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Considering that Wikipedia has reached Top Five world status among Web sites – with more than 330 million users – its annual Wikimania conference, which ended Friday night in Buenos Aires, featured a lot of hand-wringing about all the problems the project faces.
After emerging on the scene less than a decade ago, Wikipedia is facing a slowdown in growth. Why? Are new contributors being scared away? Are there too many rules? Why are the biggest players in the community overwhelmingly men? And white? And will Wikipedia ever become a true global phenomenon, as relevant to the lives of people in the third world as it is in the developed world?
Like a freelancer suddenly overwhelmed with assignments, Wikipedians often found themselves looking back at the sleepy days when they were largely left alone. Scratch that. Maybe the better comparison is to the successful journalists who look back to the time when they were so busy they never had time to reflect.
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