Conservapedia:This site is growing rapidly!

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Trus me
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In-depth analysis

This site is growing rapidly! is the immortal catch phrase of Andrew Schlafly, next to which he touted the number of articles Conservapedia had in its main space. It is presumed that this was a futile attempt to advertise Conservapedia (CP) and also an attempt to arouse a false sense of importance among Schlafly's herd, encouraging them to "keep up the good work", despite blatant evidence that CP is, in fact, not growing rapidly. He ceased the practice of putting up the number of pages on April 1st, 2008 when there were 24,000 educational, clean, and concise entries , and stated as his reason:

We are rapidly growing in insight, and in benefiting those who have open minds. We don't buy into the nonsense that "more must be better" of the biased Wikipedia, which leaves many readers more confused afterwards.--Aschlafly 20:12, 8 May 2008 (EDT)
Article count beyond a certain critical mass (say 20,000 entries) doesn't have any particular significance. People who are interested can look at the statistics. But fewer than 20,000 entries, and perhaps fewer than 10,000 entries, are of any value to 99% of visitors.--Aschlafly 20:12, 8 May 2008 (EDT)

Or perhaps fewer than 1000? Or even 100? As usual, when Andrew Schlafly looks bad in a quantifiable category, he switches the criteria to something fuzzy - like rapidly growing in insight.

But why doesn't Andrew Schlafly like the statistics anymore? Have a look for yourself:

Article creation rate[edit]

For Conservapedia-related data after 2011, see An illustrated guide#Update.
new pages created at CP
new articles created at CP per month
articles at CP

At the moment, there are ~ 3,300,000 at (not counting redirects), while there are ~34,000 content pages at CP - but, of course, wikipedia is a couple of years older. Perhaps, they'll catch up?

On average, 26.1 new content pages were created at CP per day: at this rate, CP will be there in just a little bit over 342 years. On the other hand, if they could have held their top rate (333 edits on July 10th, 2007), they would reach this goal in less than 24 years (they'd have to include the whole ship register of the U.S. for this, not only ships beginning with the letter A).

top 25
top 50

But perhaps this is an unfair calculation? Perhaps - as CP grows rapidly - the rate of the creation of new content pages increases? Exponentially? Sadly, the data doesn't support this idea, instead, the average rate is even dropping over the years:

Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Articles created per day 41.3 50.5 22.8 11.7 7.1

Without stretching statistics too much, this is a geometrical decrease: And though R.J. Jensen created new articles out of his old ones at Citizendium et al., at an impressive rate, his absence will make it even harder to create as many content pages as wikipedia has today within the next half of a millennium.

Why? One problem is that CP has no idea of what meritocracy is. One would think that those editors who create new content are valued. But, instead, you'll find six blocked editors in the top 25 creators of new content (BrianCo (No.10!), Bugler, Fox, Vossy, AlanE and SSchultz), and thirteen in the top 50 (including Human). The recent banning of AlanE shows that his way of editing, i.e., adding content more or less silently, isn't welcome.

Vossy seems to have slipped under everyone's radar; there is nothing substantial about this guy, either at Conservapedia or at RationalWiki. He did seem to mix-up pussy with puffy, once too often ....

Wikipedia - the 800 pound gorilla of wikis[edit]

page creation per day at en.wikipedia
the growth of namespace main at en.wikipedia

But Andrew Schlafly's little project looks really small in comparison to wikipedia. 2006 and 2007 were perhaps the most vibrant years at on average, over 1700 articles were created each day. Though the numbers have dropped a little bit, they are still impressive: at the moment, there are ~1500 new articles each day added to the mainspace.

At modelling Wikipedia's growth, there are detailed models to describe the growth, and to extrapolate it into the future.

1: three wikis
2: normalized
3: 2007 - 2009

How formidable Wikipedia is can be seen when it is compared with Conservapedia and RationalWiki - which have 1% and 1 ‰ respectively articles: the first pic shows a moving 180 days average for all three wikis (i.e., at each day, the mean of the number of the articles created in the past 180 days is given). Yes, down there, in the right corner, that's CP (and right below, RW).

To be able to see the development of the smaller wikis, in the second pic the the rate of creating articles is given in relation to the highest rate of each wiki - and the third pic only covers the years 2007 - 2009.