Screenshot of Wikipedia.org
Wikipedia, the upstart social experiment that trusts the online mob to steward world knowledge, has hit a major milestone.
The English volume of the Web encyclopedia reached its 3 millionth article. That massive number of whos, whats, wheres, and whens culminated with a profile on Norwegian soap opera actress Beate Eriksen. In the less than 24 hours since she marked the 3 millionth entry, more than 1,000 new articles have already flooded in.
Of course, there are far more posts, if you count the site's 270 other languages. Eleven languages have collected more than 100,000 articles, with German nearing 1 million. Not bad for eight years of work.
The moment passed by on Wikipedia with little ado. There was just a single line saying "The English-language Wikipedia thanks its contributors for creating more than 3,000,000 articles!"
But some worry about this army of 146,209 active users that have added to, commented on, or edited the site in the last 30 days.
There's a fight brewing between "deletionists" and "inclusionists," reports the Guardian.
On one side stand the deletionists, whose motto is "Wikipedia is not a junkyard"; on the other, the inclusionists, who argue that "Wikipedia is not paper".
Deletionists argue for a tightly controlled and well-written encyclopedia that provides valuable information on topics of widespread interest. Why should editors waste time on articles about fly-by-night celebrities or willfully obscure topics? Inclusionists, on the other hand, believe that the more articles the site has, the better: if they are poorly referenced or badly written, they can be improved – and any article is better than nothing. After all, they say, there is no limit to the size of the site, and no limit to the information that people may want.
Both see the other ruining Wikipedia, either by defeating the point of an open encyclopedia, or by expanding its "pages" until the site dies from irrelevance.
Which side do you come down on? More the merrier? Or quality over quantity? Let us know below, or join the conversation by following us on Twitter.