What is Wikipedia?

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Back in ancient times there was a thing called an "encyclopedia" – it was a disgusting piece of technology that used tree pulp and ink to store information. The so-called "paper" was bound in volumes – about 26 or 27 of them – which contained information on every word, noun, and proper noun known to exist at that time.

Using this technology was slow, painful, and often outdated – the volumes needed to be updated in bulk since they did not have the ability to be updated dynamically. You also needed to buy this information! Costing upwards of $2000 for the entire set, salesmen would actually encourage people to purchase an encyclopedia set once a year!

Thankfully, we live in modern times where we have Wikipedia. Wikipedia is, essentially, the anti-encyclopedia. It contains most of the same information of encyclopedias plus information you generally would not be able to find. Plus, it’s updated on-demand.

Some professors don’t approve of Wikipedia – they claim it’s not a reliable resource. To that point, they may be right: anyone can edit Wikipedia, which can lead to inaccuracies; however, Wikipedia can be a great resource for starting any research project and pointing you in a good direction.

Should you use Wikipedia as your only resource? No, you need multiple resources to try and come close to understanding what the truth is behind a situation.

Should you ignore Wikipedia? Absolutely not! It’s a great resource that provides a ton of value – free of charge – for anyone who is researching any topic.

What do you think?

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