Personal Reflection on Wikipedia

A upclose view of a Wikipedia page displayed on a laptop.
Photo credit: veryinformed / Unsplash

As a digital writer, many editors tell me that Wikipedia is not a reliable source. None of my clients allow me to link to or use it as a source. I mostly read Wikipedia when I want to recap a novel I finished or a show I want to watch. Until this week, I admit, I was ignorant of Wikipedia's complex history and the rules governing its content.

Wikipedia is Massive, but in a Good Way

Wikipedia has become a powerful platform in the digital age that plays a big part in sharing information. I remember hearing about it in college and didn't use it until after 2010 when I decided to switch from my science career to writing. Since then, Wikipedia, for me, has only been light reading for entertainment. However, the more internet searches I conduct for my work, the more I usually end up on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is the seventh-most visited website in the world. A quick Google search informed me that there are 6,726,210 articles in English as of October 2023. That's more than double the number reported in Andrew Lih's The Wikipedia Revolution (2009) at 2.5 million English articles. Since it is an open-source encyclopedia, anyone from anywhere worldwide can add to and change articles, making it a collaborative effort to learn and share information.

Wikipedia is a Valuable Learning Tool

When I first read the syllabus for this class, I was confused about why we would spend so much time studying Wikipedia. I understood after I read through chapter two of The Wikipedia Revolution and used the interactive tool on Wikipedia to set up my editor account. Wikipedia is the perfect platform to learn, experiment, and test my technical writing skills. It's a treasure trove of information broken down into basic elements. With its collaborative nature, Wikipedia allows users to contribute and improve articles, making it a dynamic and constantly evolving source of knowledge. Furthermore, by using Wikipedia, I can improve my critical thinking skills by evaluating the credibility and reliability of the information presented on the platform.

Wikipedia has had a significant impact on the dissemination of information. Its extensive coverage and accessibility make it a valuable tool for students, academics, and professionals. With its constantly updated content and reliable sourcing, Wikipedia is gaining credibility as a reliable source of information for people like me. As I continue to delve into the inner workings of Wikipedia, I'm excited to see what I discover and how I can contribute.

Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe is a freelance writer, photographer, and author who has been writing in the home and garden industry for 10 years.
Powder Springs, GA