by Raffaele Fusulan
What an interesting topic is Wikipedia. Some of use it almost every day while others use it on more rare occasions. I believe Wikipedia can be the ultimate source finder. The websites group all the sources together and then lists them at the bottom of the page. This way if any of us don’t necessarily trust the content they provide we can always check it ourselves. However since now our smartphones are extremely intelligent and can complete difficult search tasks on their own, Wikipedia can be used as a reliable source, at least when we aim to get the basic information about something. If I need to find out who the director of a movie was, I ask my phone and through an automated Google search I get my response in no time. Where does the information come from? Well sometimes it comes from Wikipedia while other times from IMDB, either way Wikipedia is the one that the phone recognizes the most.
When Wikipedia first started growing, a lot of people made fun of it because they thought it wasn’t reliable or because anyone could pretty much just join the website and edit their content any way they wanted. Nowadays this isn’t possible anymore or at least not as easily. If you really want to, you can become a “staff” member and work for Wikipedia as well. What we have to keep in mind is that Wikipedia is indeed the largest and most used encyclopedia in the whole world. The fact that it is virtual and therefore accessible to almost everyone makes it even more popular. Just think about it? How many times have you researched a topic or a word and the first thing that shows up on your search result is Wikipedia? There isn’t much that we can do to avoid the results but honestly do some of us really hate Wikipedia that much. If Wikipedia is so troublesome for some people all they have to do is click the second or third link listed and they’ll probably be lead to a link that explains the same content. What is ironic is that since that content is the primary source, sometimes Wikipedia might take the primary source and put it into their own article so either site you choose in the end you are reading the same content.
In conclusion I think that Wikipedia is an extremely helpful website. The layout of the pages and the content distribution makes it extremely easy for any reader to understand the topic explained. It is very user friendly and that is also a major reason of why it is so popular. As we use it more often we get more familiar with it and we realize it can be a reliable source. I’m sure most of us at a certain point were having thoughts about some random topic but weren’t quite sure if the memories were correct or not. So what did we do? We double checked on Wikipedia to learn, after all we need to remember that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and that is exactly their goal, to teach.