On this blog and at the Wikipedia Weekly podcast, we have been critical about the challenges Wikipedia faces, and what this means for reliability and growth. This comes from a desire of wanting to see the Wikipedia revolution continue. So it’s important to reabsorb how far ahead Wikipedia’s lead still is, as Hitwise shows exactly how dominant it has become [ref]:
A day after Encyclopaedia Britannica renewed its vow to make an online push, it became clear how steep of a climb it faces.
Wikipedia received 97 percent of the visits U.S. Web surfers made to online encyclopedias last week, Web monitoring company Hitwise said Friday.
MSN Encarta was second with 1.27 percent of visits, followed by Encyclopedia.com (0.76 percent), Fact Monster (0.72 percent) and, in fifth place, Britannica.com (0.57 percent). Britannica.com’s share of U.S. visits dropped 53 percent last month compared with December 2007, Hitwise said.
Ouch, 97%. That’s even larger market share than Microsoft Windows had at its peak.
If Wikipedia was a for-profit entity, I could imagine anti-trust issues coming up.