Talk:Wikimedia press releases/500,000 Wikipedia articles

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Please check/update Wikimedia's first press release/status for/with the most current status reports on the progress of the English version. The short version is that the press release will occur when the total number of articles hits 500,000. The release should also only be made if the servers have been reliable lately. See the external Wikipedia Status page for server outage information.

Translators needed[edit]

Several days before this is released we need to freeze editing so that translations can be done in at least several languages.

Please add yourself, even if there is already someone for your language. There should be more than one translator per language!

  • Arabic
    • -Stevertigo- no point really -- theres no ar:wiki to speak of yet.
  • Chinese
  • Czech
    • Alva - I am willing to translate it into Czech (if given enough time) 6 Aug 2003
  • Danish
    • JøhP 10:18, 18 Aug 2003 (UTC)
  • Dutch
    • Fruggo 12:17, 28 Aug 2003 (UTC)
  • Esperanto
  • Finnish
    • Cimon Avaro on a pogostick (A good headsup when it really happens would be nice though. Preferably even before the freeze. Like say: Hey, the document is going to be frozen five days from now, so start doing a raw translation, and then update to the frozen form (only a suggestion))
    • Jniemenmaa 10:46, 26 Aug 2003 (UTC)
    • TJ
  • French
    • --FvdP 21:14, 22 Aug 2003 (UTC). Please contact me by e-mail when the english text is frozen, as I'm coming on Wikipedia quite irregularly and don't subscribe to the mailing lists.
    • User:Anthere, to keep our version live
  • German
    • Fantasy, I will help, if I am here (In September I am away for some Weeks...)
    • zeno, I will help, I just won't have time from Aug 17 - Aug 25 ...
    • Hirschi, 99% of the work is already done. Just updating it...
  • Hungarian
    • grin I try to translate it to Hungarian, but please notify at grin() when the english version is finished/frozen. --grin 10:07 5 Aug 2003 (UTC)
  • Italian
  • Japanese
    • Tomos into Japanese. Hope there will be enough time. Tomos 09:21 5 Aug 2003 (UTC)
  • Norwegian
  • Polish
    • matusz would like to participate in translating into polish. Matusz 15:32, 13 Aug 2003 (UTC)
  • Romanian
  • Russian (???????)
    • No problem with Russian translation, the only issue is to be aware when the text becames frozen. Drbug 01:56, 10 Aug 2003 (UTC)
  • Swedish
    • Mats Halldin. Translation done. I'm going to have a last look at it later today or early tomorrow. Mats 13:42, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)
  • Spanish
    • Well... hope it works

Hitherto 21 Dec 2004

Translations on Meta or local?[edit]

Wouldn't be better to put translations here on meta? -- Tarquin 21:52 5 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I'm going to link to each of the translations at the top of this page. I kinda think it would be cool if those links went to each of the different wikis (most of which will have translated interfaces). --mav
If we put it in the respective language, more people are having a look at it and correcting errors. Many people just don't know that meta exists or are not looking at it... Fantasy 08:24, 19 Aug 2003 (UTC)
The stuff stayed on the fr wiki for 2 weeks without much work from anybody. And the argument people don't look on meta is quite poor. People interested in this stuff do. And I see not why the argument would stand for international but not english people as well. One thing is sure, there is now a very strong difference between the translated and the original. It is useless to have people correct an outdated version. Besides, there is even less chance that international come to look at the original and impact it. In short, it favors editing of the original by english people only. Those interested come here. Best thing to do rather is advertisment. I can do that.
OK, it was just a thought. If meta is the place, I am not opposing. I just don't like that a lot of "known" people contribute to meta with IP instead of Name, so everything becomes more complicated... but that is life ;-) Fantasy 13:33, 20 Aug 2003 (UTC)
PS: Maybe I am a bit frustrated by always having to login in 5 Wikipedias, having 5 different watchlists, 5 different userpages, always clicking 5 refreshbuttons, 5 Windows open, ...
It is not that meta IS the place. It is that it is the one currently working best. I will think more about it though. Why does it bother you that ip are doing things rather than names. Just think the ip is a name :-)
And...what about pushing for next soft, when will have mixed watched pages and such. As for me, I have only one page, but several "onglet", so I can see which wiki is totally asleep and switch on another :-) Cheer up !
Names bother me, because if I see "Anthere", I don't question what is written/done. But if an IP Adress changes something, I am sceptical at first. Are you not? But that is a different issue, probably not the right place here to discuss...
Thanks for the Cheers, I will sleep over this one night, then normally everything looks better. Thanks a lot, ;-) Fantasy 13:59, 20 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Ambassadors needed[edit]

Please sign up to become a press contact.

Unfortunately Jimbo doesn't speak every language that Wikipedia is in. What is needed are people who are fluent in both English and another language to act as intermediaries between Jimbo and foreign language (to Jimbo) press services. That means that if you place your name below, your name and contact information will be placed before Jimbo's name under "For questions and interviews, please contact" for the version of the press release translated into your language (you will be listed as "X Wikipedia Press Contact"). It would be very unfortunate and embarrassing for all involved if Jimbo answered his phone and couldn't understand the reporter at the other end and they could not understand him. So please help by placing your name below:

Maybe we should add locations? Reporters maybe prefer to call people from their continent/region. And we can show/prove that Wikipedia represents every country in the world (hopefully soon ;-)

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
    • zh:User:shizhao Tel: (86)01062327551-3654, Email: China)
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
    • Andre Engels, telephone +49-261-2872702 (work), 5796375 (home), email engels AT
  • English
  • Esperanto
  • Finnish
    • Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
    • Haapaniemenkatu 16 C 312
    • FIN-00530 Helsinki 53
    • (mobile phone 24h) (+358)400-530 969
    • e-mail:
    • Cimon Avaro
  • French
    • Yann, email: yann (at) forget-me (dot) net
    • User:Anthere, email: anthere6 at
  • German
    • Kurt Jansson, Wiener Str. 7, 10999 Berlin, Tel.: (+49)30-610 74 581, E-Mail:
  • Hungarian
  • Italian
    • Frieda Brioschi, Tel.: +39 328 0731320, Email:
    • (???) Fantasy (Germany) (only if there is no other italian volunteering. I am also on Holiday in the end of September!!!...)
    • AnyFile. You can contact me (in order of preferennce) from: en talk page, it talk page, e-mailinig me from my user page on meta or from [[2]],or from meta talk page (30 mar 2004)
  • Japanese
    • Tomos, email preferred:
  • Norwegian
  • Poland
  • Romanian
    • Bogdan Sta'(ncescu, phone +40745 103 827 (mobile), +4021 337 2916 (home), gutza AT moongate DOT ro
  • Russian


Perhaps can we ask for volunteer software developers for Wikipedia and sister projects when we send a press release to slashdot.

Youssefsan 21:22 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Yeah - I think a mention of the Wikimedia software is important. But we need a name for it; How about MediaWiki? --Maveric149 21:26 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)
How about just Wikim? Or wikiM? or WiMe? As in WiFi. Keep it short man.
Suggestion - make the press release to slashdot, and which makes mention of the code and any call for developers, Wikimedia's third press release. That will give time to agree on these things and keep code in its proper place behind the user point of view that Wikimedia's first press release seems to take, and the contributor point of view that Wikimeida's second press release should probably take. Planning a series of these gives time to figu out what issues are about to become important, and get some agreement on how to handle them.

I have two other suggestions for the press release:

  • seven wikipedias have now reached the 10,000 mark. [French just hit 15,000]
  • interwikis language links allow to easily go from one language to another language.


Let's also mention Simple English as it needs attention, unless we are going to contribute to the death of small languages, we need these as a base for translation. Let's also put links to this on pages, and upgrade it's software please.
I'm not sure if the bit on Simple English is really first-paragraph material? - fagan
Some arguments pro: 1. it demonstrates a commitment to not just extinct the 3000 small langauages in the world, but help to get them into the net age, so it's good PR. 2. it needs attention - mentioning it just got started excuses the fact that it has so few articles - not that it will ever need more than about a thousand 3. without that, it's not clear how we do translation and that this something other than 22 disconnected projects, one silo in each language
All now proposed as part of Wikimedia's second press release, giving time for this project to mature, and for a way of handling volunteers to do minor language versions to be streamlined.

This paragraph is very relevant and so on, but I moved it here because it makes the press release too long. Busy editors have short attention spans!

Bad idea. Because the busy editors have short attention spans, you must write the WHOLE article for them, and thus you must give them names and quotes and ways to use the project.
Another reason why it makes sense to stage multiple releases. For example this one is useful and will be added to Wikimedia's second press release:
From the beginning, Wales and Sanger believed that it was absolutely necessary that all participants be committed to what they call "neutral point of view": rather than taking stands on issues of controversy, participants work together to prepare descriptions of the controversy that are fair to all points of view. Sanger explains: "If we were to permit Wikipedia to take controversial stands, it would be virtually impossible for people of many different viewpoints to collaborate. Because of the neutrality policy, we have partisans working together on the same articles. It's quite remarkable."

-- Viajero 22:42 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Viajero - please deal with edit conflicts better (you deleted some of my changes). I'm going to remerge those edits in now so please don't create another edit conflict. --Maveric149 23:01 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Done. --mav
Yes I had a edit conflict; thought I re-entered all your changes. Sorry! Viajero 09:39 5 Aug 2003 (UTC)
It's alright. :) --mav

It says 7 are at 10,000... but it only lists 6. -- Jake

Fixed. Thanks - the Vikings would have killed me if the press release failed to list them. --Maveric149


It would be great to include some of the non-English prominent media that covered Wikipedia, to illustrate the attention it is getting elsewhere. Tomos 09:31 5 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Here's some of the things I want to do with this release:

  • Take some of the history out (only of peripheral interest to reporters), we already refer to Wikipedia's entry about itself
  • Allude to attempts to create a "1.0" version of Wikipedia as Jimbo recently suggested, other goals
  • Not quite as many statistics -- these can be added as an appendix if necessary. That might make a lot of sense anyway, considering common misconceptions about Wikipedia (see w:Wikipedia:Criticisms for a rebuttal I wrote yesterday)
  • Add some actual content examples from the different projects
  • Add more quotes from Wikipedians
  • Describe Wikipedia software development in one paragraph

Let me know if there are objections to any of these. —Eloquence

History is character. Don't omit it.
Should there be mention of other projects using the Wikipedia software, e.g. en:Disinfopedia, en:Consumerium, and its general utility for other uses?
That is why there is a link to the Wikipedia article on Wikipedia. The focus of a press release to to inform the world about something that is new - like having 300,000 articles. Everything else is background and of secondary importance. --mav

Should we wait until we have the new logo and identity before releasing this? That way new users will be able to see WP in its best clothes... --Neolux 12:49 5 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Good idea. -- Kwekubo
a clearer default skin would be good too! See Montparnasse skin -- Tarquin 16:02 5 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Agreed on both counts. Yellow is kind of a noxious colour, light blue may be better.
See the light yellow on --mav

How about describing some of the mechanisms that help mantain the quality of the pages, protect against abuse, and resolve conflicts, such as the talk pages, page history, and watch lists? (thus with the latter, the option (and ease!) of creating a personal acount) I find myself explaining these things everytime I tell someone about wikipedia, and I always get a very positive reaction from this.

meta-wiki and it's relation to wiki might also be an interesting topic. -- Kevin Baas

This is a press release - if you put everything in then it won't be read. There is plenty of info in the linked pages. Keep the detail off of the press release - that is not what they are for. --mav
I'd say that these features are pretty intrinsic to the nature of wikipedia, esp. in that these mechanisms are primordially responsible for the characteristic oganization and behavior of wikipedia. Put otherwise, wikipedia is simply the composite manifestation of such "information channels". If we are to define what wikipedia is, and how it differs from other entities, i think the clearest and most effective way of doing this is to describe the forces which make wikipedia what it is. I also think that it is very important in a press release to define the subject. --Kevin Baas
A press release is about what is new, not about what is. All the info you talk about is in the linked pages at the bottom. If people are interested then they will read it. Otherwise it is background inforamtion. --mav
Aight, I tried. ;-) In general, I was interested in making it more persuasive for people who are more critically-minded. -kev

History of Wikipedia cites an Alternet article where Wales said there were 600 regular and 7000 irregular contributors. How many are there now? This should be mentioned.

Also, forget "300,000 articles", the right milestone to release this on is when Wikipedia enters the "top 1000 websites" as registered by - that's what the media responds to: popularity. Right now it is apparently 1057th.

It is probably the first wholly-tribally-authored (no institutions) web site to do so.

We are finding out that Alexa's numbers might be bogus (read the tech list archive). --mav
OK, so let's make no such claims until Wikimedia's second press release.

Someone care to contact the en:Guinness Book of World Records to make the claim that this is the world's largest collectively authored work? If it is, more publicity. If it isn't, then, who is, so we can catch up and beat them?

Please, let's keep the hype to a dull roar? --mav
Wikimedia's fourth press release? Again, something that should be planned as part of a series, so that editors see about one release every month or so.

Wikimedia vs the whole web[edit]

Here is another stastic but I think not so useful. Google has 3,083,324,652 pages 3,083,324,652/300,000 = ± 10 000. So Wikimedia is about 1/10,000 of the web. Perhaps can we add some statistics in an attachment. -- Youssefsan 20:28 5 Aug 2003 (UTC)

That seems very useful to me. Being 0.001% of the whole web is nothing to sneeze at. But more so, given the article editing process, we can make the claim to be the most reliably truthful and neutral of those. If of course we can over come our systemic bias problems. - t2
More impressive: There are 1,590,000 pages in Google's database that contain the word "Wikipedia". Only 209,000 are outside the servers, though. Still, the high number of Wikipedia pages indexed by Google indicates that any regular Internet user will come across a Wikipedia page sooner or later during searches, even if it's just a talk or meta page.—Eloquence 22:57 5 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Imagine a poll to find out what percentage of net users have actually done so. Also, what percentage of google searches return the Wikipedia page as their first option, or the most obviously useful on the first page?

The Press Release itself...[edit]

Wouldn't it be a good idea to note at the bottom of the press release something like this?

"This press release itself was written within a WikiWikiWeb. Before its release it was edited {#} times by {#} different volunteer authors, and translated into {#} languages by {#} volunteers."
- fagan
That's a great idea IMHO. -- Gutza 00:29 6 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Will the link work properly on the release date? It doesn't work now. 01:48, 23 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Some specific claims are made regarding the non-profit. Shouldn't we do some work on the charter and have it finalized before we start making claims about it? user:mirwin

Also, the press release could and should say that we are recruiting a board. Why not say directly that we want the ideal Wikipedia board - maybe the press release will attract the attention of those prominent folk.
We're not recruiting a board of outsiders. It will probably consist mostly of sysops and prominant editors. To tell you the truth, I don't really want those non-wikipedians running wikipedia. w:User:LittleDan
It doesn't matter what you want. Nor is your preference for a cabal a policy decision. Certifying the current clique or cabal as the board has advantages, sure, things will go smoothly for sysops. But nothing prevents a more representative and open organization, working more democratically, from simply putting up the same software under a new URL and bypassing with the same GNU FDL content. That would be a regime change, for sure. Hell, Brittanica could do it. Your preferences must be balanced against the legal requirements of a non-profit, and the practical reality that cannot and does not claim exclusive control over the content. And that's as it should be. So either you open up on your own terms, or it's done for you. --142.177
Funny you start off by saying "It doesn't matter what you want" and then start to talk about making Wikimedia more representative by allowing people outside of Wikimedia represent Wikimedians. How is rule by outsiders representative of Wikimedia contributors? And nobody is going to redirect our url to another site - that is paranoid nonsense. --Maveric149
Funny how after all this time you don't understand the GNU FDL nor its implications. It doesn't matter what *anyone* here wants. What matters is what the GNU FDL says. And what it says is that anyone can bypass (not "redirect") and make the same content visible via another user interface. Just as IBM sells Linux. There is clearly a need for outsiders representative of Wikipedia users (not "Wikimedia contributors" - an encyclopedia isn't run for the benefit only of its creators). So, I repeat, "either you open up on your own terms, or it's done for you." It's easy enough to see how, and why neither of us can decide not to. Repeating "Your preferences must be balanced against the legal requirements of a non-profit, and the practical reality that cannot and does not claim exclusive control over the content." -142.177

From mX Melbourne, Australia Wed August 6, 2003 p.21: Wiki'd Web Are you well versed in Russian history? Or familiar with the finer points of roller hockey? An expert on any topic can find a home in, a know-it-all website created by thousands of plugged in volunteers. It's a free encyclopedia logging more than 140,000 articles sent in by people from all over the world.

I thought this snippet from the local paper here may be of interest. My apologies if this isn't the right place for it. I'll try to get it scanned to add to the media coverage archive (if there is one). Neolux 12:46 6 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Hi Neolux, this sounds great! You can add it to the page: en:Wikipedia:Press_coverage Fantasy 16:29 6 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Better get with text on it before this is released, or rich benefactor may come and leave, discouraged.


This release focuses on the casual end user's point of view. Wikimedia's second press release could focus on the contributor and social view of the project, and call more specifically for the kind of contributors we want - it generally takes more than one press release to attract an editor's attention.

Waiting a while gives us time to validate that Wikipedia is in the top 1000 sites, something so hard to verify that it gives slack in the timing, and also to ensure that some critical projects like Simple English and a call for nominations to the ideal Wikipedia board get done.

I think we need this press release to push us up to 1000 w:User:LittleDan

Public domain and press releases[edit]

Is it standard practice to make press releases public domain? If so, great - brand new source of useful info for Wikipedia! If not, why should Wikipedia be different?

It would be impossible to have the press follow the GNU FDL, which is what it otherwise would have been in.w:User:LittleDan

Making the press release more like a press release[edit]

Having both read and written press releases, I offer these observations.

  • A press release should tell only one story. Separate stories should have their own press release, usually on a different day. If the story is the 300,000 article benchmark, stick to that and leave out the Wikimedia foundation.
  • A press release does not solicit donations.
  • Put the background information (boilerplate) in no more than two paragraphs at the end. Keep it the same across all press releases.
  • One or two quotes attributed to someone associated with the project (e.g. Jimmy Wales) should appear in the article. e.g. "The rapid growth in both the quantity and quality of the articles shows the power of the Wiki concept." or "Meeting the 300,000 article milestone demonstrates that the open source concept is not limited to software development". It is customary for the writers of the press release to craft the quote and get concurrence from the attributed individual prior to publication.
  • It is best to include a quote attributed to a prominent person outside the project. Someone from a prominent library would be a good choice, as would be a college or university professor.
  • Headings such as "additional information" are not used.
  • Follow the standard format and nomenclature. "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE", a single contact person listed simply as "Contact: R.P. Huges", and # # # at the end. Look at some other press releases to get the idea.

Best regards - Kat 20:41 8 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Thanks for the input but we don't want to saturate the news services with 5 different press releases in the same week. One relatively short one will do just fine (although we may have to take out the Wikimedia reference until the Foundation and its website are fully set-up). I'll take a look at incorporating your other suggestions later. --mav
Actually, I think you may be right about having a separate press release about the Foundation. --mav
I tried on the mailing list, but I was out voted. One press release it is. --mav

GPL vs. GFDL[edit]

"Thanks to the GNU General Public license, one thing is certain: The content will remain free."

I think this is just wrong, so I will change it immediately.
--Zenogantner 17:02, 11 Aug 2003 (UTC)

admitting problems[edit]

I hope you don't mind, I was merely following the rule set out in the press release strategy. To quote,

Make sure to hit yourself in the stomach with at least one thing you don't want to admit or accept, but which is "out there" as general impression or known problem. Never let anyone else point out your problems before you do.

Hi, (insert name here), should this be the last line? If someone reads the whole pressrelease, the last thing that stays in mind is the problems (now solved). I would prefer to end the pressrelease with a positive statement. Fantasy 21:29, 11 Aug 2003 (UTC)

The lag problem most certainly isn't solved yet! And it's true there are a lot of stubs!

Per-language contacts? (Ambassadors?)[edit]

Is it ok if each language adds its own additional contact persons? They may not represent Wikimedia, but the release is not only about Wikimedia, but also about the different Wikipedias, and the press might be interested to talk to native speakers ...

--Zenogantner 21:32, 11 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Who will be the ambassador for Germany? I volontere.
No, seriously: good Idea! ;-) Fantasy 21:42, 11 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Very good idea - we should have a call for ambassadors just as we had a call for translators. I'll email Wikipedia-L and IntlWiki-L after work. --Maveric149

OK, lets start the list of Ambassadors:

I think, there can be more then one per country, one should be the main contact, the others can help out.

See above, . --Maveric149 05:20, 13 Aug 2003 (UTC)

To be perfectly honest[edit]

The paragraph beginning "To be perfectly honest," doesn't sound right as it is not written in the third-person like the rest of it. Also seems a bit too negative IMO. Angela 23:43, 11 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Anglo- and America-centric[edit]

The comment about the Wikipedia being Anglo- and America-centric wasn't linguistically neutral, so I modified it. Kwekubo

misleading stats[edit]

I removed the paragraph talking about our "misleading stats" since, last time I checked, dead tree encyclopedias have a similar proportion of stubs as we do and in fact about 80% of the articles on at least are over 500 bytes. We need to keep this press release from getting too big (although a sentence stating that "like other encyclopedias, Wikipedia has many short articles, but unlike other encyclopedias Wikipedia has disproportionate coverage in areas X, Y and Z". --Maveric149

Dear (please insert name here), could you please write here your discussion. I moved your contribution here. Fantasy 21:48, 12 Aug 2003 (UTC)

These statistics are, however, slightly misleading - a good proportion of the articles are "stubs", i.e. very short articles which are little more than a brief definition, inviting further contribution. Some also find the coverage of each Wikipedia language version to be rather skewed towards the pop culture of each language group. However, with infinite space, there is no real reason to discourage such entries, as this is the beauty of Wikipedia - there are no limits to what topics may be covered in the articles, and popular or otherwise each theme is inherently given the same indefinite space and capacity to grow. A list of "brilliant prose" is maintained for those who wish to read only the most scholarly and serious articles.
This statistic might seem discouraging to you, the curious reader and potential Wikipedian, but look at it this way. This is not really a drawback but a call for you to participate! With YOUR help, we can improve and cure our problems! If you see a stub, correct it! Follow the Wikipedian ethic and help up build up Wikipedia until we can proudly admit, the bias is gone and the stubs are fixed! Or if you prefer to be a passive participant, come back later and most likely, you would see enormous improvements! Besides, just look at ordinary encyclopedias like Britannica; they are packed full of stubs too! In fact, about 80% of the articles on at least are over 500 bytes.

  • I, Kwekubo, edited the first of these paragraphs. I think it is important that, when giving negative information, we counteract it with some good. And it isn't even a lie - most encyclopedias would never have articles about Evanescence, Copyleft or Chip 'n Dale. I think it is very important to get across the point that Wikipedia, and indeed all the Wikimedia, are without those sorts of limits, and therein lies great attraction and beauty. Anyone willing to reintegrate that idea? As for the second paragraph... the writer seems to be writing for an article, not a press release. -- Kwekubo

300K milestone[edit]

Is someone keeping tabs of how close we are to the 300K milestone for all languages? --Anon

Just checking the rate of change. At the current rate we should hit 300,000 sometime near the end of this month or early next. But no harm will be done if we have to wait upto 310,000 in order to get everything ready. --Maveric149 10:47, 13 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Mention on NPOV policy[edit]

Please note that NPOV, as stated by Wikipedia, is basically what journalism is also about: a journalist will never say "Politician X is corrupt and has bad breath", he'll rather say something along the lines of "We have information that..." or "Our sources indicate..." or even "Politician Y said that...". Maybe inserting this idea (the similarity with journalism or something) in the NPOV explanations wouldn't be a bad idea. -- Gutza 10:21, 13 Aug 2003 (UTC)

You obviously don't read much material written by journalists (at least in the US); it is oftentimes very POV and not at all comparable to our standards of neutrality. TV is much worse (some reports by FoxNEWS during the Iraq War were borderline US propaganda). --Maveric149 10:44, 13 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I was afraid that would be the understanding of what I said. I completely agree journalism is inherently tainted with POV (otherwise where would the money come from?), what I was referring to was the way things are presented. While it is absolutely true that journalists are POV by omission and selection of printed materials, they can't be truly POV in a personal manner (see my example above) because otherwise they'd risk a lot more legal trouble than they have ordinarily (which AFAIK is not little in general). The resulting idea is that while journalists can't afford to be POV in a personal manner but can afford to be POV by omission and selection (because you and I can't edit a journal), Wikipedia can be neither because you and I can edit the data. And now you can see why I didn't edit the press release myself--I needed two paragraphs to express the idea properly. :) -- Gutza 11:16, 13 Aug 2003 (UTC)


What will be the "sender" of the press-email? Is there a "" or something like this? How will this work? Fantasy 19:30, 13 Aug 2003 (UTC)

The way it worked last time is that we simply made the press release final and told everybody to send it to whatever news service they saw fit. We may want to coordinate things so that some news services aren't spamed while others don't get any notice. Wikimedia's press release planning might be a good place to work out just what news services we want to hit. We can also draft a form letter to aid in the process. Please, set up such a page if you think it is important. --Maveric149 19:47, 13 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Maybe the effect of "spamming" certain news-services is also a positive effect... If they see, a lot of people are taking interrest in this, they will maybe put it on their news... If e.g. CNN just gets one press-release from "someone", will they bother to read it? (I don't know how the system works...) Fantasy 20:31, 13 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Interlanguage links do not work?[edit]

I tried to add the links to the other languages. It seems not to work. Did I something wrong? Fantasy 08:41, 19 Aug 2003 (UTC)

On Meta, as in talk pages on the encyclopedia wikis, interlanguage links are always inline interwiki links. --Brion VIBBER
OK, thanks Brion, I will then use this format:
Other languages:Chinese, Deutsch, Italiano

would this be ok? Fantasy 11:11, 19 Aug 2003 (UTC)

"pure" translation or "localised content"?[edit]

I just copied this discussion here, because it would be interresting to get comments form others. Fantasy 14:14, 20 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Anthere wrote: anyway, here is the deal. There are two reasons why the french would edit it, either to improve the language, and this is better done when the version is stabilized (and I could make a big advertisment for language improvment at the last moment with our good writers) OR it is to improve the content. In this case, either the person speaks english and then she must do it on the original, or she does not and she does it on the french. Then I have to translate the changes from the french to the english. If it is refused, I have to go back to the french and tell him it is refused, and then if he disagrees and put it back... can see it is messy right ?

And this, nobody talks about it. Either we admit the release are different more or less substancially, have a common canvas and then each of us go our way, or we say it should basically be one only, and then how do we manage the non english speakers ?

OK, I'll think about this. You see, the localisation issue is only the tip of the iceberg

I had not thought about this aspect before, for me it was clear, that we just "translate" without content-modification. But it seems to me that it has to be made clear. I move this comment to the pressrelease-talkpage, lets see, what the others say. Fantasy 14:14, 20 Aug 2003 (UTC)

My original idea was to freeze the press release a week or two before it was distributed and then translating would be done. I didn't expect people to start translating before then, but I'm cool with that. I also planned on mentioning that each translated version should have a sentence or two (maybe a paragraph) about that particular version of Wikipedia. I for one won't get mad if some other changes are made so long as the main messages of the press release get through; 300,000 articles project wide, Wikimedia Foundation introduced, fundraising (may be taken out if fundraising page is not translated or cannot accept non-US money) and regular stuff about "what is a wiki" and how it works for us. Of course if there is something you would like to share and think it would be good to have in all press releases, then either edit the meta version or present your ideas on this talk page. --Maveric149

I knew that when a file gets edited this many times, it deserves a very careful treatment. "Modify the content as you fit in your language" would not be the right attitude, to say the least. At the same time, like an anon pointed out, some English-langauge media mentioned in the current version are not well-known to others. The links listed at the end of the release (to "Wikipedia:" pages) may or may not fit to other language wikipedias. On top of that, everything is in English, and there might be only a few wikipedians closely watching this editing process from a non-English Wikipedia.
As far as Japanese translation/version is concerned, my expectation is that it will be quite similar; I would explain to others why it is a good idea to keep this or that aspect of the release intact, when I can, and try to make sure the changes we make are for good reasons.
Oh, besides, very literal translation, faithful almost word by word, is quite difficult, especially if we want to ensure that the quality of

writing. So we might modify the language here and there when translate. At least that is what I am inclined to do. Tomos 16:58, 23 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedia has been the subject of articles in, to name a few, The New York Times, MIT's Technology Review, and TIME magazine as well as high-profile technology websites such as Slashdot, Wired and Kuro5hin. More recently, Wikipedia has been featured on radio news programs, such as National Public Radio's All Things Considered, and CNN's television program TechWatch. It is also increasingly being used as a reference source by students, journalists, or anyone who needs a starting point for doing Internet research.

problem : some of these references mean very very little in other languages. Do we keep them nevertheless ?
Change those to point to others that do, especially if they are in your language. --mav
It is mentionned it is being increasingly used. OK. How do we "prove" that ?
We see cites to us all the time in news reports; short list here: --mav

The continuing surge in development and interest in especially the Wikipedia project has, however, strained the server and software resources of Wikimedia. The Wikimedia Foundation, therefore, is starting a month long fundraising drive today. Please visit for more information. Wikimedia is also calling for volunteer programmers to help improve the performance, userfriendliness and capabilities of the software behind the various Wikimedia projects, MediaWiki (

will the fundraising work by then ?
will it accept foreign funds as well ? If not, is there any sense to put this on the text of non english version ? If not, what do we put instead ? Do we have any transparency on when fundsraising will be possible in other money ? Is it only possible ? Would it require annex organisations ? Is it "neutral" to accept donations from only one part of the world ? Could it lead to problems ?
I don't know yet. Does Paypall accept non-US money? --mav

The Wikipedia project was founded by Internet entrepreneur Jimmy Wales and philosopher Larry Sanger in January of 2001. Bomis (, an Internet web portal owned by Wales, has supplied the financial backing and other support for Wikipedia and its sister Wikimedia projects. Sanger led the Wikipedia project during its first year as a full-time paid editor. Since then it has operated on consensus using policies refined over time by its contributors.

should we mention that there are some policies common to all languages, but that each wikipedia also has a certain freedom of management of its own affair ? I think this might be important to indicate. In truth, when I read this communicate, especially with the little add-on about translation at the bottom, I "hear" that all languages have the same version of articles. Since we are putting in front the international aspect, should not we indicate that every wikipedia independently work on its own article, hence that there are not one version and multiple translations, but rather several versions ? I think it would avoid non-english press to just conclude "right, that is an american project, with translators". Should we not insist that many people try to work in second languages, not only mother languages, and that information is constantly circulating and being mixed between languages, hence allowing a richness that britannica (just one to cite) may not be able to ever provide ? (eh, I am being awfully

optimistic here :-))

The word "version" is used instead of "translation", but yes it should be more clear. I'll work on this later. --mav

Wales attributes Wikipedia's success to the presence of a strong core group of well-educated and articulate contributors from around the world who together maintain "community standards" of civility, quality and neutrality.

I love marketing/communication...:-)
w:Wikipedia:Be_bold_in_updating_pages :-) --Gutza 00:51, 21 Aug 2003 (UTC)

All right, I was bold. Please note:

  1. The readers are not Wikipedians so avoid jargon
  2. It was previously way too long
  3. Stick to the news
  4. Stick to material that might reasonbly be included in a magazine or newspaper article
  5. Let them call for details if they want them
  6. I usually charge for this sort of thing.

Here's the deleted material, with justification:

Text moved from release with rationale for its removal[edit]

Wikipedia has been the subject of articles in, to name a few, The New York Times, MIT's Technology Review, and TIME magazine as well as high-profile technology websites such as Slashdot, Wired and Kuro5hin. More recently, Wikipedia has been featured on radio news programs, such as National Public Radio's All Things Considered, and CNN's television program TechWatch. It is also increasingly being used as a reference source by students, journalists, or anyone who needs a starting point for doing Internet research.

`'One does not point out prior press coverage in a press release, because it is not useful in a new news article.

On June 20th 2003, the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation ( was created to manage and fund the operations of Wikipedia, its sister project Wiktionary (a multilingual dictionary and thesaurus at, and its new siblings Wikiquote (a compendium of famous quotations at and Wikibooks (a collection of e-book resources, aimed toward the needs of students, at

Fails the so-what test. Nobody cares. Organizational reshuffling isn't of interest to news organizations.

The continuing surge in development and interest in especially the Wikipedia project has, however, strained the server and software resources of Wikimedia. The Wikimedia Foundation, therefore, is starting a month long fundraising drive today. Please visit for more information. Wikimedia is also calling for volunteer programmers to help improve the performance, userfriendliness and capabilities of the software behind the various Wikimedia projects, MediaWiki (

Thou shalt not ask for money in a press release. Reporters and editors are poor.

For further background information, please see:

Doesn't go in a press release. Put it in someplace like wn:Wikipedia: Project background

Sorry Kat on all counts - I tried to get them to go along with sticking to one topic per press release and keeping it short but I was shouted down on the mailing list. There are also several translations to this page already going. Because of this only minor changes are allowed at this point. You should have helped with the primary development of this page from the start. Reverting. --Maveric149 04:57, 21 Aug 2003 (UTC)

of all the poor argument for a bold reversion, these ones are probably among the best ! Honestly Mav, you may do better. Your only arguments against Kat bold changes are
  • other people are not gonna like it. What about letting other people say what they think instead of trying to put thoughts in their mouth ? And since when is the mailing list the final place for decision ?
  • translations being on is not an argument. If something better than current stuff is suggested, let's change it after discussing the pros and cons, but do not prevent edition by other editors just because some translations have been done. I for one will change translation as many times as necessary rather than letting a press release over which there is disagreement. I did not do the translation with the idea this was last version, but because in my language I can better feel better what it sounds like and if that sounds ok or not ok. Look, this is wiki, everyone may edit, till there is an agreement, and in Wikipedia, when a second author arrive on an article months after a first author came and made an article, we don't tell him "sorry guy, too late, you should have been there before".
what is that only minor changes are allowed at that point ? Who said that ? Who decided that ? Are you aware that as long as versions are not translated, those international not reading english well are not able to give their advice on the topic. In short you say "please don't translate until it is final" and then "internationals may look and give their opinion" and then "no opinion now that it is sub-final will be received". Sorry Mav, but this is wrong. This is also totally "anglo-centric". That is perfect to exclude those not speaking english opinion. This is not a way to accept we are all working together on this. This is paternalistic.
No; as I said we already developed the framework of what should be in this press release on the project-wide mailing list and on this talk page. Thus the "other people" have already spoken. This is not paternalistic. And if you read above I do not say "please don't translate until it is final", but in fact stated that IMO it is fine for translations to occur right now and for those versions to differ in content/order from the meta version. I also stated that we could discuss any other changes that may be suggested via the translation process. Please don't throw around baseless accusations that I am anglo-centric; it was me that suggested this should be a press release about the whole project and not just the English version in the first place. I was also the person who wrote the first draft of this page. It was also me that suggested this press release should be translated so that it is usable in many different languages; benefiting everyone. It was me who suggested that different languages should

have their own press contacts. It has also been me who has been coordinating this whole effort. Oh and guess who bought the wikimedia, wikimediafoundation, mediawiki, other domain names linked to here? Me. So pardon me if I think it is extremely unfair to call me Anglo-centric; I've spent many hours on this effort and have tried to address the wants and wishes of the largest number of people and include especially non-English participation. So what is the reward I get for all this work? I'm called a biggot. Thanks. --Maveric149

I was away when the great idea of the common press release was suggested and launched. Just had time to drop a word, to check when the deadline would be, to ensure I would have time to participate when back from my holidays. Hence, I am only now getting in the process. And a wikiwide process all set up in 2 weeks time is not good. You act as if the mass was said. Sorry, it is not entirely. I think I am one of the "other people" who are interested, but had no time to speak up their mind.

After the initial draft, Youssef did a translation of the initial draft. Yesterday, I worked to update it. Not with the feeling it would be the final version, but with the knowledge I do not read things similarly in english and french. I had to "feel" the release in french to see if I would be pleased to sent it :). Because I will not sent something that I think will wrong the promotion.

The current process is that only the draft in english is worked on. I was told our versions would be translations. Hence internationals must work on the english version or not. To do so, they need to understand and write well enough. But one can't expect all internationals to do so. Yesterday, I put the translation on meta (because the french wiki was so slow). Fantasy suggested to put it on fr rather, for people to be able to edit it. So, I questionned : must edits on translated versions be just typos and style correction types (hence to be done on the last version), or may that be content as well ? If they are content, someone must try to insert reversly the update in the english version. If the modifs are not accepted on the english version, he must go back to the translation, remove the change, justify to the author of the change. If this one still do not agree, this could lead to a painful and long process of to and fro. And will require that more time be given for these modifs to settle down. Another option is to declare the translated versions read-only in terms of content.

You suggested that the translations be done rather at the last moment to avoid translators repeating work. This is a very nice thought of you and I want to thank you for this considerations. But, if the translations are done at the last moment, when the release is final and stable version, it means non-english speakers will not be able to speak up their mind. Which is unfair. But perhaps unavoidable ? In this case, non-english must just trust that internationals speaking english will do the job well for them.
Perhaps is it not very important right now, for few people are interested in participating to promotion. But still, I would like your thoughts on the process. I agree this is not a pressing matter, but still it deserve attention.

Let's suppose I do the work well (:-)); yesterday, I raised a collection of questions.
The bottom of it is "there is a number of things there that make little sense in a non-english release". For example,

  • if no donations may be done in foreign currency, should we talk about donations to the risk of being ridicule ?
  • or a full paragraph about american press release, which are likely to present the project as being americano-centric to some non-english press group and might perhaps be detrimental in term of image ?
  • or a full paragraph about sister projects, which are all in english only (does that interest our journalist and our reader really ? ok, the goal is to present the project to the casual reader, but the casual french reader is not interested by student books in english you know ?)

I *know* these points may be said important for the english wiki. But, not to us. I fear it could blur some other important things. In truth, to inform and impress a casual french reader (our goal on this press release), we better *avoid* references to CNN, Kuroshin or Slashdot and avoid "asking" them to send money to an american foundation. At the same time, perhaps canadians would disagree with this and say fund raising is important. This suggest me either that we should be lighter in the press release on these topics (which the english are not gonna be happy) or that we will have different press releases. Now, this, I think is controversial, so I did not want to be bold changing the release. I just raised the issue there.

What happened ? Someone told me to be bold

Kat was bold. Kat changes were all reverted. And I repeat, your arguments are flawed

  • other editors will not be happy with the changes (I think "other" editors could speak up their mind themselves)
  • since translations had started, only minor changes were acceptable (hence further fueling the fact that non-english speakers will see final versions translated and just be allowed to correct typos)
  • all had been discussed and decided on the main list and Kat could not change what had been decided there (during holidays, in two weeks time, in english, in a place that not everyone follow). Again, I think it looks like protectionism. Hey ! This is a wiki, right ? :-). I know Mav the amount of work you put on this page. I can see the history. But the amount of work you put in should not prevent others to change your work.

The goal is to inform the reader. And before, we need to feed the journalist the proper news. I am troubled (and Mav, this is not meant to deny you the good and heavy work you provided, these are questions about the process, and questions about the goal). OK ?

I've already gone over many of the issues you raise in the talk threads above (again you are saying I think one way when just above there is proof to the contrary). Several Wikipedians who are not fluent in English also suggested changes; many of those changes were enacted. Other suggestions were made on the mailing list; those that had consensus were enacted. That means many people have already worked on this page and put their input into it. Thus deleting most of that content was not good and had to be reverted. I've also mentioned above that my original idea was to have translations start as soon as the meta version is done, but that I do not have a problem with the fact that the translations have started earlier. In fact I mentioned that each language should customize their own press release and that some items should be changed or deleted if they don't fit for that Wikipedia version.
And it was the mere existence of the translations that prompted me to say that only minor edits can be made to this version; I didn't want to upset those people who had made translations of the old version feel that all their work was wasted. The meta version had also stabilized for a while without major edits. But I can see value in having a more fluid process whereby feedback can go back and forth between the non-English versions and the meta version; the bilinguals can be ambassadors bringing ideas back and forth. This level of coordination is new to me so please understand that I'm doing the best I can.
I'm still not happy you accused me of being Anglo-centric because I'm really trying not to be. --Maveric149
I have also been trying hard for more than 1 year and a half for the project not be too anglo-centric and I also am not always successful. Aware I am a pain often. Aware you really try. Apologies again.
Apology accepted - all is well. :) --mav

Yikes! I was comparing your version with the current version trying to see if there was anything new worth saving in the new version, but to my shock I saw that all mention of Wikimedia was taken out, all mention of sister projects was taken out, all mention of the software was taken out and all mention of our fund drive was taken out.

We have previously worked out on the mailing list and the above talk that these were all very important things to note in this press release. Please respect this consensus. BTW, Wikipedia is not a business selling a product with an important corporate image to preserve. So it doesn't really matter if our "press release" isn't what you would expect to see from a fortune 500 company or even a fortune 50,000 company for that matter; this is our second press release this year and the first that is project-wide, so we have a lot of news to cover. We just want to inform everybody of our progress and tell them what's new. I guess that means that this isn't a real press release. So be it. --Maveric149 05:12, 21 Aug 2003 (UTC)

as Gutza was not saying, do not be bold in updating pages :-)

To 142.177: "and provide a link to the editable text." Where in the GNU FDL does it say that? The GNU FDL require author attribution and providing machine readable copies whenever there are more than 500 copies of a document made; there is no requirement to provide a link to the editable text (this would require everybody to be on a wiki!). But we do simplify things by stating that an attrib to the Wikimedia project and a link back satisfy a few different GFDL requirements. --Maveric149 05:17, 21 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Well, I have much that I could say, but then a good deal of it has already been said by others. I will limit myself to these points:

  1. Mav, If the press release is closed to all but minor edits, it shouldn't say "Please edit this page to improve it" at the very top, and the fact that it is closed to all but minor edits should be reflected in the status page. If you're going to kick down sand castles on principle without even considering their merits, it is your job to warn people of that.
  2. Similarly if there are deadlines for certain types of changes these should be communicated in advance. It is really a fine thing to have deadlines because of translation and the like, but you owe it to the other participants to communicate these.
  3. If the mailing list is the discussion venue of choice for the press release, that should be made clear. I don't participate in the mailing list for various reasons, and believe that the discussion belongs here instead.
  4. I had reasons for cutting what I cut. It was not done casually. I would be happy to explain and discuss if anyone is genuninely interested, and would be happy to help with some suggestions on alternate ways to communicate that sort of material. If your minds are already closed, great, party on by yourselves.
  5. If you don't care about the image the press release creates, then why are you doing it?

Kat 14:31, 21 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I might be interested after I have thought about it :-)
  1. This is answered above. The fact that there are already translated versions based on this prompted me to say that.
  2. The deadline is based on when we reach 300,000 articles. That should be in 3 - 5 weeks. I made this clear on the mailing list but making it clear here would be fine as well. The mailing list is one way to communicate and is where a great deal of work gets done; this isn't going to change anytime soon and may never since Wiki is a difficult medium to have detailed threaded discussions.
  3. I'm still open to improvements but the whole point of this page is to inform the world about every major new thing that is happening with Wikipedia. I already tried to take your advice and break this press release into 2 or 3 smaller ones, but I was overruled on the mailing list.
  4. Perhaps this isn't a real press release then ; it is an update on the project that we are sending to the press. I'm sure as soon as the Wikimedia Foundation is fully up and running we will have more frequent and focused press releases. But apparently not today. --Maveric149 19:06, 21 Aug 2003 (UTC)
  1. It would not be good that all decisions are taken on the mailing list. Especially since archives are difficult to read and search. The mailing list is one way to communicate, and this page is another just as valid. Could you indicate the link where you were overruled ? What would be the interest of cutting the press release in different pieces ? The only thing that I would break is the paragraph about geek stuff. I don't think any journalist of a general news site know much about Kuroshin, and perhaps not many readers either. Make sense to put it though on specialized press of course. Hence, it would not be "breaking" but rather making some paragraphes or sentences optionnal.
  2. It is good that you are still open to improvement, because most people are as well, and 3 to 5 weeks is a long time :-)
  3. The goal of this page is not to inform the world of every major thing that is happening, the goal stated is Wikimedia's first press release focuses on the casual user who is just learning about Wikipedia, and who Wikimedia would like to trust it as the portal or starting point by which they learn about topics they know nothing about.. That makes a big difference.
  4. This is no update either. Very few international wikipedias have ever sent a press release. Contact to mailing lists, a couple of geek web sites, indymedia, and that is about it. For us, it is not an "update", it is a "first release". So, "apparently", you are not working on the same project than us ;-)

Mav, I saw your change about the copyrights of wikimedia content. I drop out the discussion about copyright on wiki ebooks. Is it the same license that wikipedia in the end ?

All Wikimedia content is under the GNU FDL. --mav

Traffic comparison by Alexa[edit]

I have an impression that Wikipedia receives greater traffic than Britannica or others b/c it is editable. When a person edits a page, s/he receives the page two or three times (before the edit, in the edit box, and after the edit). Isn't that the case? If so, comparing traffic would not be a fair game.

Though, I understand that it might still be a surprise to others who don't know Wikipedia that we can at least compare them on that term. So it might be noteworthy after all.

Tomos 17:11, 23 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Page views is only part of the story; more important is unique IP addresses that visit us each day. That is called "reach" and we still kick Britannica's ass in that department. --Maveric149 23:57, 23 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I checked a couple of numbers two days ago, and gives 41 languages, not 40. Anthere

I checked too. And the one added on Aug 3 should not be there ; it is not active. --Maveric149 11:26, 24 Aug 2003 (UTC)

In case you all haven't already noticed, the vote for logo's started today. More information can be found at International logo vote. If there isn't already an announcement on the main page of your wikipedia, please ensure one is added, like on the English wikipedia Main Page. { MB | マイカル } 20:36, 27 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Focus of the press release[edit]

I think putting the focus on the 300,000 article milestone may put off many editors from even reading further, especially since the fact that this is the number of articles for all Wikipedias together makes it look a bit like an arbitrarily constructed number. In my opinion, the fact that we now have a non-profit foundation to manage the various wiki-based projects, and that two new spin-off projects have been launched, should be the focus of the press release, with the 300,000 article number thrown in later as evidence that the wiki principle works in the context of Wikipedia. That is, my preferred structure would be like this:

Wikimedia Foundation Will Coordinate Wikipedia, New Spin-Off Projects
brief description of Wikipedia, open content
long description of Wikimedia, MediaWiki, Wikibooks, Wikiquote, Wiktionary
longer description/history of Wikipedia, statistics
subtle note about fundraising effort

Is it too late to make such structural changes to the press release? If so, I would ask that for the next time, the translations will only be written when the press release has been finalized.—Eloquence 23:22, 28 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Create an alternate version and then we can see if we can merge the versions. --mav

Copy Edit Problems[edit]

There are a fair number of copy edit problems - enough that it appears that no one has checked this release with such problems in mind. I will be glad to make the changes I see - or perhaps a more frequent contributor would like to - or perhaps the content should be finalized first? Well, I did it. RoseParks

Cool. Thanks. --Maveric149 04:41, 21 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Status update please?[edit]

"10 Oct"? What's up? / Mats 12:36, 31 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Is that true that we might send this to press(es) on Monday? Could someone update the status page? Talk:Wikimedia's first press release/status
Looking at Erik's stats page, ( )it seems mid- to late- September is a more likely date to me. Any other take?
Tomos 17:56, 6 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I asked Mav 2 days ago. He said we would likely reach the 300 000 in 2 or 3 weeks. Anthere

Certainly the interesting stat is the drop between July and August growth levels -- though these seem to fluctuate a lot anyway. -Stevertigo 18:51, 6 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Thanks for the info., Anthere. I updated the status page. Tomos 19:57, 6 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Given our current growth rate it should be sometime between September 20 - 28. --Maveric149 22:02, 6 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Just a note: Since the very cool stats page has been set up, I've been using that as the basis for the article count. This new page, however, only counts Wikipedia language versions that have MediaWiki installed. The new count therefore undercounts the total count by 10-15 thousand. Some notable big wikis that are not currently included in the total count; Italian, Finnish, Catalan, Portuguese, Norwegian, Latin, and Interlingua (all have 900 comma articles or more). So if Brion upgrades any of these, then that will advance the day we hit 300,000. This will also mean that when we do hit 300,000, that that will be a more conservative count. --Maveric149 22:35, 6 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I'm the author of the stats page linked at the top of this page. I created it precisely because so many people (myself included) don't know what the release status is. A handful of other people seem to be bored with repeating the same information over and over, to various people, through various channels (various Wiki pages, various Wiki mailing lists). So I thought creating the status page could help by providing a central, easily reachable and intuitively located page for status updates. Thus I'm completely bewildered at the fact that nobody ever edited that page, in spite of the relatively frequent enquiries on the topic. I strongly encourage people who know what they are talking about (i.e. not me) to update that page, so the rest of us can keep track of the progress. Thank you! -- Gutza 23:52, 15 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Well, I did an update. But I would appreciate timely update by others who are more familiar with the growth of wikipedia. Tomos 00:12, 16 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Our MediaWiki Wikipedia count should hit 300,000 sometime between September 25-October 1. The press release will be frozen on September 18 at 20:00 UTC.--Maveric149 18:32, 16 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Could we know when you plan to send the english release. Given the slowlyness of the servers, I think it would be perhaps more negative than positive if all advertise at the same time. Promotion with a dead slow or uneditable wikipedia is something I would like to avoid. Hence, I would prefer to send press release either before the en, or several days after. ant

That was my plan all along. --Maveric149 21:27, 16 Sep 2003 (UTC)
perfect. Given the previous cases of promotion on en, how long did the high traffic usually last ? How long does it elapse between you sending the paper and the moment it is published usually ?
About a week on both counts. I wouldn't mind holding the en version for a week. --mav

2003 appears twice at the very beginning. Which place should it be in? -- Jake 08:41, 23 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Fixed. --mav

  1. What do we fill into the blanks? I mean the dates are pretty obvious, but what about the numbers for the different large pedias? Are we supposed to just grab the freshest stats from Erik Zachtes page? Or will there be a up to the minute, brand spanking new string of stats created for that purpose?
  2. Which foreign media are the targets of the press release? Is there a ready made list of the major media which will be given the (given the open way this has been edited) non-scoop? Or should we submit suggestions?
  3. What are the mechanics of the press-release mailing? Is it going to be sent out under a Wikimedia foundation letterhead, or should we in our respective countries prepare to print the releases, and mail them out? Is it going to be sent out on paper, or only electronically?
  4. What are the other nitty gritty details which have to be figured about the practical operation of this press release? Is this being discussed somewhere else? -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick 00:42, 25 Sep 2003 (UTC)
  1. My first thought was to check each main page on Monday (which would be the day of the release. But I think your idea of using the stats page would be better. I'll make the update.
  2. Any media you see fit. I hadn't even considered non-electronic distribution since the whole English speaking world is wired. Do what you think is best for each version.
  3. Do what you see fit, but there is no official Wikimedia or even Wikipedia letterhead....
  4. Well we might delay distribution for a week in order to give the developers time to upgrade the servers. This is the place to talk about the press release (also the mailing list).

--Maveric149 03:35, 25 Sep 2003 (UTC)

when is the english press release gonna be moved to the english wiki ? Where will this talk page be hosted then ? Ant

Not moved, but copied and modified slightly to fit the needs of the English Wikipedia. This page and its talk page will not be moved or deleted. The English version should be done sometime this week. --mav

Well, it appears that the hardware updates are still being eagerly awaited. Is it time to move back the release date yet? It might not be a bad idea to allow a day or two for a shakedown after installation of the upgrades... Or is it the current thinking that the international press releases won't have a significant load effect? Btw, can someone update the statuspage at some stage also; it still boasts the press release on monday 29th which just passed.

It should be extended so that the upgrades can be installed. Sigh... --mav

Ok. So now we have the upgrades (if not fully installed). Shall we designate the official publication date now, or wait to see that they are all successfully installed? -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick

Wait and see. Upgrades are still in progress and I would like to set a date as soon as they are over. --mav

New articles[edit]

Hello. I think it would be nice if we say something about the future. What about stating that there is about 700 new articles every day ? Hope it is not too late for such comments. --Youssefsan 18:57, 10 Oct 2003 (UTC)

That figure changes all the time. Not sure. --Maveric149
Changed my mind and added "about a thousand new articles are added to the project each day". --mav
The rate is now (Feb 2004) about 1,800 new articles per day in all languages, so "about two thousand new articles" would be more appropriate. -- 07:13, 22 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Not that it makes a big difference, but those stats don't include the Simple English Wikipedia. Are there any others missed out? Angela 23:53, 10 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Better to go with counts we already maintain. Simple English is not a different language Wikipedia but more of an internal fork of the English Wikipedia. The Pushtu Wikipedia currently has source text squatting on it and therefore isn't counted either. --Maveric149 01:51, 11 Oct 2003 (UTC)

1/3 of a million sounds a good milestone in English, but in Japanese, there is no single word for a "million". We simply call a million "100 of 10000s".  :( Tomos 04:03, 11 Oct 2003 (UTC)

lol. You unlucky Tomos. On the ml, 333 333 was suggested. 1/3 of a million is a very bad title. I think I will put Wikipédia : over 300 000 pages". User:anthere
Then do a minor reorg of the first para and change the title based on this exciting piece of info: "For the first time in its history there are now less articles in the English Wikipedia than in all other language Wikipedias combined." --mav
Thanks for your attention. I would consult with my fellow (japanese) wikipedians. Tomos 18:58, 11 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Spanish Wikipedia[edit]

Spanish Wiki may also reach 10,000 articles since a bot may be used to create years templates and a bot may be used to copy articles from Enciclopedia Libre. The bot will copy articles from Enciclopedia Libre to put them on es: and copy from es: to put them on Enciclopedia Libre. Users seems to agree that a bot be used.

See A bot is already used for interwikis links.

I should have announced it sooner since I am an ambassador. --Youssefsan 18:08, 11 Oct 2003 (UTC)

If it makes it in time, then yes it will be listed (a complete page history merge would be better along with getting their editors to come over here...). --mav

A new article every 2-3 minutes[edit]

There is a new article every 2-3 minutes. The figure is closer to 2 minutes.

  • 24*60= 1440 minutes/day
  • There are more than 500 new articles/week. 500 is a conservative number. In fact there are some 650-700 new articles
  • 1440/500=2.88 minutes.

What about including it at the end ? --Youssefsan 18:32, 11 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Perhaps... There may be too many stats already (people can do the math from "about a 1,000 a day"). --mav

What should the lead story be?[edit]

We missed the 1/3 of a million milestone and the other languages surpassing en.wikipedia is also old news. If we are lucky then the new server will be installed late this week and if everything goes fine during the week of testing then that still means we have to wait another two weeks. So since we already have made the money we need to buy the server I would like to suggest that we wait for our next major milestone: "Wikipedia: 500,000 articles across XX languages". Of course we will still mention everything else in this press release. What does everybody think? --Maveric149 18:39, 4 Nov 2003 (UTC)

500 00 articles is a good milestone. Perhaps, wikipedias with old software will be then converted. Perhaps, there may be 50 languages available. By the way, Wiktionary will soon reach 20 000 entries. --Youssefsan 19:45, 4 Nov 2003 (UTC)
To be honest, not only does 500 000 beat 1/3 million, it even beats 300 000 hands down. It should be noted that we are likely to see a surge in article production just due to the database monster speeding things up, so even though we are not right now too near the 500 000 mark, the distance is deceptive, because our current growth is hobbled by the slowness of the machines. In the unlikely darn near unconcievable case, that we have only just barely squeaked by 400 000 when the day comes, that can be the headline. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick 20:47, 4 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I must say, I am disappointed in the whole work I put in this press release. Since I got on fr, I was in the habit of doing little advertisment (no big news network would be interested) about every couple of months. In particular, oriented toward scientific fields, or other fields little covered, as compared to the free-movement and computer field. I think these little adverstisment could help balance the incoming contributors to help insure other various fields be covered. It never brought many people, but one or two is always good in an empty field. Now, because of that press release story, I have given up all adverstisment, and not done any since july. I think this is bad. I feel restrained in my liberty of advertising, and see that other wikipedias go on doing so. I do not think I will wait an one million pages to do some adverstisment again. I will just avoid big.

Well, Ant, I think you shouldn't stop adverting of that sort. The type of people major press/media brings, in my observation, tends to be quite different from that from those small targeted ads that you described. So you don't lose the impact of major press release just because of those targeted ads. Indeed, I wish I were not as shy and could do that kind of stuff for japanese wikipedia.
Besides, I like the idea of waiting til the 500,000 article milestone. It sounds better than 1/3 million in Japanese, too. :-) Tomos 05:45, 6 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I hesitate, because some days the speed is really ok, some days it is not. Why are you shy about advertising ? It is fun to go on forum and write a bit to others, to explain to them the concept ? Fortunately, the japanese wikipedia is doing great :-)
(T)On stats, that's what it looks like. And many powerful contributors joing recently, indeed.
(A)this is good :-)
(T)But we are having some rough time as well - the first IP block request was made; some non-accidental page lock was done; rough talks among some participants, an allegation of multiple account usage to mobilize opinions, etc, etc.. Well, maybe this is part of growing?
(A)yes. Part of growing. Probably can't be avoided. These past two weeks, we had more than our share of trolls, believe me. But finally, if we shut the eyes on a couple of discussions (or on the contrary, have a good hearty laugh on them, for sometimes, if you look at it from away, it is hilarious really), things are really ok. As if people needed to release steam from time to time.
be careful of insuring balance.
(T)Speaking of ads, I am want to avoid to look like I am a spammer. But I don't know how I can avoid it - I have seen many messages on many bulletin boards that invite people to join some suspicious money-making activities.. Well, or maybe I am just simply shy. :-) Tomos 23:40, 6 Nov 2003 (UTC)
(A)are you talking about donation request Tomos ? I am not sure I understood what you wanted to say ?
(T)Oh, I meant that I see so many spammy invitations to this porno web site or that money-making website, via email and on discussion boards. So if I invite people to wikipedia, I might just look like one of those people. :-( Tomos 21:32, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC) PS I've seen your mailinglist posting on soft-security... well, I guess we are growing..
-) we will win anyway. ant

Should it be seriously modified?[edit]

I know it says only minor edits, but since it was written six months ago, if nothing else, the fundraising situation has changed a bit. I think that the press release needs more than just minor edits.

That is an optional section and can be easily removed for each language. --mav
Including English? ;) I would propose that something like the following be used:
The Wikimedia Foundation (, was created on June 20th 2003 to manage and fund the operations of Wikipedia, its sister project Wiktionary (a multilingual dictionary and thesaurus at, and its new siblings Wikiquote, (a compendium of famous quotations at, Wikibooks, (a collection of e-book resources, aimed at the needs of students, at, and Wikisource (a repository of public domain historical documents and books at Since Wikimedia Foundation's creation, it has raised over $30,000 to support these projects.
I think that is closer to what would be written if it were being written today, but is not too much of a change of the original intent. I think that the week long fundraising proposal paragraph should be dropped in all languages, unless there is actually some proposed use for more money. The paragraph could be modified to be a request for new editors and programmers instead. Jrincayc 16:59, 11 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Adding one sentence isn't that major of a change. I'll go ahead and do that and then think about what to do about the para talking about the fund drive. --mav

The fundraising parapraph should at least be consistent with the fundraising page (i.e. the next use of the money might be to employ a server administrator). Some clear goals for the fundraising drive should be proposed and discussed on mailing lists and village pump, since I think there is probably enough money for servers for the next half year or so. If a consenus for use of the funds isn't made, then it would probably be best to drop the paragraph, lest wikipedia looks silly. Jrincayc 15:03, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Wikimedia's first press release Fundraising paragraph[edit]

(from the village pump)

m:Wikimedia's first press release was written mostly in August of 2003, before $30,000 dollars were raised for new hardware. As such it includes the following paragraph:

Some Wikipedia versions may consider omitting this paragraph
The continuing surge in development and interest especially in the Wikipedia project has, however, strained the server and software resources of Wikimedia. The Wikimedia Foundation, therefore, is starting a week long fundraising drive today and will use those funds to help ensure continued performance. Please visit for more information. Wikimedia is also calling for volunteer programmers to help improve the performance, user friendliness, and capabilities of the software, now called MediaWiki (, behind the various Wikimedia projects.

Should this paragraph be:

  1. Left as is?
  2. Removed entirely?
  3. Rewritten to modify the thrust from requesting money to requesting editors and programmers?
  4. Other?

I personally think that option 1 is silly considering that there is nolonger any proposed use for the money and over $30,000 dollars have already been raised. However, option 1 is currently going to happen unless there is a decision to change it in the next week or two before article 500,000 hits. Jrincayc 17:13, 11 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I dont think that you should change a press release that has already been released. If you want to release a new press release, mabye that should be done instead. --Ed Senft! 17:41, 11 Feb 2004 (UTC)

It will not be officially released until Wikipedia gets 500,000 articles. This will probably not happen for about two more weeks. At that point we would be in the situation of releasing a press release (a.k.a. something that is supposed to be news that contains lots of things that were news 6 months ago.). Jrincayc 17:53, 11 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Removed paragraph:
Some Wikipedia versions may consider omitting this paragraph
The continuing surge in development and interest especially in the Wikipedia project has, however, strained the server and software resources of Wikimedia. The Wikimedia Foundation, therefore, is starting a week long fundraising drive today and will use those funds to help ensure continued performance. Please visit for more information. Wikimedia is also calling for volunteer programmers to help improve the performance, user friendliness, and capabilities of the software, now called MediaWiki (, behind the various Wikimedia projects.
This paragraph badly needs to be updated. It implies that funding difficulties are the cause of the strained server resources. However, if anything, it is lack of a full time sys admin, which this does not seem to be proposing. This request has been on the village pump and talk for almost a week and there has not been one person saying it should stay in (to be fair, I am the only person saying it should leave). Frankly, I think that the request to go to the fundraising page for more information that is currently in the press release is fine. I strongly believe that this paragraph should not go back in without being rewritten, and since I do not believe that that is likely, it should best be dropped. I certainly am aware that the press release section says only minor edits are allowed, but it has said that for months, and the $50,000 dollars raised has changed things. I do not think that this paragraph would be put in if the press release were being written today. I don't think there is any consensus for the purpose of a fundraising drive, so having one makes wikipedia look at best immature and at worst greedy. I would request that if you put it back in you read every word and decide for yourself, should this be in the press release now. Jrincayc 03:31, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)