But for some the unique story that is Wikipedia -“the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit” – is losing its allure.
Wikipedia has long been celebrated and denegrated in equal measure. Its one of the longest running websites, and is a pioneer of crowdsourcing.
As we discussed early this year, crowdsourcing is when a company asks its readers / visitors / customers to come up with the solution to a problem.
Wikipedia does this by allowing anyone to create and edit content on the website.
A Reference point for other Websites
Whilst this has worked really well for a range of topics, it also means that some subjects are less thorough and less well researched. Content can be re-edited by anyone else, or moderated by a qualified editor.
Due to the huge numbers of people of have taken part, the massive amount of unique content, and the power of the wikipedia brand, wikipedia pages rank highly on Google for almost every popular search term. Whenever a website wants to provide an ‘official’ reference on almost any subject they link through to wikipedia to provide an explanation.
According to the Wall Street Journal however, many people who have previously contributed to and edited the website are now leaving it permanently.
The WSJ says that this could “have significant implications for the brand of democratisation that Wikipedia helped to unleash over the Internet – the empowerment of the amateur”.
New people are joining and editing the website every day, although their numbers are smaller than those leaving.
Apparently wikipedia editors are deserting the site because of challenge of maintaining the quality and authority of the website. Stress involved in maintaining the endeavour can be substantial. According to one researcher, “many people are getting burnt out when they have to debate about the contents of certain articles again and again”.
Do you like – and trust – the content of wikipedia? Or do you tend to find its information biased and limited? Have you any experience editing or maintaining content on wikipedia? Leave us a comment below.