Interesting new metric, Arjun. Although, like you said, it's difficult to capture "the health and vitality" of a wiki in a single metric. Apart from external factors, I'd consider the following to have an influence on the path any wiki takes:

1. The seed community - typically small wikis start with just one motivated editor. If that person puts the wiki above themselves, it helps in attracting other motivated editors. [We were extremely lucky to have the visionary and unassuming Mayooranathan as our first active editor.] And then the first few active editors (six if I have to put a number to it) set the culture for generations to come. If they truly got the wiki philosophy and are committed to open knowledge in their mother tongues, then the wiki's safely out of stunted growth path. If there's diversity at that stage, it helps a lot.

2. Organic vs inorganic growth: wikis that use inorganic means like bots and automated translation cautiously and with an intent to drive organic growth further will have "durable growth." Part of the reason for the success (so far) of Tamil and Malayalam wikis is that. Bangla (for example) seems to be taking that choice. Other wikis may be on the right track, but I might not know.
Beyond these, relative growth rates of various wikis would depend on the external factors. It'll be nice to have a few case studies done by editors of their respective wikis along the lines of will help us identify patterns. We can do number crunching at a higher level, but I'm sure editors of any wiki would have some special insider insights to share.

- Sundar

"That language is an instrument of human reason, and not merely a medium for the expression of thought, is a truth generally admitted."
- George Boole, quoted in Iverson's Turing Award Lecture

From: Arjuna Rao Chavala <>
To: Discussion list on Indian language projects of Wikimedia. <>
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 4:35 PM
Subject: [Wikimediaindia-l] Fwd: Status of Indian language wikipedias in 2012 and priorities, Telugu WP report

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Arjuna Rao Chavala <>
Date: 2013/1/22
Subject: Status of Indian language wikipedias in 2012 and priorities, Telugu WP report
To: wmin-members <>


Please check out my blogpost on Indian Wikipedia languages status in 2012 and priorities

Report on Telugu Wikipedia  for 2012 is available at

Arjuna Rao Chavala

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