German Wikipedia

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German Wikipedia


Started: March 2001

Current size: 2,562,119 articles

Total edits: 209,373,643

Active editors: 20,882 in the past month

Areas of strength

  • General article quality
  • Several cooperations with third parties regarding e.g. Persondata (German national library) or CD-/DVD-production (Directmedia)
  • High grade of face-to-face contacts by means of regular meetings (so called “Stammtische”)
  • Creativity in inventing new ways of quality enhancement e.g. writing contests (“Schreibwettbewerb”), concepts as featured (“exzellente”) and good (“lesenswerte”) articles or events as “Wikipedia Academy” (involvement of experts)

Areas of weakness

  • Still a low amount of animations and sounds.

Who is the competition (print, online)?

  • The general PR talking points are that we don't see them as competitors as they could take our content and sell it under the CC/GFDL terms. Competitors to those companies would be other companies that are using wikipedia content to build up products (like Directmedia publishing)
  • Bibliographisches Institut & F.A. Brockhaus (Brockhaus, Meyers) (online, physical electronic product, print)
  • Encarta (physical electronic product and online)
  • Bertelsmann (online, physical electronic product, print)

Prominent milestones/events[edit]

  • first meetup in Munich on 28th October 2003 in Munich
  • 100.000 articles in June 2004 on the very same "Wikipedia day" when Jimmy Wales was in Berlin and the german association "Wikimedia Germany" was founded.
  • first Wikipedia CD October 2004 published by en:Directmedia_Publishing
  • first Wikipedia DVD April 2005 published by Directmedia_Publishing
  • first Wikimania conference in Frankfurt in August
  • 500.000 articles in November 2006
  • 1.000.000 articles in December 2009
  • Media Viewer superprotect incident (2014)

What has its impact been?

  • TK


What language features are challenging?

  • German Grammar changes combined nouns so that a [[term]]genitivesuffix does not always work.
    Example: Das Bibliographische Institut (nominative).
    Des Bibliographischen Instituts (genitive).
  • Not challenging per se, but the square and curly bracket characters on standard German keyboard need to be inserted using a special key combination using the Alt key. On Mac keyboards, they are not even shown on the key caps.

What would surprise the outside reader about the community?

  • its radical attitude towards deletion (see controversy about the deletion of Linux distribution in the German press April 2007)

What are some unique practices/characteristics?

  • Current events articles are highly discouraged
  • Stubs are not marked as stubs; this is considered pointless
  • Users are banned by public vote. An arbitration committee like the one on en.wp was approved by the community in April 2007.

Who were the earliest participants, who started it?

Other prominent Wikipedians?

  • Achim Raschka (initiator of the writing contest), Southpark, Bdk, Henriette Fiebig, Ulrich Fuchs (ex-Wikipedian, founder of fork Wikiweise), Hans Bug (most prominent banned user)


First test made by Toira on 25/02/07[edit]

Using alt-shift-x (to display a random page) 20 times I got:

  • 19 articles with decent content. [95%]
  • 1 "small" article (10 lines). [5%]