2009/2/16 Eugene van der Pijll <eugene(a)vanderpijll.nl>nl>:
Thomas Dalton schreef:
I've been following the CZ statistics page
for some time, and I get
the feeling that it doesn't matter because activity on CZ is shrinking
(even Sanger doesn't seem very active) and it will never reach a size
where anyone actually uses it.
I've had a bit of an argument with him recently about the decline of CZ
and he assured me that CZ has been growing exponentially, and will be
growing explosively, and that [[CZ:Statistics]] proved that.
I don't see a claim of exponential growth (which would be complete
rubbish), just "good news". I don't think linear growth (even slightly
below linear) is good news, personally.
fraction of the size of
Wikipedia at the same age (in terms of articles or total words) and
growth is slowing (whereas Wikipedia showed exponential growth at that
CZ is actually only about half WP's size at the same age, I think. I've
plotted the growth of both sites in number of words, and it is a
surpising difference. CZ started much larger than WP because they
imported a lot of WP articles[*], and then grew linearly. After a year,
both encyclopedias were the same size, but because of WP's exponential
growth, it is now outpacing CZ.
CZ's growth in number of words has only just begun to fall; its lack of
new authors has been a problem for a much larger time.
My calculations come out as about 1/10 the size by articles and 1/3
the size by words (so their articles must be longer on average). It
doesn't really matter, though, when you have exponential vs linear,
the exponential is always going to win regardless of precise numbers.
(Of course, we're not growing exponentially any more, so I guess it's
possible they could eventually catch up, but we're talking decades...)
discuss why it failed but I think the real answer is
simply that Wikipedia is "good enough" so there is very little
interest in a new project doing the same thing (and which won't be
anywhere near as useful for several years, even with the more generous
Could be. To succeed, a new encyclopedia will have to either have a very
dedicated team of authors, or find a specialistic niche (scholarpedia?),
or be useful from the start; perhaps by starting off with WP's entire
content. And I don't think we have seen WP's successor yet.
A dedicated team of authors won't do it - Wikipedia grew exponentially
because as it got bigger more people read it and more readers became
writers. If all the writing is done by a set team the growth will only
even be linear. A specialist niche is another matter entirely - wikis
are good for all kinds of things, it's only the market for wiki
general encyclopaedias that is filled.