Wikipedia is a free-content encyclopedia, written collaboratively by people from all around the world. The site is a wiki, which means that anyone with access to an Internet-connected computer can edit entries simply by clicking on the edit this page link. Wikipedia is a project of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. [Source: Wikipedia, January 2006]
Things to read:
- About Wikipedia
- Wikipedia, wikia and free culture by Jimmy Wales
- Look it up (in Wikipedia): Wikipedia
- Wikipedia in eight words
- Wikipedia statistics
- The Wikipedia Community
- Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines
- Wikipedia:Five pillars
- Criticism of Wikipedia
- Why Wikipedia is not so great
- Internet encyclopaedias go head to head by Jim Giles (writing in the journal Nature)
- Fatally Flawed: Refuting the recent study on encyclopedic accuracy by the journal Nature by Encyclopædia Britannica
Questions to consider:
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Wikipedia approach to knowledge dissemination? How does Wikipedia compare with the traditional encyclopedia? Which would you trust more as a source of accurate information?
- Should Wikipedia allow material to be posted by anonymous contributors? What are the advantages and drawbacks?
- It is not uncommon for knowledgeable individuals to disagree over the facts on certain subjects. How does Wikipedia mediate disputes on sensitive or controversial topics? Is mediation likely to yield unbiased results?
- By the end of 2005, there were over 4,000 very active “Wikipedians” (those individuals who contribute 100 times or more per month) and 27,000 individuals contributing at least 5 times per month. What factors might explain the motivation and commitment of such a large group of volunteers?
- WIKIPEDIA ®
- Search real-time for U.S. trademarks.