Wikipedia turns 8

19 01 2009

The great encyclopedia experiment turns 8 this week. Wikipedia, everyone’s popular source of quick information (even those who say the information isn’t reliable, use it – trust me).  There are problems with the system (reliability, vandalism, bias, etc.), but with over 2.6 million articles in English (and counting) it is certainly a force to be reckoned with.

For many Wikipedia represents all that is wrong with the Internet (think: The Cult of the Amateur by Andrew Keen), but I think for astute observers it signifies a fundamental shift. A shift in which sharing information is more important than hoarding it; where being transparent and open solves problems instead of creating anarchy. Perhaps this experiment in radical trust can teach us more than just how to amass knowledge… we’ll see.

On any given week, you can find Jimmy Wales talking about Wikipedia to various news outlets. Here’s the article that I just read from CBC.

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