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Should we use wikipedia or not - Article Example

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The world wide web is a treasure-house of knowledge on a plethora of topics;in fact, on every possible topic! The number of web users are growing by the day and web recipients range from school children to collegians,from professionals to house-makers…
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Should we use wikipedia or not
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R. Preeti 29/4/2007 Should we use wikipedia or not! The world wide web is a treasure-house of knowledge on a plethora of topics; in fact, on every possible topic! The number of web users are growing by the day and web recipients range from school children to collegians, from professionals to house-makers. That the internet is the largest database of knowledge is no hyperbole! When we use the internet to search for information, search-engines are the answer to aid us in our endeavour. One such popular search engine is the Google search engine and the website that ranks first almost every time we use Google, is the Wikipedia.

The Wikipedia is the internet encyclopaedia, that offers information on almost every possible important topic. What is more unique to the wikipedia is its user-friendly disposition. This is simply proven by the fact that any user can edit the information posted on the webpage. The encyclopaedia exists by virtue of the contribution of the millions of users, who keep posting, adding and editing information on various topics. Thus, the wikipedia differs significantly from other internet encyclopaedias or information portals where information is supplied by the website-owners!

Now, the popular question that has been doing the rounds for quite a many times, arises. It deals with the credibility of the user-created and edited encyclopaedia. Is the wikipedia authentic and does it provide the right information, for professional usage More importantly, should we actually go ahead and use the wikipedia at all Like any other debate, the responses and reactions have be divided and different. Some feel that the wikipedia is surely flawed, since it is contributed by laymen, who may not possess the professional streak of a web content writer. Others opine that the wikipedia can be edited and corrected and therefore, there is minimal chance for any misleading information.

Firstly, let us have a look at the arguments put forth by the supporters of wikipedia, who feel the internet encyclopaedia is, in fact, the answer to every query that crosses out mind!

Firstly, it is believed that when a portal is open to the public, it enjoys greater credibility, since the users possess the liberty to point out flaws, edit and bring out an authentic source of work. For instance, incorrect information posted on the website can be edited by a user who might possess greater knowledge about the subject written. Thus, collective responsibility for the website is a major source of the credibility of its information.

Secondly, it is believed that the warning tags, the edit history and the discussion pages offer greater level of insight. In fact, the warning notes are paradoxical, due to the fact that users attain greater levels of faith, by virtue of the display of warning notes!

Thirdly, wikipedia could lead to a greater climax, and act as an important source to discover information about human psychology, events and occurrences many years down the line. It is, thus, like a record of history!

Thus, these are the reasons for the supporters of wikipedia to believe that the information is rather credible. However, we do have contradictions who argue on the following lines, to prove their point.

Firstly, critics feel that when information is fed on to a network as large as the internet which is utilised by millions, it needs to be true, professional and extremely accurate. More so, when it is a is the top-most website ranked by the most popular search engine!

Secondly, articles on wikipedia can serve personal interests or even encourage favouritism, since one can present any viewpoint on the website. It goes without saying that it need not be the true picture always!

In spite of the above arguments, the fact still remains that wikipedia is the most largely used internet encyclopaedia. You can love it or hate it, you simply cannot ignore it! We just cannot ignore the website, however critically disposed we are and this, is the major contributor to the success of the website.

As far as the million dollar question regarding whether or not, we must use the wikipedia, I have come to a conclusion. The internet opens a huge world of information, excitement and trivia. However, it does require some discretion in terms of usage. This is simply because of the fact that there are many such things available on the internet, that require a conscious decision and discretion on the part of the user.

Wikpedia migt as well be one of them. For instance, you could choose to use the wikipedia for information, reading and the like. On the other hand, you can choose not to depend on it for the purpose of dissertations or drawing up your thesis. This is simply because of the fact that the information may not live up to such standards and not be extremely authentic. In other words, use your discretion and choice to highlight your secretive usage of wikipedia!


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