slideshare ppt on research

Monday, 24 September 2012

What is Wikipedia ?

So what is Wikipedia, and what’s the “story” behind it? If you’re not aware, Wikipedia is a new beast in the world, born in 2001. To a searcher, it acts exactly like an online “encyclopedia.” You type into your browser. enter a topic, and get back an “article” about that topic (if one exists), precisely as in a “traditional” encyclopedia like the Britannica online. What differentiates Wikipedia from the traditional encyclopedia it is that its articles are not written by hired “experts” (the Britannica uses over 4,000 of them), but by anyone who chooses to write or contribute. Here’s the Wikipedia’s entry on “Wikipedia
Wikipedia (pronounced as either "week-ee-peedia or wick-ee-peedia") is a multilingual, Web-based, free-content encyclopedia. It is written collaboratively by volunteers with wiki software, meaning articles can be added or changed by nearly anyone. The project began on January 15, 2001 as a complement to the expert-written Nupedia, and is now operated by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. It has steadily risen in popularity,[1] and spawned several sister projects, such as Wiktionary, Wikibooks, and Wikinews
But the power of the “wiki” technology that lies behind the Wikipedia, is that literally anybody who wants to can change or add to that original article, merely by hitting the “edit” button. In other words, on a wiki, everyone’s an editor. And this is what makes it, in its own words, “controversial”
It is fascinating to see how quickly a Wikipedia article emerges on a contemporary topic, such as Hurricane Katrina, often while the event is still happening. Someone writes a few lines, others add, and suddenly there are pages, pictures, etc. So, one beginning lesson for students using Wikipedia is to look at the number of changes and additions to a particular article and the number of authors. More may mean more reliable information