Wiki vs. …pedia?

“Should we trust Wikipedia or an expert-led encyclopedia more?” wikipedia.jpg vs. encyclopedia.gif Interesting question. My answer is both. (Interesting answer.) Wikipedia is a great launching pad for finding information–about almost anything. If it’s not on Wikipedia, I’m pretty suspicious. Wikipedia is far-reaching, all-encompassing, informative and best of all, collaborative (it takes a village, right?). Typically, a Wikipedia entry is one of the top five search results that comes up for most Google queries; it’s a starting point. And I trust Wikipedia to get me started. From there, I can fact check if needed. If I want the cold, hard truth, like FusoseTalks, I might “check other sources.” Like PFBisListening so aptly states, “As far as providing better accuracy, I think it’s nearly impossible for a free Website that allows input from anyone to ensure 100% accuracy.” While an encyclopedia may not always be more accurate (although Wikipedia trumps encyclopedias for web and technology information), it does provide accountability and sources. Which brings me to the next point…

“How could Wikipedia be better set-up to better provide accuracy?” I think John Seigenthaler might say much would be gained by “open-sourcing” the identities of Wikipedia’s contributors (even if under a traceable pseudonym). Not all contributors will misuse Wikipedia–but knowing that identities will not be protected, in the event of “abuse,” could potentially prevent slander, libel or simply Internet graffiti. Too, accountability tends to raise the bar–not just for “experts” but for everyone…and ultimately, everyone has something to offer in the long-tail of Wikipedia.

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~ by eTechnorize on March 12, 2008.

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