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It was founded in March 2001 as the first additional language edition about two months after the English language Wikipedia . As far as the number of articles is concerned, it is currently the fourth largest Wikipedia, with 2,501,489 articles after the English-language and the Swedish - language and Cebuano-language Wikipedia editions, which are heavily influenced by computer-generated articles . Measured by the number of article edits, but also the administrators, authors and particularly active authors, the German-language Wikipedia is the second largest after the English-language Wikipedia. The number of active authors has been falling since 2007.
Early phase 2001 to 2003
The wiki for the German-language Wikipedia, at that time still with the UseModWiki software, was set up on March 16, 2001 under the domains german.wikipedia.com and deutsche.wikipedia.com; the first articles appeared in the same month. Initially, the wiki was mainly used as a collaboration platform for the German-speaking Nupedia translation team, but its members were skeptical of the wiki concept. This is how Nupedia employee Rainer Zenz described his relationship with Wikipedia in July 2002:
“To be honest, I haven't really dealt with Wikipedia that much. It has its appeal to be able to publish and change it so directly, but what I liked about Nupedia was the personal collaboration and discussion about a topic and formulations - I miss that a bit about wikis.
There is another wiki problem: the first impression. Very spartan, a bit puzzling, what nerds . And dubious, because everyone can write what they want ... You only notice that there is a great concept behind it when you look very closely. "
One of the most committed employees and supporters of the project in the early months was Kurt Jansson, then a sociology student in Berlin.
The version histories from the beginning are only incomplete, as the UseMod software automatically deleted old versions after two weeks. This peculiarity, although known and problematic with regard to the mandatory naming of authors according to the current GNU FDL license , was given little importance at the time. The early archives of the Wikide-1 mailing list were destroyed by negligence, so that the archiving only dates back to August 2003.
The wiki software used for the German-language Wikipedia is divided into three phases, called phase I to phase III. The UseMod software was later referred to as Phase I after Phase II had become the name for the wiki software developed by Magnus Manske especially for Wikipedia. The English Wikipedia was switched to phase II on January 25, 2002. After massive performance problems in the spring of 2002, the focus was on optimizing and correcting errors and deliberately refrained from converting the other language versions as well. Finally, Lee Daniel Crocker consolidated the code base into software specially developed for Wikipedia. The result of this redesign was then referred to as Phase III; later the software was named MediaWiki . When the German-language Wikipedia was switched to phase III on August 28, 2002, the user identification numbers were reassigned. For these reasons, it is no longer possible to determine exactly what the first articles were and how the project developed.
On August 19, 2001, the German-language Wikipedia had 1000 pages. Most of the articles from the early days are still preserved; some categories and project pages have been redesigned and deleted.
In the early phase, the encyclopedia grew slowly, only on January 24, 2003 the mark of 10,000 articles was exceeded. On this occasion, the first press release of the German-language Wikipedia, written collaboratively in the wiki, was sent out. Seven days earlier, the English Wikipedia had the 100,000. Article celebrated.
On February 24, 2004 and in the following days, large media in Germany reported for the first time on Wikipedia. Starting with Spiegel Online and the next day with a report in the ARD Tagesthemen (about 2.26 million viewers), Wikipedia became known throughout Germany. Because of this, and due to other parallel media reports, the number of users and page views doubled within a few days. The Wikipedia servers repeatedly collapsed briefly under the onslaught of new users.
On June 13, 2004 the association Wikimedia Germany - Society for the Promotion of Free Knowledge e. V. founded.
Up until April 27, 2004, relevance criteria that were not specified until August 15, 2005 were not used.
In September 2008 there were more than 800 million hits on the German-language Wikipedia per month.
On the occasion of the deletion of an article about the association AbrauchsOpfer gegen InternetSperren (MOGIS) in 2009, numerous blogs, including Fefes Blog and Spreeblick , complained that the deletion practice was too rigid for Wikipedia articles with contentious relevance. The debate was subsequently taken up by Spiegel Online , Die Zeit , Heise online , Telepolis and at the Chaos Communication Congress .
In response, the Wikimedia Germany association organized a panel discussion on the topic to discuss the various points of view on relevance politics in Wikipedia. There was also a podium at the 26C3 .
On December 27, 2009, the German-language Wikipedia exceeded the 1,000,000 mark, with Ernie Wasson as the anniversary article . The mark of 1,500,000 articles was exceeded almost three years later, on November 18, 2012; Barrack Wilhelmine is considered a milestone item . Four years later, on November 19, 2016, the 2,000,000 followed. Items.
In 2010, an internal Wikipedia debate on the subject of "The Danube Tower - observation tower or television tower" reached a level that caught the attention of the national media. In addition to the factual question, animosities and differences of opinion between German and Austrian authors came to light. Likewise, when it comes to Swiss, Liechtenstein or Luxembourg issues, there are occasional conflicts due to the different spelling and cultural differences.
Around 72 percent of Internet users aged ten and over in Germany preferred Wikipedia and other online reference works for their research in the first quarter of 2011.
In June 2013, Der Spiegel addressed the analysis of Wikipedia usage data. Among other things, the Wikipedia Live Monitor was considered , which reports articles that are suddenly changed in several Wikipedia versions at the same time as breaking news candidates . The Spiegel employees themselves examined noticeable leaps in user interest in the German-language Wikipedia. In addition to articles on current topics of conversation, the article banana peel also caught the eye. It was in the Wikipedia section. Did you know? on the main page and had found over 38,000 interested parties in one day. According to a study by Oxford University, the most controversial articles in the German-language Wikipedia in 2013 included Jesus Christ and conspiracy theories as of September 11, 2001 .
In March 2016, the number of new articles added to the German-language Wikipedia was around 350 every day.
In April 2019, the German-language Wikipedia had almost 355,000 unique categories. The average article in this language version had 5 categories while the number of unique categories per article was 0.155. The largest number of articles had the category People (15%) and Organizations (13%).
In its early days there were three user groups in the German language Wikipedia: unregistered users ("IPs"), registered users and administrators ("admins"). Administrators were found on the mailing list, so to speak; in January 2003 there were seven admins; in April 2003 there were fifteen. From May 2003 the suggestions were discussed centrally on a page in the Wikipedia namespace. It was not until March 2004 that voting rules such as a required two-thirds majority and a restriction of the right to vote to registered users with a certain minimum number of contributions were introduced.
The skills of administrators were initially limited to deleting and protecting pages and blocking unregistered users. A server administrator had to block registered users directly via the database, as well as granting administrator rights after the election. As of February 25, 2004, the function to block registered users was activated and the first two blocks were imposed. The admin function of directly reading the database via SQL query was deactivated in 2005 for security reasons.
In 2004, the newly introduced user group of bureaucrats took over the assignment of administrator rights. In February 2004 the users “Sansculotte” and a few days later “Head” were chosen as the first two bureaucrats. The number was later increased to three, and there are currently five bureaucrats on the German-language Wikipedia. The competencies have also been expanded: initially only responsible for assigning administrator rights, later the bureaucrats also took on the renaming of user names.
In April 2004, with the user “Fantasy”, a user of the German-language Wikipedia was also chosen in the first steward elections.
Not all user roles that were added over time in MediaWiki, the software used, were also used immediately in the German-language Wikipedia. In July 2006 the first three check users were selected, a user role introduced in November 2005 that can view the IP addresses of registered users. A confirmatory opinion poll was held in May 2009 about the use of the oversight function introduced in August 2006 , with which versions can be hidden for data protection purposes.
In the Offline -dissemination the German-language Wikipedia has played a pioneering role. The Munich Wikipedian Thomas Karcher put together the first “WikiReader”, a selection of the Wikipedia articles on Sweden, which appeared in June 2004 with an edition of 1500 copies. At about the same time, Thomas Koll also had a WikiReader on the subject of the Internet printed.
In autumn 2004, the Berlin publisher Directmedia Publishing published the first CD version of Wikipedia in collaboration with the Wikipedia community. Since then, DVD editions have been published roughly every six months and are also made available for download on the Internet.
The Zenodot publishing company took the concept of WikiReader and published in 2005 and 2006 in the paperback series WikiPress a number lektorierter collections of Wikipedia texts.
“WP 1.0”, the plan to publish the entire Wikipedia in a hundred-volume print version like classic encyclopedias by subscription, was abandoned by Zenodot after negative feedback from the Wikipedia community and sparse subscriber numbers. The first volume should appear for the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2006; after fifty months, in December 2010, the work should be finished. Even if no volume has ever been published, the project has left its mark on Wikipedia in the form of the specialist editors set up for this purpose, which continued to exist even after the plan was abandoned and were given a permanent place in the Wikipedia's institutional structure.
In 2008, the 992-page one-volume book Das Wikipedia-Lexikon was published in one volume from the first paragraphs of the almost 20,000 most frequently accessed articles published by Bertelsmann-Verlag. Since June 2009 it has been possible to order books-on-demand compiled from Wikipedia content from PediaPress .
In 2005, the German-language Wikipedia received the Grimme Online Award in the categories of knowledge and education and audience award .
In comparison with other language versions, the German-language Wikipedia was described in 2009 by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales as being of high quality, and in 2011 by the then Wikimedia managing director Sue Gardner as the best language version. It is accurate, detailed, well-maintained, contains long articles and is easy to read.
Secondary literature on Wikipedia
The first large-scale comparison of the German-language Wikipedia with the established digital reference works Microsoft Encarta Professional 2005 and Brockhaus multimedial 2005 Premium appeared in October 2004 in the computer journal c't (issue 21/2004). There it achieved the highest average total number of points in the content test, whereas the free encyclopedia did worse in the multimedia category - German-language Wikipedia achieved similar ratings shortly afterwards in a lexicon comparison of the weekly newspaper Die Zeit . Both tests were based on a small sample of 60 to 70 articles from different subject areas. In 2007 the c't carried out a further comparison between Bertelsmann Encyclopedia 2007 , Brockhaus multimedia 2007 Premium , Encarta 2007 and the German-language Wikipedia, in which Wikipedia did not score worse than the commercial encyclopedias in terms of number of errors and in the categories “completeness” and “topicality “Was in front. The testers often found the articles on Wikipedia to be too detailed and lengthy.
In December 2007 the magazine Stern published a comparison between Wikipedia and the online edition of Brockhaus . The research service "Wissenschaftlicher Informationsdienst WIND GmbH" in Cologne checked 50 randomly selected entries on the subjects of politics, economy, sport, science, culture, entertainment, geography, medicine, history and religion for correctness, completeness, topicality and comprehensibility. Wikipedia achieved an average grade of 1.7 according to German school grades across all areas , while the Brockhaus entries for the same keywords only got an average grade of 2.7. The Wikipedia testers gave 43 articles better grades than the paid competition, in one case both reference books received the same grade, and Brockhaus was ahead in six key words. Likewise with the intelligibility; the testers found some Wikipedia articles too complicated, others too diffuse and lengthy. The star praised the particularly good performance of Wikipedia in the “Topicality” category, while he was surprised that Wikipedia also won the “Correctness” category; "In view of the fact that volunteers compete for free against professional editors, this [was] not to be expected."
In the internal namespace of Wikipedia - i.e. with the Wikipedia community as the target audience - several summaries of external articles or publications are maintained on Wikipedia. In the "Press" and "Mirrors" press articles are compiled. There is also the internal Kurier magazine and - as “self-reflection” - a collection of articles on language versions of Wikipedia and related projects and processes.
Both the Wikimedia Germany development association and the Wikimedia Foundation were involved in legal disputes over Wikipedia articles. Although Wikimedia Germany only operates the domain wikipedia.de, on which only one search mask for several Wikipedia language versions can be found (the web address of the German version is de.wikipedia.org), the association became the main addressee of complaints, warnings and lawsuits.
For example, the comedian who portrays the stage character Atze Schröder complained that his real name appeared in the article on his character. After the press chamber of the Hamburg Regional Court had burdened him with the costs of the proceedings and also took a position against the suppression of the name, he withdrew the lawsuit against the then Wikimedia Germany managing director Arne Klempert.
By means of an injunction from the Lübeck Regional Court , the politician Lutz Heilmann , member of the Bundestag and the Left Party , obtained on November 13, 2008 that the internet address wikipedia.de would no longer be linked to the internet address de.wikipedia.org, which was used in the United States, for several days States is registered, was allowed to be forwarded. After the representations that, in his opinion, violated his personal rights had been largely removed, Heilmann declared the legal dispute over.
The regional court in Cologne was the first to deny the German association's responsibility for Wikipedia content. It dismissed the lawsuit of the Frankfurter Verlagsgruppe, which saw an appropriation of the content in the forwarding of the page wikipedia.de to Wikipedia against Wikimedia Germany.
The German-language Wikipedia accounts for between seven and eight percent of global Wikipedia traffic. According to Wikimedia statistics, 79.6% of the page views on the German-language Wikipedia came from Germany, 8.3% from Austria and 6.2% from Switzerland. The remaining 5.9% came from the rest of the world, particularly the United States, Luxembourg , Italy ( South Tyrol ), Belgium and Namibia . The German-language Wikipedia is the most-read edition of Wikipedia in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.
Use in Germany
According to a survey in November 2015, 79 percent of Internet users aged 14 and over in Germany said they used Wikipedia. Most users of Wikipedia are therefore with 92 percent in the age group of 14 to 29 year old internet users. For 30 to 49 year olds, it is 84 percent and 74 percent between 50 and 64 years. According to the survey, the proportion of Wikipedia users among Internet users over 65 is 43 percent.
The number of active authors peaked at around 8,500 people per month in 2006 and 2007 and has since declined significantly. In 2018 it was 5200, the lowest value since 2004.
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Recording: mp4 iProd ( MP4 ; 439 MB) 3gp mp3 ogg
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