Often you’d come across people from varied background referring Wikipedia for their assignments. While a person like me loves it for making Internet research relatively easy – because that is how the bread is earned – many journalists and academicians too make use of it while attempting to pass the work as their own research.
In some careers, traditions require that news source are named in writings for the benefit of readers to enable them make a fair judgment. Wikipedia being a user-compiled platform, many are skeptical about the authenticity of its contents and they doubt if indeed the available information can take the place of solid independent research.
This is one of the reasons why it is not uncommon to find people avoiding mentioning Wikipedia as their resource for articles they write.
In a case 2 months back a Japanese reporter ‘forgot’ to mention the source of his article while straightaway lifting certain portions of it from Wikipedia because he thought the information was already a ‘common knowledge’. It created a stir, and as a result the newspaper had to apologize to its readers.
Amid all such brouhahas Wikipedia though has steadfastly maintained its prized position in terms of popularity among its users. The English version usually remains within the top 10 most visited websites along with the famed ones like Yahoo, Google, eBay, and Microsoft.
On Sept 10, Wikipedia has had the 2-millionth listing in English, which makes the largest pie among over 8 million listings in various languages that now dot the behemoth since the humble beginning in 2001. It claims to have about 3.4 million contributors for the English version alone. That must rank as a big ‘wow’.
Meanwhile, see the following video on the advent, principles and usage of Web 2.0. Prepared on the basis of the Web 2.0 write up in Wikipedia, this is an excellent example of how the ‘giant wikitionary’ can be of help for making an excellent tutorial.