I have this seeking suspicion that no one on this fucking internet knows how to use Wikipedia. So let me explain this to you people in few easy to understand points:
- Wikipedia is not a “source” – it is a “resource”
You know what is the only useful part of a wikipedia article? It’s the references section. There you can find links to credible sources, ISBN numbers of relevant books, and etc.. Wikipedia is a good place to start your research, or find out useless trivia that you don’t really care to verify.
- Wikipedia is not broken
If you find a wikipedia article that is blatantly wrong, or that consist of the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” lyrics (and trust me, every Wikipedia article at some point does) it does not mean Wikipedia is broken. You don’t have to write a long blog post about dangers of wikipedia, wikipedia credibility and etc.. Complaining about wikipedia being inaccurate is like complaining that water is wet, that slashdot has dupes, or that there is porn on the internets. If you do it, you just end up looking like an idiot.
If the article is wrong, don’t whine about it. Fix it.
- If you want to chronicle Wikipedia vandalism link to the history page
I can’t tell you how many times I saw blog posts that link to a wikipedia article with something like “OMG, this is so funny!”. But when you actually click on the link you get taken to perfectly normal article. Remember, vandalism and controversial shit has a very short lifespan and will usually get yanked within hours if not minutes from posting.
- Wikipedia is Wiki first and Encyclopedia second
Next time feel an urge to compare Wikipedia to an actual encyclopedia, don’t. It is not really an encyclopedia. It is a community project in collecting and cataloging encyclopedic data. Keep that in mind at all times and see #1 and #2 on this list.
Hopefully this will clear up any confusion out there. Feel free to add your own points in the comments, or disagree with mine.
[tags]wiki, wikipedia, encyclopedia, research, knowledge, encyclopedic[/tags]