We usually measure a Wikipedia's growth in terms of page views, article
counts, active contributors etc., I felt that while all these parameters
can be good indicators, they somehow miss to reflect the exact value and
growth of a Wikipedia.

For example,

*  One Wikipedia may have 50 active editors (doing more than 5 edits per
month) and 10 very active editors (doing more than 100 edits per month)

But there are Wikipedias which have very very active editors who do more
than 1000 edits a month. One such Wikipedian can be equal to 200 active
editors !

Also, it calculates mere edits in article namespace. But, we have people
working in sandboxes and uploading full articles in one go. There are also
all kind of quality improving work done in Wikipedia namespace and other

*  One Wikipedia might have 1000 good quality articles while another may
have 10,000 average quality articles.

* According to
http://stats.wikimedia.org/EN_India/TablesPageViewsMonthlyCombined.htm ,
Malayalam Wikipedia has only 2.9 M pave views per month and stands 4th in
Indic Wikipedias. But if you normalise for  the target population of each
Wikipedia, Malayalam Wikipedia might have the highest reach.

I felt that measuring the actual human hours spent in building a Wikipedia
could be one useful indicator of  growth. So, I asked the Tamil Wikipedia
community how many hours they spent for Tamil Wikipedia in one ideal week
in May 2012. The question was asked in June 2012 so everyone only gave an
approximate estimate. This included the

We had 69 active editors and 20 very active editors for the month.


14 people answered the question and they spent a total of 294 hours a week.

You can find the hours each of them spent in the table at


What is very striking is that many have spent around or more than 30 hours
a week which can be thought of as a full time job by itself.

So, normalising the data, we can safely say that we spent at least 400+
hours a week. If Tamil Wikipedia is an enterprise, then this equals to at
least 10 full time workers. If you can come up with the market price for
such high qualified talent that includes Professors, Teachers, Engineers
and students working on such a project, the value of work done in kind
crosses few lakh Indian Rupees every month. If you consider the value of
work done since the beginning, what is the value of our project in physical
terms? !! These were some of my thoughts when I went through this data !

Long live Wikipedia :)


P.S. This study could have been more scientific, inclusive and planned to
have better accuracy. But the idea is to visualize our Wikipedia's growth
in terms of human hours spent even if this going to be a very approximate
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