Joi Ito points out that Wikipedia just passed one million articles: “Wikipedia is in more than 100 languages with 14 currently having over 10,000 articles… At the current rate of growth, Wikipedia will double in size again by next spring.” Wikipedia itself points to the power of a massive, decentralized content authoring effort.
Ross Mayfield adds, “To put this in perspective, if each article took 1 person week to produce, getting the next million would take 40,000 full-time equivalent resources to get it done in the same amount of predicted time. Co-incidentally Wikipedia has about the same amount of registered users, but they have day jobs too.”
Even more impressive, “Wikipedia is a volunteer effort supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation.” When I clicked on their fundraising effort, I discovered that they’re looking to raise fifty thousand dollars — a tiny amount by corporate standards. It speaks to the fact that a massive, decentralized effort need not cost a tremendous amount to have a huge impact.