Wikipedia Growth to Slow Down?

By Deane Barker on August 30, 2009

Look This Up on Wikipedia: How Big Is Too Big? : The Wikimania conference just ended.  One of the talks explained why the growth of Wikipedia is about to slow sharply.

He made an analogy to an orchard. There were the articles that were like fruit on the ground (say, “apple” or “Africa”) that were tackled early in the project. Slightly more specialized articles quickly followed (so-called “low-hanging fruit.”) Finally there are the fruit at the top of the trees, which, after three million articles, are also largely in the bushel basket.

What looked like sharp growth at the start was really Wikipedia collecting all that material, he said. It couldn’t last. Growth will come from specialized articles, maintenance and news, both events and ideas and products. “Human knowledge is always expanding, but not at the same steep rate,” he said.

Put another way, all the easy articles have been written.