already discussed Wikipedia to death so I'm not sure submitting anything there is a good idea. --Eloquence 10:00 Jan 16, 2003 (UTC)

May be a good idea to broadcast it further. Bad? Too much PR, too much overload?---Sv

Also, when the hour of the 100,000 article arrives, could somebody replace the Wikipedia Day link on the Main Page with a link to this press release? --mav

Does it seem like the lead sentence, is a run on? It also seems to be saying two different things- 135K articles and 100k aritcles. I think the 135 should be in the follow up. Like:

Wikipedia, (, a community-created open content encyclopedia, is celebrating its second anniversary ("Wikipedia Day," January 15) by announcing that the English edition of the project has reached its 100,000 article milestone. Wikipedia is a public WikiWikiWeb, meaning that anyone can log in and edit any article at any time.
With more than 135,000 articles spread across 28 languages...


I dont care about posting to online sources, but somebody should send a copy to the New York Times and MIT since they have previously covered wikipedia. Vera Cruz

made my edits on Wikipedia:Press Release 2003 (2), theres a smoother lead, second paragraph. the part about larrys ohio phd is removed, (seemed out of scope).

what about the relations between Wikipedia and gnupedia?

The impression I get from is that GNUpedia as a project was pretty much stillborn, and was deprecated in favor first of Nupedia and then of Wikipedia. --Brion 10:27 Jan 16, 2003 (UTC)

In addition to English, there are 28 other languages with more than 35,000 articles of their own I count 31 Wikipedias. See The provisional portal of Wikipedia at the bothem of the page. I have looked at all those Wikipedias. There are 13 Wikipedias whit some activity but I would not call them a community. (sh, ru, fi, af, ca, cs, et, eu, no, fy, zh, sh, la). There are 11 real Wikipedias, whit a community (pt, nl, eo, es, de, en, da, fr, it, pl, sv). Would it not more correct to only speak of those Wikipedias who are alive, who have a active community? giskart 13:52 Jan 16, 2003 (UTC)

I agree. --mav

If this is to be a press release, doesn't it need to be public domain rather than GFDL?

I'm not sure why that would be useful. Anybody is free to copy the text without having to ask first and a press release is not a press release if downstream licensees change the text. --mav

Maybe this has been discussed on the mailing list already; if so, I apologize. I don't think sending out a press release is such a hot idea. It makes it sound as if we have 100,000 complete articles, which we don't. Also, over 30,000 of those articles are not much more than census data for US towns. Using the "100,000 articles" line is setting people up for disappointment, as they will be expecting 100,000 good articles. Bad press may follow. -- Stephen Gilbert 22:30 Jan 16, 2003 (UTC)

I don't recall bad press from the first Press Release - and that was the whole nine yards with a full mention on Yahoo. This is mostly for Slashdot ect. --mav
I don't recall bad press either, but I agree with Stephen. The "article" designation is arbitrary at best: doesn't it still just check for a comma or some certain size in bytes? At the very least maybe we could wait until we have, say, a bit over 100k articles. Currently I think we're getting so many new contributors that community norms are going out the window. Koyaanis Qatsi

There was not bad press the first time, but we weren't claiming to have more articles than Britannica or Encarta, either. Really, things have been going basically the same as they were last year: more material, more contributors, overall improvement. We don't have anything more to say that "Wiki encyclopedia still running, more articles in progress!" In other words, good stuff, but not newsworthy or revolutionary.

I guess I'm wondering what the purpose of this press release really is. I think people will look at it, be blown away by the claim of 100,000 articles, find that most of those articles are not so great, and write off Wikipedia as nothing but hype.

Anyway, if I can't convince you to scrap the press release idea, I do have two other requests: Could this be moved to the meta so Wikipedians from the other language projects can participate? And please, please, please don't send it to Kuro5hin. -- Stephen Gilbert 02:25 Jan 17, 2003 (UTC)

Perhaps more cautionary wording is needed then - like on the current Main Page. It is a factual statement that we are working on about 100,000 articles. The actual length and quality of our articles is about the same as any concise encyclopedia so I really don't see that point (we are also not claiming any specific numeric superiority to any other encyclopedia). I've already mentioned on the mailing list that we should have a more conservative article count by adding a 500 byte minimum to the criteria - but nothing came of that idea. That leaves us with only the current count to measure our progress - and that is the reason why the press release is important. I also see little point in moving this to meta since the whole purpose of the press release is focused on the article count on the English Wikipedia - each other language is more than welcome to prepare press releases of their own when they reach their own milestones. I also think you underestimate the average quality of our articles - we should be proud of their quality and not try to hide it for fear of bad press. --mav

I disagree with very few of your statements, and I'm not ashamed of Wikipedia's quality. I just don't think that 100,000 articles is newsworthy with general agreement that our method of counting articles is quite lacking and 30,000 of our articles being bot-imported from census data. I don't begrudge the existence of these rambot articles, but I do think that a press release proclaiming 100,000 articles is little more than advertising, and will not reflect well on the project.

As for moving it to the meta (or not): I think we need to shift away from thinking in terms of the English Wikipedia, the French Wikipedia, etc., and see them more as the same project working in different languages. However, since I'm not in favour of a press release, I won't push the "move it to meta" argument. :) -- Stephen Gilbert 21:09 Jan 17, 2003 (UTC)

Is the current version better? It now mentions "articles in development" - which is always going to be true no matter how good or complete they are. --mav

Yes, it's better. Really though, I'm not going to be satisfied until you say, "Yes Stephen, I can now see how a press release is a bad idea, and I think we should scrap the idea." :) -- Stephen Gilbert 19:41 Jan 18, 2003 (UTC) (who is now ducking out)


The project has been the subject of articles in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, and MIT's highly-respected Technology Review, as well as technology news websites such as Slashdot and Kuro5hin.

The articles cited here are pretty old (mostly from 2001). Wikipedia has changed and grown a lot since then, so unless we can cite something more recent and relevant I think it's best to leave it out. Enchanter 20:59 Jan 17, 2003 (UTC)

Yeah - we are much better know. The above is still a factual statement and is for people who may think we have not received any noteworthy praise. I say it should go back in. --mav
Hearing no response, I'm putting it back in. --mav
I have an argument for those references being taken out: their an Appeal to authority. Your target audience may not recognize that authority (not unlikely if that audience is a competitor of the publications mentioned).
As for wether it is a good idea to mention the number of articles or not: I think it is. So what if a user stumbles on a page that is far from being finished? Is that Edit button so hard to reach? No article is ever finished. 2003/22/02:10 UTC branko
That is not an appeal to authority since we do not ascribe any value to the fact that Wikipedia was in those publications. We only reported the fact that they had articles on us - we do not say that "since the NY-Times covered us, we are a very good encyclopedia." If we did /appeal/ to the /authority/ of the NY-Times in stating that we are a good encyclopedia, then that would be an appeal to authority - but we didn't do that. --mav
I respectfully disagree. The fact that we put those references in means that we ascribe authority to them. I don't think those references would have been included if they had refered to the parish broad sheet or the elementary school news paper. Undoubtedly you could find numerous examples of the latter type of publication having written about Wikipedia, but we do not mention them. Why not? Because we do not grant them as much authority as we do the New York Times. The references to the articles in the NYT add no value to the press release whatsoever.
But perhaps I am wrong. Why are there references to news paper articles in the press release? branko
? Press releases are all about media exposure - it is perfectly fine to state, within that context, previous media exposure. --dan

I think the main difference between 2001 and 2002 for the Wikipedia project is the fact that there are now other, active, real Wikipedias. Wikipedia is not anymore equal to Wikipedia EN. giskart 21:43 Jan 17, 2003 (UTC)

Then please add a sentence or tow more to reflect this. --mav

I'm a little uneasy about the opening "is celebrating its second anniversary (January 15) by announcing that the English edition of the project has reached a milestone of 100,000 articles in development" - it appears to be saying that we reached 100,000 articles by Jan 15, which we didn't. Maybe it's nothing really, but I don't think it would be good if it was perceived we were lying. There must be some way to get across the two things (two years old and 100,000 articles) without apparently tying them together in this way (I'm too tired/lazy to think of one myself, however). --Camembert

Well it could be read either way but I made some changes so that the text is very clear. --mav
Thanks mav. --Camembert

I have done some editing to make the whole thing more readable and a little more original. One thing that is still entirely missing are examples for the kind of articles we publish. We could add something from brilliant prose, or we could try to be quick and write something about the 100,000th article once it is actually written. --Eloquence 13:03 Jan 20, 2003 (UTC)

Is this going to the BBC? I emailed the Beeb about Wikipedia in September but received no reply. Maybe because they are behind h2g2. Mintguy

There does not seem to be an organized effort to send it anywhere, so just e-mail it wherever you want. --Eloquence 09:38 Jan 21, 2003 (UTC)
h2g2 has several articles about Wikipedia itself. 2003/22/02:10 UTC branko
That's a good article they have here. Koyaanis Qatsi

Ok mav, I take it back. :) Response on Slashdot has been mainly positive (with a lot of people claiming they've never heard of Wikipedia before), and with Wikipedians there explaining how 100,000 Wikipedia articles differ from 100,000 traditional encyclopedia articles, I can't see any fallout occuring. So, to sum up: you were right, I was wrong. -- Stephen Gilbert 15:46 Jan 22, 2003 (UTC)

Well there is a first time for everything. ;-) BTW, very nice save with Walt Whitman. --mav
Yes, it's been an amazingly positive reception (much better than last time), and an influx of helpful friendly people (much better than last time). And, yes, that was a good save on Whitman.  :-) Koyaanis Qatsi

Take a look at our visitor stats -- a li'l bit of extra traffic lately. :) --Brion 04:38 Jan 23, 2003 (UTC)

Can we protect the article now? It makes little sense to improve a press release once it has been released. --Eloquence 09:33 Jan 23, 2003 (UTC)

I agree. --mav
Done. --mav

It's been a week and a half now. Should we take down the press release from the Main Page? --mav 10:00 Jan 31, 2003 (UTC)

nl link[edit]

Would like to add an interwiki link to the NL press release for 100,000 articles, but the article is protected. nl:Wikipedia:Persbericht 2005 - 100000ste artikel. Ellywa 23:03, 6 October 2005 (UTC)