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Our Wikipedia lab was rather interesting, especially when seen in the context of our whole class and this week’s lectures.  The way Wikipedia was described in our lab was as a resource anyone could edit and talk about; yet how could something that has so much potential to be wrong manage to catch the eye of the entire world? Well maybe not the world, because articles in languages other than English seem to be lacking.  But it majority of the editors are not scholars, and the possibility of being wrong is always very high.  While the discussion portion of the website encourages debates about any kind of edit, it’s still possible for for some edits to slip past the eyes of the editors.  Though most of us know that it’s unreliable, the fact that it’s usually the first link to appear in most search engines means that we’ll use it to glean some basic information regarding nearly any subject.  It’s expansiveness and ability to summarize what could be hard to find information makes it incredibly useful, though, and it’s a shame that (to me) none of the articles contains information pertinent to the website.

Regardless, the idea of an encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone and can always be kept up to date is no doubt appealing to a lot of people, yet most who use the site probably not only do not donate but also do not make contributions.  Not many people find information online and think “I wonder if Wikipedia knows about this”.  Yet that is exactly what everyone should think!  If everyone reading a valid source added the information onto Wikipedia then its purpose would be complete.  Yet this problem of “freeloading” in a way limits it and prevents from becoming all expansive.  There are still articles about people or places or things that contain a small blurb.  The fact that some Wikipedia sources can be books to makes it transcend just one form of media.  If we could see it to it’s full potential Wikipedia would become an even stronger pillar of the Internet.