[Foundation-l] Promoting non-en Wikipedias (was In defence of Google)

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Sun Jan 21 15:21:21 UTC 2007

On 21/01/07, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:

> There is also the fact that Wikipedia is not well known in many
> countries. When our articles are found positively in search engines, it
> will slowly but surely help us get to the tipping point where Wikipedia
> is a household name. It is not even well known in countries like Italy.
> We need good relations to get us where we will be a well established
> movement outside of the English language as well. It helps when we have
> friends like Google.

On a slight variation on this topic:

What can we do for countries where people routinely use the English
wikipedia and ignore their own language Wikipedia? I try to push local
Wikipedias when talking to the press (and far too many  seem to be
unaware of their own language Wikipedia) and mention the international
character talking to the English-language press. That hopefully does a
little, but not enough.

One factor appears to be that en:wp has achieved usefulness. (If
Wikipedias weren't actually useful, wikipedia.org wouldn't be a top 10
site on Alexa.) I think this is two things:

1. Incredible breadth of coverage - journalists LOVE en:wp because
it's the universal backgrounding resource on any subject, if
approached with due caution.
2.Very up-to-date.

Britannica may have more consistent writing quality and more
consistent fact-checking, but it's not there on people's desks and
it's not kept obsessively up-to-date.

So what can small Wikipedias (say, under 100,000 articles) do to
achieve these effects - breadth and being up-to-date - as well? Are
there other tacks they should try taking to achieve greater public

[cc: to wikien-l for further ideas]

- d.

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