Expect an influx of traffic.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, March 23, 2001 10:42 AM
Subject: Nupedia: system up; Wikipedia started; German and Slashdot
March 22, 2000
It's been quite a long time since our last update (it was last
December!)--that's mainly because we've been so busy. But I'll keep
this update brief and informal.
As most of you already know, the much-heralded new web-based system is
now up and
To see it operate in its full splendor, you'll have to be logged in.
promised to add more instructions (where text is underlined) but
have always seemed to lack time to finish this task. Meanwhile, the
system is simple enough, with enough instructions already in place, for
many people to have started using it; others, I'm afraid, might feel
they've been left high and dry. My apologies; I'll try to get those
instructions written. In the meantime, of course, help is available
from many different people.
A conversation with a friend in early January about the so-called
"WikiWiki" software led to the creation of Wikipedia, a new encyclopedia
project complementary to Nupedia:
Basically, *anyone* can go to any page of that website and, by simply
"edit text" link, edit the text of the page. As of this
moment (Thursdy, March 22, 12:57 PM Pacific Time), we have 2,953 (yes,
2,953) pages in Wikipedia. Of these, 1,816 are relatively substantial
articles. We started in January, 2001, so we've made incredible
progress--even we are surprised. Maybe you think that Wikipedia would
end up being a rather low-quality product, since it's open to everyone.
But perhaps it's the fact that it is open to everyone that makes a lot
of these articles in fact not so bad, and ever-improving. We tend to
cater to the highest common denominator--"lower denominators" usually
don't touch articles they know nothing about.
PLEASE note: the editorial processes and policies of Wikipedia and
totally separate; Nupedia editors and peer reviewers do not
necessarily endorse the Wikipedia project, and Wikipedia contributors do
not necessarily endorse the Nupedia project. I personally am working on
both projects, as are a number of Nupedia members. I think that the
projects might eventually develop a very interesting symbiotic
relationship. But nothing along those lines is official, and no changes
are anticipated in the near future. Certainly no changes will be made
without consulting Advisory-L and Nupedia-L.
In January and February, we had an enormous influx of traffic due to
Nupedia by the German press agency DPA and by the hugely
popular computer programmer website, Slashdot.org
(twice!). (This has
led, by the way, to my getting far behind in my e-mail--something for
which I apologize, but it really couldn't be helped.)
As a result, we have set up Deutsch-L, a mailing list, ably led by
which has been producing German translations of various
Nupedia pages. See:
And as a result of *that*, we've accepted translations of the home
French, Italian, and Spanish (as well as German of course).
We've set up Interpret-L for general translation issues, and Francais-L,
a nascent French language translation project. We might soon set up
Espanol-L. See this page for more information:
Another piece of news is that we have found an able Chief Copyeditor
who may be
contacted via the following web pages:
news; but I did
promise to try to keep this short. If you're curious,
you could join Nupedia-L or simply poke around the website to see what
you've been missing.
Kind regards to all,
Lawrence M. Sanger, Ph.D.
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