Is Wikipedia still relevant?

Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 05:18 pm

Posted at 08:02 AM ET, 01/18/2012
Wikipedia goes dark, but is the site still relevant?
By Dominic Basulto

The Wikipedia Blackout started Wednesday as a show of solidarity with Internet companies, such as Reddit, that are protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The blackout should have been a bigger deal than it is.

The Blackout of Wikipedia — one of the most popular destinations on the Internet — had the potential to disrupt ten million U.S. Internet users, according to online research company, ComScore. Wikipedia also encourages millions more from outside the technology and Internet community to find out more about the potential impact of SOPA on free speech and innovation. Yet, coming as it does nearly a month after other leading entities have taken a very public stance against SOPA and days after President Obama indicated that passage of the House bill, SOPA, and its Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act, would be unlikely. In light of this, Wikipedia’s decision to launch the blackout seems like a case of too little, too late.

At one time, Wikipedia was the poster child for the freewheeling, open-source mentality of the Web. Ten years ago, Wikipedia would have been leading the charge against any legislation, such as SOPA, that was perceived to be anti-Internet. Wikipedia is one of the greatest collective knowledge-gathering experiments in the history of the Internet. Yet, when it came to SOPA, which poses a very real threat to everything that it stands for, Wikipedia blinked. Only when pro-SOPA sentiment became fashionable, with sites such as Tumblr and Reddit leading the way, did Wikipedia join the war on SOPA.

more at link

So what do y'all think? Is Wikipedia still what it used to was?

Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 05:42 pm
All things must pass (I made that line up). Wikipedia, with all its flaws, is still a good source, but not necessarily the final word.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 07:04 pm
I think it is very relevant. It is a good starting point when trying to learn something about a subject.
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Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 07:12 pm
Who cares when it joined the battle. At least it signed up. SOPA is like the American war on drugs. It starts at home and will try to worm it's way into every other nation's policies. Welcome to the United States of China.
What get's me is, because the government has destroyed the manufacturing base, the only money maker left is culture. A lot of that culture has been made popular by the internet. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. I'll be interested to see if it passes and what type of pressure they will then put on the rest of the world and if it get's them anywhere...
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 07:27 pm
I've barely paid attention and it seems like it won't pass anywhere any time soon.
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Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 07:41 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Of course Wikipedia is still relevant.

If you search for any historical figure or event, philosophical concept, area of science or piece of technology, wikipedia will be one of the top 3 links returned and more often than not it will be the one that has the information you want.

If you want a succinct explanation of a math, science or technology concept there is nothing better than wikipidia.

That's a ridiculous article, probably by someone who is part of the traditional media conglomerates who are opposing Internet freedom are who are the ones actually risking irrelevance. The irony in the pro-SOPA side is amazing. I am suprised they weren't asking of Google is still relevant.
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Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 07:45 pm
Wikipedia has tightened up their editorial policies, and they've improved the quality of their articles. If an article is disputed, this is prominently displayed within hours, sometimes within minutes, of the objection being posted in the discussion section. Frequently one will see notations in articles saying that a citation is needed for a claim made in the article. Without citations, many of those claims are removed. The quality of the information at that site has improved dramatically within the last several years, and i see not reason why this will not continue.
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Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 07:50 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Every news outlet that covered today's protest started and ended with Wikipedia. I went to WP several times today only to be reminded that they were protesting. So many protests went to Washington today that half of Congress had their websites fail. All of the other protesters combined don't have the reach of Wikipedia. Ten years ago they may have been one of the little guys agitating for change, now they are the 900 lb gorilla; maybe not as fast but one heck of a lot more forceful.
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Frank Apisa
Reply Thu 19 Jan, 2012 04:54 am
@Lustig Andrei,
It has some fault, as several people have noted, but it is an excellent initial source when doing research. It may not give you the answer you are looking for...you may not be able to accept the answer you see without further checking...but it sure knows how to point to where the answer might be found.

I use it every day.
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Reply Thu 19 Jan, 2012 08:06 am
@Lustig Andrei,
Very relevant. Like engineer, I had several different "d'oh" moments yesterday when I needed Wikipedia for something and then remembered the blackout.

I use it a lot.

If it's something important, I use it as just a starting point, but most of the time it provides the info I'm looking for.
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Lustig Andrei
Reply Thu 19 Jan, 2012 02:11 pm
Yeah, I agree with all of you. I surely missed Wiki yesterday and I consider it a vital first source for quick information on literally anything. I thought that article was off the beam, too. That's why I posted it and started this thread.

Thanks you all for participating.
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