While some are quick to predict Wikipedia's collapse, as the number of new articles added has been going down in recent years, the site actually celebrated the creation of its 3 millionth English article several hours ago. The article
is an entry on a Norwegian actress and film director named Beate Eriksen, and came almost two years after Wikipedia reached the two million English articles mark, though it took less than one and a half years to go from one million articles to two million before that. Around 350 other
pieces have been added since, though the number of total articles fluctuates as inappropriate entries are deleted.
The piece in question got a lot of attention because of the fact that it was an important milestone so it has seen a greater number of changes than usual. A special bot written by a Wikipedia contributor was used to determine the exact article that broke through the 3 million mark. At the time there isn't too much fanfare about the fact, with Wikipedia's main English page
having a simple announcement: “The English-language Wikipedia thanks its contributors for creating over 3,000,000 articles! (The 3,000,000th article is Beate Eriksen.).”
The site is clearly growing now, having over 13 million articles in all languages and the German version coming close the one million mark by itself. Still, there are some worries after a recent study
by the Palo Alto Research Center showed that the creation of new articles slowed in recent years as did the number of edits, and many were seeing this as a sign that the site was headed south in the long run.
While there may be some merits to the fact that the older and more active editors that make up the core of Wikipedia's contributors are making it harder for newer editors to come in, the fact that the number of new articles added is declining may not have to do with the site losing its appeal but with the fact that there is simply less to write about. At three million articles in English it is by far the world's largest encyclopedia, with Encyclopedia Britannica, the largest traditional English encyclopedia, having just 120,000 articles.