Nordic Wikimedia/Yearbook 2011/Page 06-07 Mid-pages: Wikipedia anatomy (incl interwiki)
The Wikipedia phenomenon
Wikipedia is one of the ten most visited websites in the world. Celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2011, Wikipedia has become the de facto reference website for around half a billion readers around the world each month. And Wikipedia is still growing and contnually improves.
There are a few reasons behind the success: one is that Wikipedia has an open policy of letting anyone improve the articles. An international movement of volunteers have taken it upon themselves to make sure that Wikipedia is the best resource it can be, constantly increasing in size and quality.
Another key reason behind Wikipedia's success is that Wikipedia is non-commercial. There is no big company behind Wikipedia earning money on each click. Instead there is the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation (situated in San Francisco, California) that leaves all major decisions to the volunteers. They don't even impose a traditional copyright on the texts and media, but lets anyone copy and distribute Wikipedia and its sister projects (e.g. Wikimedia Commons, Wikiquote, Wikisource and Wikibooks).
Wikipedia exist in more than 280 languages. Each Wikipedia is managed independently by the different language communities, The Scandinavian Wikipedias are supported by several hundreds very active editors and even more people who occasionaly make contributions. Wikipedia in Swedish is the 12th biggest language version with close to 500,000 articles (September, 2012). Wikipedia in Bokmål has more than 350,000 articles, which makes Bokmål the biggest language version in relation to the number of speakers of the language. The Danish Wikipedia has 170,000 articles, which makes it the second largest encyclopedia in Danish ever.