Rivals, spinoffs, parallel projects
Wikipedia will not see a real competitor for a long time. Direct competition is a quixotic task, because of wikipedia's mindshare advantage, or whatever you want to call it -- size begets size.
But "rivalry" is the wrong way to think about it. There's a lot of potential for other ways of viewing and framing and contextualizing and thinking about wikipedia content -- who's to say that there shouldn't be wikipedia in one frame and another resource in another? Or a commentary on the wiki page integrated into the text, color-coded? Or that the most recent version of the wiki article must be the canonical one (the one you see first)? There will be alternate interfaces to wikipedia's content, especially as the API becomes more full-featured.
The catch is that a customized version of wikipedia (look! I'm by default only seeing the article revision rated funniest by wikipediafilter!) is in some ways less compelling than the ordinary version -- there's power in seeing what a bunch of other people are seeing. It ties you into society. Alternate interfaces will have to overcome this obstacle if they are to succeed.
Tlogmer 06:42, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
English wikipedia is likely to dominate. Other languages depend on a number of factors.