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Updated Wikinews Statistics

I presented a paper reviewing the first year of Wikinews at the Association of Internet Researchers conference in Chicago in 2005, and this paper has also been accepted for publication in Scan Journal in June 2006. Today I've finally posted the audio from that presentation.

I also spent part of today revising the paper with more recent figures on the development of Wikinews for publication in Scan - in the conference paper I had argued that some of the systemic problems within Wikinews had stunted its growth through the furst year, and I'm sorry to day that (but for a brief spike in the aftermath of the London bombings and hurricanes Katrina and Rita) this trend appears to have continued to date.

The Wikimedia foundation has some interesting statistics (but unfortunately only up to December 2005), showing flagging growth in new contributors and a low rate of growth in new articles. The current (but limited) stats on Wikinews itself indicate an average growth rate of only 8.5 new articles per day since December 2005 - and this rate therefore seems roughly steady since May last year if we ignore the aberrant July-September period with its terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

My views on what's causing this are, I hope, clearly stated in the article - Wikinews' way of working is in need of some further rethinking. Its overt discouragement of debating the news may be in line with a zealous interpretation of the Wikipedia's Neutral Point of View doctrine, but discussing the news is precisely one of the key competitive advantages which online news sites have over traditional, mainstream news. In addition to this, Wikinews' style of presenting the news takes little advantage of the wiki platform, but rather attempts to press its content back into a traditional time-based news format, when wikis are clearly much better suited to a dossier-style presentation of content with incremental updates.

Right now, Wikinews simply seems to want to be more traditionally orthodox in its approach to journalism than the mainstream journalistic Websites. In pursuing that goal, it's wasting a great, and rare, opportunity to make major innovations to the online news reporting process.

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it's a pity that it didn't really work. however, i have notices that the meta wikipedia is more like a news paper than an encylopedia now anyway. i am attempting to set up a wiki at, but an not sure if it is worth the effort to promote it as most traffic will probably go to the US site.