This week’s column – Wikipedia

This week’s Loose Wire column is about Wikipedia:

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a place on the Internet where educated folk pooled their knowledge for nothing, conscientiously building up a huge, orderly and free database on subjects as varied as wind gradients and the yellow-wattled lapwing?

Actually, it’s already happened. It’s an on-line encyclopaedia called Wikipedia (, and it probably qualifies as the largest ever collaborative effort on the Internet. Late last month it reached a milestone: 200,000 entries (compare that with 60,000 at MSN Encarta Premium, Columbia’s 51,000 entries, and’s 57,000 articles). By the end of this year, Wikipedia is expected to have about 330,000 articles.

Full text at the Far Eastern Economic Review (subscription required, trial available) or at (subscription required). Old columns at here.