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 Your opinion on Wikipedia

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Baiting Guru

Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 4067
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:06 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It's a good tool for quick answers to general knowledge questions. As far as reliable facts for research, it can sometimes be a good place to pick up links to factual first-hand sources. Aside from that, it is limited.

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Eater U Quiz winner

Joined: 30 Dec 2007
Posts: 361
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Bearkat: that's pretty much how I use Wiki. If the information isn't all that important, I'll go to Wiki. They're just as reliable as any other site for, say, a complete Janis Joplin discography.

But if it's *really* important information, I go to a more reliable source. Wikipedia does not come to mind at all when I get home from the doctor's office and want more information about what he just told me. Smile

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Elite Baiter

Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 1775
Location: North of the Rio Grande, South of Alaska

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:09 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Wikipedia is great for pop culture stuff (like, references you might have missed while playing a video game or reading a novel), and good for the occasional curiosity stuff, but I take it with an entire shaker of salt and try to confirm it with other sources. So... in other words, it's about on a par with the internet in general. There are good sources and bad sources, and heaven help if you can't tell the difference. Anyone believing "It must be true, I saw it on Wikipedia/the Internet!" is probably in trouble.

As far as citing it for anything formal or requiring serious research, I probably wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. (Not that "traditional" sources are immune to errors either, either. But at least your professor won't bust a blood vessel if you cite a piece of errata from a "genuine" encyclopedia.) As a "cited source" or for anything more important, I'm more of the Penny Arcade opinion.

What you've proposed is a kind of quantum encyclopedia, where genuine data both exists and doesn't exist depending on the precise moment I rely upon your discordant fucking mob for my information.

That said, the concept of a wiki in general, is a lovely thing. In fact, at work, we're busily documenting our procedures and setups (I work in IT) in a local wiki so documentation is central, searchable, and easy to update an format. But there, I can see who updated/added what, and I know my coworkers actually have a clue, and if all else fails, I can walk down the hall and look them in the eyes.


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Baiting Guru

Joined: 01 Dec 2005
Posts: 7586

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:13 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It is great for a quick search, IMO. Some things are not 100% accurate. But still, for the ease of use and the VAST amount of information in there, it is a good tool.

EDIT: Krona, I was going to post that video. Laughing

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I find it's usually accurate enough to accurately target my googling.

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