German Wikipedia

German Wikipedia


Started: March 2001

Current size: 2,616,247 articles

Total edits: 214,322,989

Active editors: 17,473 in the past month

Areas of strength
  • General article quality
  • Several cooperations with third parties regarding e.g. Persondata (German national library) or CD-/DVD-production (Directmedia)
  • High grade of face-to-face contacts by means of regular meetings (so called “Stammtische”)
  • Creativity in inventing new ways of quality enhancement e.g. writing contests (“Schreibwettbewerb”), concepts as featured (“exzellente”) and good (“lesenswerte”) articles or events as “Wikipedia Academy” (involvement of experts)
  • Convenient BD: shorthand alias for "User_talk:" ("Benutzer_Diskussion:") namespace.
Areas of weakness
  • Still a low amount of animations and sounds.
Who is the competition (print, online)?
  • The general PR talking points are that we don't see them as competitors as they could take our content and sell it under the CC/GFDL terms. Competitors to those companies would be other companies that are using wikipedia content to build up products (like Directmedia publishing)
  • Bibliographisches Institut & F.A. Brockhaus (Brockhaus, Meyers) (online, physical electronic product, print)
  • Encarta (physical electronic product and online)
  • Bertelsmann (online, physical electronic product, print)

Prominent milestones/eventsEdit

  • first meetup in Munich on 28th October 2003 in Munich
  • 100.000 articles in June 2004 on the very same "Wikipedia day" when Jimmy Wales was in Berlin and the german association "Wikimedia Germany" was founded.
  • first Wikipedia CD October 2004 published by en:Directmedia_Publishing
  • first Wikipedia DVD April 2005 published by Directmedia_Publishing
  • first Wikimania conference in Frankfurt in August
  • 500.000 articles in November 2006
  • 1.000.000 articles in December 2009
  • Media Viewer superprotect incident (2014)

What has its impact been?

  • TK


What language features are challenging?

  • German Grammar changes combined nouns so that a [[term]]genitivesuffix does not always work.
    Example: Das Bibliographische Institut (nominative).
    Des Bibliographischen Instituts (genitive).
  • Not challenging per se, but the square and curly bracket characters on standard German keyboard need to be inserted using a special key combination using the Alt key. On Mac keyboards, they are not even shown on the key caps.

What would surprise the outside reader about the community?

  • its radical attitude towards deletion (see controversy about the deletion of Linux distribution in the German press April 2007)

What are some unique practices/characteristics?

  • Current events articles are highly discouraged.
  • Stubs (short articles) are not marked as such, as it is considered pointless.
  • More immediatism than on the English Wikipedia. For example, there exist no equivalents to the "[citation needed]" tag and its sisters, and only sleek and minimalistic article notice boxes like de:Vorlage:Belege fehlen instaed of prominent ones like en:Template:Unreferenced and en:Template:Multiple_issues as used on the English Wikipedia.
  • Users are banned by public vote. An arbitration committee like the one on en.wp was approved by the community in April 2007.
  • The "rollback" tool is not granted through a standalone user right but included in the editor ("active sighter") user right.
  • The new protection level "active sighters only" between "semi-protection" and "administrators only" was introduced in April 2015. It is reminiscent of the extended autoconfirmed protection level introduced a year later on the English Wikipedia.
  • No use of padlock icons to indicate page protection like on the English and French Wikipedias.

Who were the earliest participants, who started it?

Other prominent Wikipedians?

  • Achim Raschka (initiator of the writing contest), Southpark, Bdk, Henriette Fiebig, Ulrich Fuchs (ex-Wikipedian, founder of fork Wikiweise), Hans Bug (most prominent banned user)


First test made by Toira on 25/02/07Edit

Using alt-shift-x (to display a random page) 20 times I got:

  • 19 articles with decent content. [95%]
  • 1 "small" article (10 lines). [5%]