Archive:Press releases/Wikipedia Reaches 2 Million Articles

From Wikimedia Foundation Governance Wiki

English Wikipedia Reaches 2 Million Articles

On September 9, 2007, at 8:21 UTC, the English-language Wikipedia published its two millionth article with the entry "El Hormiguero," about the popular Spanish TV show of the same name. The article was created by registered Wikipedia contributor Zzxc.

This is yet another important symbolic milestone in the evolution of Wikipedia, the world's largest and most up-to-date encyclopedia. Currently, the collaboratively-written website is available in 250 languages, with English, German and French being the largest. Combined, Wikipedia has over eight million articles.

"In just six years, Wikipedia has grown from a mere idea, to being the largest encyclopedia in the world. This success is thanks to the thousands of volunteers worldwide who have shaped Wikipedia into what it is today - a gift of knowledge to the world, and to future generations," said Florence Devouard, Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees.

Wikipedia articles are living drafts that are continually being updated and improved-upon. The encyclopedia is constantly improving: a 2007 study conducted by the Hewlett Packard Information Dynamics Laboratory found that the best articles on Wikipedia are those that have been edited the most frequently, by the largest number of people. It concluded that the correlation between article quality and the number of edits validates Wikipedia as a successful collaborative effort.

Wikipedia has also developed into the largest single online source for material in several smaller languages, such as Swahili and Esperanto, and is starting to gain momentum in African languages, such as Afrikaans, Sesotho, Swati, Setswana, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu.

Wikipedia is one of numerous free content projects facilitated and supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, with the goal of empowering world citizens to share in the sum of all human knowledge. Wikipedia is the Foundation's most popular project, and is utilized in numerous educational programs throughout the developing world.

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The Wikimedia Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit, charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual content, and to providing the full content of its wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. It operates some of the largest collaboratively-edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, one of the world's 10 most-visited websites.

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All projects of the Wikimedia Foundation are collaboratively developed by volunteers using the MediaWiki software. Their content may be freely used, freely edited, freely copied and freely redistributed subject to the restrictions of that license.

About Wikipedia

The goal of Wikipedia, the largest encyclopedia in history, is to create free encyclopedias in all languages of the world. Anyone with Internet access is free to contribute by writing new articles and editing existing articles. Wikipedia was ranked the fourth most visited website on the internet in November 2008 according to comScore.

Wikipedia started in January 2001, and currently offers over eleven million articles in over 260 languages. The largest Wikipedia is in English, with more than 2.6 million articles; followed by the German and French editions, each of which contain more than six hundred thousand articles. Nine other language editions contain 200,000+ articles, and more than 150 other languages contain 1,000+ articles. Wikipedia is entirely created and maintained by a community of active volunteers.