In this week’s blog I am going to write about how Wikipedia is a significant for both either good or bad reasons, and how I feel about if overall.
What is Wikipedia? Well “the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet, ranking sixth globally among all websites on Alexa and having an estimated 365 million readers worldwide.” Reference from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia. I’m sure that everyone around the world today, that either has a computer or not has an idea on what Wikipedia is. In 2011 “Wikipedia received an estimated 2.7 billion monthly pageviews from the United States alone.”- Reference from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia. Now that is recognisably a very large amount of people in the U.S. alone using Wikipedia, so I couldn’t even begin to imagine what the sum total is in the World. Wikipedia has to be the most popular open source website in the world and, as it is an open source format, Wikipedia will remain to be frequently updated.
The fact that Wikipedia has the ability to be modified by anyone plus, the capabilities of activating an, entirely new page on anything has been negatively criticised and in return, labelling the site as unreliable and not ideal for research. People such as Andrew Keen; think that Wikipedia is truly useless and doesn’t have anything factual to offer us, here’s what he has to say about it “The open source encylopedia infantilizes knowledge. On Wikipedia, we all become children, playing at being adult, slipping into an Alice in Wonderland version of reality. If you’re Alice, it might be fun. But for the grown-ups, it is worse than bad.” He obviously feels that with free access to everyone surely there can’t be anyway anyone can possible believe what is actually written on the website. He also thinks that when we are reading things that are on the site we are basically reading a non-fictional book. I see that to be very harsh seeing that we are not forced into reading anything that is posted on the site as well as, generally being right whenever something is searched.
To challenge Wikipedia would be a very, very hard thing to do, as expressed above; 2.7 billion people had used Wikipedia in 2011. So that tells us that it’s obvious that it is very popular around the World therefore, users must be getting the right results when they search to be using it again. I haven’t come across another encyclopaedia in the world that is; as easy to access, covers just about everything in the World, has many different translations for different languages and, is FREE! How I think about open access is that surely if more than one person is thinking to modify something things that are uploaded for factual purposes, can’t be all bad as overall they are trying to help. When things aren’t correct or have been modified for different reasons, the site changes it so it’s not like it can’t be removed. Wikipedia is updated on a regular basis and keeps up with the new, rather than an encyclopaedia that is old, doesn’t get updated and is not free.