Now here’s a controversial one. Wikipedia is a very simple concept – build a massive encyclopaedia using the combined knowledge of everyone who is connected to it through the Internet. If you, as a user, know something, you can edit an article on Wikipedia to spread that knowledge to the rest of the world.
Considering Wikipedia is free, and killing the other, controlled encyclopaedias in terms of hits, then it’s safe to say it’s a popular concept. Wikipedia is slowly, one article at a time, making accepted knowledge a fluid concept.
But spare a thought for the poor teachers that have to wade through the potential misinformation within essays written by students who use the site as a one-stop-information-shop, though. To be sure, its run into its fair share of trouble, from being banned from student use, to running into censorship controversies.
As a starting-point resource, however, Wikipedia is a staggering font of information, and any website that can have a reader clicking and reading through an information flow like a grand game of Chinese whispers has a genuine claim to success as a concept.
Wikipedia is just one way people can source information using networking tools from the Web. While you’re here, why not check out our other round ups on some of the other tools available out there:
The Social Networking Compendium – Part 6 (Social Bookmarking)
When the Web got it wrong - Nobody's perfect, of course. But on the Web, imperfection can come at a high price: False news reports can torpedo a stock, harm someone's reputation, or reduce fans of a supposedly dead celebrity to tears.
Microsoft nearly admits: Wikipedia killed Encarta - Microsoft quietly announced it is killing its Encarta encyclopaedia, with the actual date of death October, 2009. What it hinted at, but didn't quite say, was that Wikipedia killed it.
Wikipedia mulls adding more editorial control - The English-language Wikipedia will test a new policy of checking user contributions to certain high-profile entries before publishing them.
Hitwise: Wikipedia squashes encyclopedia rivals – A day after Encyclopaedia Britannica renewed its vow to make an online push, it became clear how steep of a climb it faces. Wikipedia received 97 per cent of the visits U.S. Web surfers made to online encyclopedias.
Wikipedia gears up for explosion in digital media - Wikipedia geared up for an explosion in digital content with new servers and storage designed to handle larger photo and video uploads.
Wikipedia article censored in UK for the first time - For the first time, UK Internet service providers censored a Wikipedia article, one that includes an album cover image of a naked and possibly underage girl.
Wikipedia breeds 'unwitting trust' says IT professor - If you are faced with the prospect of having brain surgery who would you rather it be performed by - a surgeon trained at medical school or someone who has read Wikipedia?
US court tackles online anonymity - The Maryland Court of Appeals is took up a case that could have had major implications for Internet users' ability to anonymously post their opinions on the Web.