[Foundation-l] 1.3 billion of humans don't have Wikipedia in their native language

me at marcusbuck.org me at marcusbuck.org
Tue May 24 15:16:11 UTC 2011

Zitat von me at marcusbuck.org:

> A supply of content is a prerequisite to stimulate demand in content.
> After
> all one of the biggest problems of a fledgling Wikipedia is that few
> people have the dedication to work on a project that will probably not
> "take off" for years to come. It's easier to win contributors if the
> project already has taken off and people know that they are not
> wasting their time.

To further emphasize this:
Wikipedia was created in 2001. Why 2001? The Internet existed since  
1991 and it wouldn't have been hard to create a wiki-like site to  
build a free encyclopedia. After all Tim Berners-Lee's idea of the  
Internet was that of a wiki-like editable net. So why did it take 10  
years to build the first successful free encyclopedia? The idea  
existed but nobody realized it. Nobody had enough faith in the idea to  
dedicate time on building it and those who tried did not reach the  
critical mass to take off, probably due to lack of dedication to the  
project when nobody was sure whether it could work.

The same happens nowadays. There sure are many people who would like  
to have decent content in their native language. But they have no  
faith that anybody would ever read it and they fear that they waste  
their life writing stuff nobody will read. People _will_ read it, but  
only after the project has reached a state where it's worth it looking  
up things on it. If 70% of your searches deliver no useful result, you  
enthusiasm as a reader will not be great. If 90% of your searches  
deliver useful results you will probably accept it as your main body  
of reference.

This gap between the start and becoming useful to readers was easily  
taken by the big languages that have many educated speakers with much  
free time. But the less "strong" a language is the more this gap  
becomes an obstacle that cannot be taken.

Marcus Buck

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