Wikipedia goes back to the future with print edition
It’s the world’s sixth most popular website and savior of students facing exams. Now Wikipedia could take a retro twist as a set of printed books covering more than 4 million English-language articles in over 1 million pages, thanks to a crowd-funding campaign from PediaPress. The final volumes would be exhibited worldwide with live updates being printed alongside them.
A PediaPress spokesperson who wished to remain anonymous told us more.
Metro: Wikipedia put encyclopedia tomes out of business by being more convenient. Why reverse that progress?
PediaPress: You have to think of it like an art project. We want to visualize the digital media, with all its updates and variety, to show the full extent of the work of 20 million editors. We want to give people an impression of the sheer size.
How will this benefit anyone?
We will first activate it at the Wikimedia conference later this year, then a series of exhibitions, which will be open to the public. The last use will be to donate it to a library for future generations to understand how we worked, but, for that, we will stop the printed updates.
Will you edit the text or include all the mistakes?
We aim for a snapshot just as Wikipedia is, including where it is horribly broken or vandalized. It is not intended to be a resource for medical professionals or engineers. It is more conceptual and we will not change anything.
Are you worried about back injuries from carrying the 1 million-page book?
Certainly it will be difficult to transport, but we are breaking it down into 1,000 different volumes that will be moved on pallets, and then together occupy a whole shelf.