Over the years, Wikipedia has become one of the go-to resources for people who are researching just about any topic online. If you are like most people, you probably visit Wikipedia first any time you are trying to find factual information. The site itself continues to grow, with new content being added all the time.
Despite its popularity, there are some drawbacks to Wikipedia, as well. For one thing, the accuracy of the information published on the site is sometimes questioned. To overcome this problem, Wikipedia has implemented several important changes that are designed to ensure that any information printed on the site is true and accurate.
Benefits of a Wikipedia Entry
1. Information on a vast range of topics. No matter what you are researching, you most likely can find a Wikipedia page to help since they cover just about any topic you could think of.
2. Simple to access. Finding the exact information that you need is incredibly easy on this platform. You can also discover interesting information about random topics with the click of your mouse.
3. Easy to share data with others. Because the information is publicly available, people can use it to collaborate on projects. When working together, they can reference the same page at the same time, ensuring that everyone has the same information.
4. User-driven content. The content on the site isn’t created by one person. Instead, it is created by multiple users, all working together to create the most informative listing for each topic. Anyone who has registered and logged into the site can make edits to the pages.
5. All changes are carefully tracked. Whenever someone changes the information on Wikipedia, the change is recorded. If the information added or removed is incorrect, the page can quickly and easily be reverted back to its original form.
6. A lot of flexibility. The articles on Wikipedia don’t follow a specific structure. As a result, they can be designed in a way that is flexible, depending on what works best for each topic that is being covered.
7. Continual access to information. The information on Wikipedia is always available and can be accessed from anywhere that there is an Internet connection.
8. No need for technical know-how. Anyone hoping to edit the site doesn’t need to be a computer genius. Instead, changes are made through a simple, intuitive interface that is easy to understand.
9. Sources are cited. Every fact that is published on Wikipedia is backed up by a source. These sources are cited at the end of the article, making it easy to conduct additional research or to learn more about a specific topic.
10. An open-source platform. You don’t have to worry about paying for software when you use Wikipedia. Instead, any programs or tools that you need are available free of charge.
Drawbacks of a Wikipedia Entry
1. No way to control access. Because the content can be used by anyone, there is no way to maintain confidentiality. If the wrong information gets published, it is there for everyone to see.
2. No clear organizational structure. Although many Wikipedia articles are well organized, others lack a logical structure, which can make finding information more difficult.
3. A potential for spamming. Because Wikipedia articles can be edited by anyone, spammers are naturally drawn to the platform. Plenty of steps have been taken to minimize the risk of spam over the years. For instance, users have to log in before they can make any changes to the site. Additionally, bots regularly patrol the pages looking for red flags that could indicate spammy content.
4. The information may not be reliable. This is particularly true for obscure topics that don’t have a lot of editors collaborating on the project.
5. Not considered valid as a source for academic research. Most teachers and professors won’t allow students to reference Wikipedia articles when conducting academic research online.
6. The potential for low-quality content. The editors who create the content on Wikipedia don’t get paid. As a result, many take shortcuts that can lead to low-quality information.
7. People who are the subjects of Wikipedia articles don’t have a choice about whether or not the information is published. For instance, a Wikipedia page can be created for a celebrity that provides detailed information about their life and showcases their photograph without requiring their express permission.
8. The information can be changed by anyone. While this is often considered one of the strengths of Wikipedia, it also can be a drawback. If you aren’t happy with a particular article, you can take steps to change it.
If you’re interested in help with a Wikipedia entry then get in contact – we offer a great Wikipedia writing and page creation service.