[Web4lib] Web4lib: Wikipedia

Chris (CE) crippel at ckls.org
Wed Mar 17 12:54:38 EDT 2010

Dear Colleagues,

I agree with everything Petter Naess says about Wikipedia.

I would like to add some additional observations.

1. Knowing that Wikipedia is imperfect and that I might find an error I 
can correct increases my involvement and intensity in reading it 
compared to reading Encyclopedia Britannica. I suppose I am unusual in 
considering that this makes Wikipedia superior to Britannica.

2. I have read and, I believe, the reason Wikipedia appears at the top 
of Google rankings is because its articles link to each other. This is 
rewarded by Google's idiosyncratic ranking method.

3. A recent posting on ReadWriteWeb explains "Why Wikipedia Should Be 
Trusted As A Breaking News Source"

Based on my own, admittedly limited and unscientific, experience, I 
agree that Wikipedia is a great source for following big ongoing stories.

4. I also recently read that there are signs that its evolution as an 
organization may be undermining some of its essential characteristics. I 
can't find the recent article I read. Here is a November 2009 article 
making several discouraging points. 

The article I read did state several upbeat signs. The one I remember is 
that the Wikipedia Foundation did make its fundraising goal in 2009.

I love Wikipedia.

I will hate to watch it grow senile.


Chris Rippel
Central Kansas Library System
Great Bend, Kansas

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