[Wikipedia-l] Wikipedia v. Britannica

Jimmy Wales jwales at bomis.com
Mon Aug 18 14:22:40 UTC 2003

According to their website, Britannica's Deluxe Edition 2004 CD
has 75,000 articles.


Presumably, many of these are longer and of higher quality than our
150,000 English-language articles.

>From our groovy new stats tool, we know that the average Wikipedia
article is 2,115 bytes.  Perhaps of greater interest, 53% of our
articles, or right around 75,000, are longer than 1,500 bytes.

So a question naturally comes to mind - how do our 75,000 >1,500 byte
articles stack up again Britannica's 75,000 articles?

I ask because I continue to work on a plan for a drive to Wikipedia
1.0, and a big part of that plan involves getting a realistic
assessment of what a Wikipedia 1.0 will look like, relative to

If I end up setting a 'target date' for Wikipedia 1.0 of 1 year in the
future, what might we realistically expect to achieve?  What if I set
the 'target date' for 2 years in the future?

What I'd like to find out is that we have a realistic chance of having
a Wikipedia 1.0 release 1 year from now that rivals Britannica.  But
there's no need to hurry, if it will take 2 years or 5 years, that's
how long it will take.

But I'd be very interested in getting some feedback and help on how to
make that determination realistically.


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