Previously, an encyclopaedia was simply a multi-volume set of books which consolidated information on many different topics. The typical examples were the common 50-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica or even the more common twenty-volume sets like World Book Encyclopaedia that exist on many bookshelves. One main disadvantage with these sets was that they dated the moment they were printed and some of the publishes tried to get around this by publishing “yearbooks” which hand newer information in them every year.
In the 90s when “multimedia computing” started to take off, there were some so-called “multimedia encyclopaedias” like Microsoft Encarta. These were an electronic encyclopaedia which were issued on a CD-ROM and had various forms of rich media like animations, sound or video. Examples of this included various “how-it-works” animations; sounds of various animals; audio recordings of classic speeches or even news footage of historic events.
Now the Internet has enabled the existence of “Wikipedia” which is a free open-source user-revised encyclopaedia that is presented using a “wiki” content management system. This has allowed for always up-to-date content that can even stay fresh no matter what happens.
The user-revised model has advantages with extra facts being added or facts being revised as required. But it had its fair share of problems with poor-quality trivial matter, defaced articles and editing that was driven by personal, commercial or political agenda. This reduced the quality and veracity of Wikipedia’s content and had people place doubts on it as a valid information resource.
There have been recent steps to improve the quality and veracity of content. These steps have been augmented by editors who have “teeth” and are ready to identify the content that goes against the standards. A common example of these steps included the requirement for facts to be cited to a real source.
Now there are smartphone apps and plug-in modules for browsers and other programs that integrate searching the whole of Wikipedia These have become a way to take Wikipedia further as one of the main core electronic encyclopaedias.
But now Wikipedia has become a valuable resource for most people, whether for study or even the pub trivia nights. As well, this site is one of the top few Websites to be accessed from most home and small business networks when one is stuck for an answer to a question.
So here it is from HomeNetworking01.info —
Happy 10th Birthday Wikipedia!