Seven Reasons I use Wikipedia

About a couple of months ago we were discussing about Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britanica. My brother-in-law was wondering why people would use Wikipedia instead of the Encyclopedia Britanica (which is perceived to be more accurate). I can cite my reasons.

  1. Wikipedia is accessible (if you have access to internet)
  2. Wikipedia is more easily searchable (if something is in Wikipedia, it comes up fairly high up on popular search engines)
  3. It is easy to provide a pointer to a wiki page on the topic. My blog on Palindromic Numbers was based on following such a link from a discussion forum.
  4. Wikipedia is dynamic and growing rapidly (it is constantly being updated). I track some of my favorite pages using InfoMinder
  5. It is free and the content is under GNU Free Documentation License.
  6. Wikipedia-ness (if there is such a thing) inspires lots of other similar useful projects:

    Dictionary and thesaurus


    Free-content news


    Collection of quotations


    Free textbooks and manuals


    Directory of species


    Free-content library


    Free learning materials and activities


    Shared media repository


    Wikimedia project coordination
  7. The back links to a page some times provide a rich source of references. To find what refers to a page, try clicking on the link to the left titled “what links here”. For example, for the Math page here are the backlinks.

Feel free to pitch in and add comments on why you like or don’t like Wikipedia.