I think here you're confusing the issues of
quantity and quality.
Writing 'quality pages', or inviting academics to do so, isn't the
way to boost page count quickly. And I'm sure many academics
would be less interested in the number of articles a wikipedia
has than the quality of those articles anyway. Perhaps it would
be better to forget about page count and focus on improving the
overall quality of wikipedia.
Yes, and high quality often acts as a barrier against massive partecipation.
I myself would think twice before changing a word on the Britannica... Some
balance must be reached, though, because quality is what makes reading a
wiki interesting for the public. It's also very difficult to judge how the
quality vs quantity balance is achieved in a single wiki, since the first
term of the equation is mainly a subjective parameter.
I guess the main thing a wiki needs is a solid group of managers, that are
capable of attracting quality from academical level environments (we are
contacting university teachers who have retired, for example) and at the
same time can put up a good "village pump", where people may socialize and
become community members. Not an easy thing, though. Many people who love
culture and may be wonderful researchers might lack the socializing
capability that is needed to build a constructive environment.
A wiki is a world in itself, a book that writes itself. But directors are
needed, unless you want the story to go nowhere. Bulding a good PR team
means more than achieving a quick rise in published page numbers by running
bots to make millions of empty stubs. Nonetheless, empty stubs are necessary
to shape content growth... It's a HUGE job, as I am realizing.