August 20, 2007
Apparently, the cat is out of the bag. Certain Wikipedia articles may be edited by people to include their own bias! Amazing, I know. However, this news does not really change my opinion of wikipedia. I still think it is a fantastic resource and incredibly useful when I need to get the basic gist of some random topic that grabs my interest.
Fortunately for me, I have the luxury of not having to do any sort of research that requires concrete evidence. In other words, I am not a student with a paper due. However, the idea that the stuff I read may not be entirely kosher is a little worrisome. There is a relatively simple solution though: references. A good wikipedia article cites the sources of the “facts” it portrays.
What I gain from this is that the article in question is probably pretty sound. And if I still feel that something is fishy, I can actually look those references up(!). Additionally, I can verify that the sources are not just some guy’s blog that could be as potentially inaccurate as the wikipedia article.
Ultimately, do not use wikipedia as your sole source of information, but do use it as a springboard to find the real dirt.
Written by Scott Williams who lives and works in sunny Phoenix, AZ. Twitter is also a place.