Following the discovery of the Wikipedia backups from 2001 by Tim Starling, and with much appreciated help from Jospeh Reagle, I created an excel 2007 (.xlsx) file that includes all the edits from January 15th to August 17th (the last in the backups). The file is very big (more than 40 MB) and won’t open in excel 2003 or Google docs. It could use some more editing, or preferably conversion to wiki format, but it’s usable and easy to work with, using searches and filters.
the contents are full of interesting stuff, especially the very early policy discussions. For Wikipedia researchers, it is a highly useful resource for relatively guilt-free procrastination. regretfully, it stops right before things starts to get really interesting – September 11th, the controversies surrounding Sanger’s role in the project, the inception of Meta-Wikipedia and the move to phase II software are all just around the corner. If someone knows how to create a similar file for the following year or so, I’d really like to get my hands on it.
Here it is: