A Wikipedia story
January 24, 2011 § 4 Comments
I am ambivalent about Wikipedia. I love using it, I understand it’s importance. But I hate it when people keep quoting from it.
If the World Wide Web is the 2nd information revolution (the 1st being the invention of the press) then Google, Wikipedia and Facebook are its most important milestones. They are paradigm shifts in the way people viewed the Internet, and have deeply penetrated popular culture. And they continue to be the most popular destinations online. According to Google Wikipedia is the 5th most popular site of 2010 (the first being Facebook, of course).
Wikipedia democratized information. It made all of us editors and covered the most improbable topics. And suddenly it became THE ONLY SOURCE of information. People read a short Wikipedia article about anything and claimed to know what they’re talking about. Nobody seemed to question what’s written, although it has often been proved to be wrong – and thankfully corrected, those editors do have fast reflexes.
With the world wide web being the vaster source of information ever imaginable, people stick to Wikipedia. That I hate. The ultimate site about knowledge killed our inquisitive nature.
But as Wikipedia celebrates its first decade, I am willing to put my grumpy feelings aside and I feel the tickling of appreciation for all the times it has been a life-saver and all the times I procrastinated on its most obscure topics (by the way, the best of wikipedia is the best way to start such enjoyful but pointless browsing).