Wikipedia breaks into U.S. top 10 sites

According to comScore Networks' Thursday report, January 2007 marks the first time when US-based Wikimedia Foundation's Wikipedia (including Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, Wikinews and of course Wikipedia encyclopaedias) cracked the top ten list of most popular Web sites in the U.S. The Wikipedia sites ranked ninth with 42.9 million unique visitors last month, ahead of the sites from The New York Times (#10), Apple (#11) and Viacom International (#12). Wikipedia, which already ranked in the top 10 list of most popular Web sites globally, has been progressively gaining popularity in the U.S.: in January 2006 Wikipedia sites were #33 (18.3 million unique visitors), in July 2006 Wikipedia was #18 (28.1 million visitors) and in November the site was #12 (39.1 million visitors. Globally, Wikipedia sites ranked sixth in December with almost 165 million unique visitors.

News source: InfoWorld

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17 Comments

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Wikipedia has satisfied my curiosity many of times, but even I have found errors or jokes in their articles. The most memorable was a day when George W. Bush's page was modified to have all the pictures replaced by monkies (I still have that saved, I laughed rather hard at that) as well as some of the information about 1871-1945 Germany was a little mistaken (I am writing a paper about that this semester). All that considered, its a very nice place to satisfy basic knowledge inquiries, though you might have to spend time researching elsewhere to verify its content. Basically I am trying to say that I'm glad they are doing well and I agree that they need more accuracy in their articles.

I love wikipeida but remember, this is a popularity rating based on "unique visitors". Other sites may have far more hits but the hits are not from unique IP addresses. Myspace is considered very popular but many of the hits per month are repeat hits. Also interesting to note is that I know some people who spend hours per week on Myspace as opposed to minutes or seconds on other sites. I've never seen time as a metric for site popularity but I think it is important.

Glad to see this. But I am fearful that they are going to get too many articles and their reliability will be trashed. They already don't have that great of a reputation for be a reputable source. I'd hate to see anything else go bad for them.

I wonder what the other top 9 are. I bet Microsoft and Google are 2 of them. I wonder who else. I didn't see that mentioned in the InfoWorld article.

EDIT: Ah ha http://www.alexa.com/site/ds/top_sites?cc=...y&lang=none I didn't think Yahoo would be number one.

The point in Wikipedia is not to be a reliable source. That just isn't going to happen in any situation where it's possible for anyone to edit the pages. The point is that it's a fantastic starting point for finding out information after which one can then search for other sources if they wish to delve deeper into the subject. The more users Wikipedia has the better, not just in terms of the number of articles, but also in how quickly vandalism is resolved.

Kadafi said,
The point in Wikipedia is not to be a reliable source. That just isn't going to happen in any situation where it's possible for anyone to edit the pages. The point is that it's a fantastic starting point for finding out information after which one can then search for other sources if they wish to delve deeper into the subject. The more users Wikipedia has the better, not just in terms of the number of articles, but also in how quickly vandalism is resolved.
Well, it also increases the number of vandals.

As a rule, a good wikipedia page has more of a chance of being accurate than a random website written on the same topic, and its almost always in more depth. Sure, theres bad ones, but I think as it matures, 99% of the pages will get to a point where they're good quality and well maintained, while the remaining 1% will be poor. If nothing else, its a great place to get a good overview of anything - be it a news story, the history of something or just some links to another site...

But I am fearful that they are going to get too many articles and their reliability will be trashed.

Yeah, a problem you're actually starting to see in some articles now is a form of "article rot". It's been discussed and debated a bit, but essentially, some articles were better written about a year ago than now. It's about new contributions with good intentions are being made, so nothing is caught as vandalism, but over time a coherent and informative article may become less coherent and introduce unsourced facts that stay in for a long time.

I wish Wikipedia would get basically two branches of an article, and that special administrators could at request move a "under editing" branch to an "approved" branch. Basically how Citizendium does it, but the problem with Cz is that they're starting over. Wow, good luck in requiriting people to re-fit Wikipedia's size in a brand new wiki, even if Wikipedia is GFDL licensed...

I think it's really about time for Wikipedia to put a much greater focus in *maintaining* article quality now. They've passed the phase where the main content gets added as new articles, and now their main problem will start lying in other areas. Not of vandals, but still possibly of worsened article quality, which makes the problem probably needing other forms of treatment.

Andareed said,
A good wikipedia article will always have references that you can check for yourself.
+1

The fact that so many people on here say, "You need to check facts.", and then point to a Wiki page that doesn't even have any cross references or is very badly written doesn't provide a whole lot of credibility.