wikiHow Reaches 25,000 Articles

Rebecca Lendl

With the addition of “How to Make an Eiskaffee (Creamy Iced Coffee)” on September 21, the 25,000th article was added to wikiHow. wikiHow is a wiki whose community works to build and share the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Articles include everything from everyday tasks such as maintaining a vacuum cleaner and tying a necktie to less common activities like how to do a wall flip.

Launched in January 2005, wikiHow has since grown rapidly to become one of most popular sites on web. Every month over 5 million unique visitors come to the site, making it the 500th most popular site in the US and the 2000th internationally according to Alexa.

In keeping with its mission, wikiHow has actively worked to share its content and software with the world. All of the content is available under the CC-BY-SA-NC license and all its software modifications are available under the GPL. Some of wikiHow’s articles come preloaded on computers from the One Laptop Per Child project; all of their modifications to Mediawiki can be downloaded by anyone, and have been used by organizations such as UNICEF and MIT as well as developers all over the world.

wikiHow is a great example of the possibilities for participatory culture opened by Creative Commons licenses. According to wikiHow founder, Jack Herrick, “Creative Commons licensing has been a necessary ingredient of our success thus far. These licenses allow others to easily share, republish and modify our content which furthers our mission. In addition, the licenses provide our editors with the “Right to Fork”, which gives our community comfort that their work will always be freely available to them and others.”

Jack continues “I’m optimistic that one day wikiHow will offer accurate, helpful how-to instructions on almost every topic in almost every language. I’m looking forward to sharing a how-to manual in Arabic, Chinese, German, Hindi, Japanese, Polish and many other languages we don’t currently serve. Fortunately Creative Commons licensing exists in all these languages and will help us along this path.”

Congratulations wikiHow! Support Creative Commons today so that the commons may continue to grow!

5 thoughts on “wikiHow Reaches 25,000 Articles”

  1. this is neat. I have seen a website called wikiHowl collects and publishes silly how to articles originally published on, but deleted from, wikiHow…… another cool use of creative commons!

  2. Hi Elsa,

    I don’t see where wikiHowl has provided license notice or attribution back to wikiHow. If they are doing what you say, it doesn’t appear they are using the licensed material correctly.

  3. I see a problem with providing attribution, none of the content exists at wikiHow any more. I would say cannot attribute what isn’t there, nice publicity for wikiHow though.

  4. Leonard,

    The content does not need to be online at wikiHow for the attribution requirement (and any others) to continue to hold. Content doesn’t need to be online, period, for it to be licensed and for the license terms needing to be met by any users.

  5. Excellent point, yes. Right along, we have attributed all the IMAGES used in the articles, some of which can be seen on the wikiHowl image wall. These we present on the image licensing pages under the contact section. This has been quite easy as one can provide a link back to each image, all of which still appeared on Flickr when we first began to use them.

    We had been perplexed however, about how to handle the ARTICLES, due to the fact that they are DELETED wikiHow articles. We have of course all along prominently on the main page, and on many other pages, identified wikiHow as being the source of each one of these deleted wikiHows.

    But we want to make sure we have all of this done properly and we think we have a solution worked out now. We will begin adding the attributions to each specific article page as of tomorrow. It will take some time to get them all done, however, now that we have over 60 humorous how-to articles appearing on our site.

    Thanks very much for the reminder.

    KiS of wikiHowl

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