Posted to Citizendium-L.
We’ve broken 5,000 articles today!
Thanks of course to the article writers, as well as the people working on the unchecklisted articles list, which is DONE! Yes, DONE! We have added our most recent 2,000 articles in a little over three months. That, friends, is what we call acceleration.
Thank you all so much! As I said when thanking you last fall, I feel a curious combination of pride and humility — pride at having started this, but humility at the constant reminder that this project is, after all, staffed by self-motivated volunteers. Let me explain. We are here merely because we share a common vision of an excellent, exciting, online knowledge resource. It would be silly and insulting for me to take credit for your practical commitment to this vision; your commitment is your own, and it is the reason we have succeeded as well as we have so far, and also the reason we will, probably, grow even faster and more impressively this year. Sometimes, you know, I think it is presumptuous for me even to thank you. After all, you aren’t doing this for me. Your work isn’t a favor to me; so what gives me the right to thank you? Well, I do feel gratitude, but not because you’ve contributed to something I “own”: this is a non-profit, community project in which we all enjoy ownership. Rather, I feel gratitude because you believe in a vision I happen to have articulated, and are working to make it come true. But if I am allowed to thank you for this, you are also surely allowed to thank each other just as much, because (necessarily) this is not just my personal vision anymore.
Anyway, we still have a lot of hard work to do, and while I would say we’re off the ground, I would also say in all honesty that we’re still wobbly and still in our infancy. What can we do to create the next 5,000 articles in, say, six months (or less)?
Here is my answer. Looking toward the future, my medium-term aim now is toward a systematic workgroup-based recruitment effort, as I explained yesterday. I think this is exactly what the project needs. By doing everything we need to do to get ready for workgroup recruitment (e.g., improving the help pages, getting in touch with existing editors and authors in a workgroup, reskinning the wiki, and much else), we will satisfy many (not all) of the aims that you set for us in last month’s big brainstorming session. I hope you will help me with all that needs to be done here. I know it just won’t happen if I don’t lead the way, but it also won’t happen if I’m the only one working on the effort. So, if you do want to help and want specific, delimited assignments, or (if you prefer) vague, general ones, I am happy to pass them out. Otherwise, of course you know what to do.
By the way, I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but I hope one day soon you’ll support the cause in one more way, namely, add yourself to the userinfo system. We’ve got 14 people in the system — see the group status page. Well, maybe this way to organize ourselves will not prove to be the best way, but I think it’s worth a serious try. I think that if we have some more influential project members using the system to plan and report their doings, others will join in as well…hint, hint.