May 3, 2016

The 15-Year Journey of Wikipedia


Everyone, that means almost 100% of internet users, is familiar with Wikipedia.

First of all, it is the only encyclopedia people know of and keep visiting online. Despite the dull and solely text-laden layout, it still managed to be on the seventh spot of globally searched website according to Alexa ranking. It is primarily a source of knowledge and has earned its long and hard effort to serve the users.

On the 15th of January, Wikipedia celebrated its 15th birthday. That one decade and a half of being the online encyclopedia have something to say but, in the site’s case, this is not yet the moment of glory. The launch of Wikipedia had caused the decline and ultimately, the death of the publication of Brittanica, but it has not reached the fame that is equal to what huge names such as Google or Facebook have reached. The journey of the site was slow and not as exciting as other popular websites the internet users are addicted to, but there is no exaggeration in saying that Wikipedia had produced a great change in the world.

Primarily, Wikipedia is not only an encyclopedia that presents information for each topic that is searched about. It is known for being a source of knowledge where anyone can edit or add input that was there. This feature helped the site to become a giant volume of reference with constant updates. It is used by students, experts, teacher, and such people in their needs as well as share their knowledge in return. Wikipedia is even considered the biggest website that is collaborated by the users. It is a one vessel of many minds.

Being run only by donations of particular organizations, it didn’t have that fancy web design and extensive marketing for the internet users. For a site that doesn’t have ‘monetization’ in their development procedures, it is an achievement that is not negligible.

However, that ‘anyone can edit’ feature has also put the site into compromise. Since every type of users had the right to modify the content, there had been small verification and shallow moderation of every input. ¬†Faulty data are seen, and it stained the website as a reliable brand. In fact, disclaimers appeared in various ‘topics’ — that is – that says they need further citation and verification.

What is next for Wikipedia in its 15th year?

True, it has adapted to algorithm’s demand for a better user experience and has a good spot in the search results; but in the long-run, given that it has a passive history, will it stay?

Photo Credit: Wikipedia


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