…soon to be hundreds. That’s because this evening we decided to go ahead and invite everyone with complete applications to join the project, the total number being well over 300.
Last Saturday we started by inviting 50 people, and 50 more Sunday morning. We started activating accounts at 11 AM Pacific on Sunday, but by mid-afternoon, the wiki was down. Ugh. My fault, too, double ugh. It was because I asked our tech guys to delete some test accounts, one of which (I thought it was a test account!) was “Anonymous.” Well, it turns out that “Anonymous” is required for MediaWiki to work (ironically enough), and a database table got wiped as a result. It took our guys 16 hours to fix it all. Thanks particularly to Greg Sabino Mullane and Jason Potkanski for heroic efforts. Let that be a lesson to us: don’t delete “Anonymous”.
Finally, this afternoon, they got it all “vacuumed” (don’t ask), and we re-invited folks. Obviously, we couldn’t expect to have loads of these people showing up after they had no joy with the website the previous day. Nevertheless, even with the long (16 hour) downtime, in the first 24 hours or so we have had twenty or so people actually editing the wiki, mostly new people, and around 75 accounts have been made.
It is pretty clear to us that we can handle many times this amount of traffic, so we’ve decided to go ahead and send invitations to all people with complete applications. It might take us more than 24 hours to get through the applications, but hopefully not much longer. The editor applications in particular take longer to go through, and there are more of them (2/3 of the applications are quite plausible editor applications–it just turned out that way for whatever reason).
This is our opportunity to show the world that a new and really vibrant general encyclopedia project can get started, one where everyone is named in Recent Changes (it really is an unusual sight, to see nothing but real names on the Recent Changes page!), and in which expert editors may take the lead. If we can make this work, it could be world-changing–it’s that important, potentially anyway. So I’m going to do my best to get us aloft, and it looks like we’re well on our way.