Thursday, March 10, 2005

Behind the Scenes

Online encyclopedia, Wikipedia has always come to the rescue whenever one needs information on any subject possible. This article pays a tribute to the people who have worked selflessly to create this encyclopedia which has 490,000 articles in its English version alone.


Merlinx said...

I sometimes wonder about the efficacy of online encyclopaedias in this day and age. I remember growing up with the omniscient Encyclopaedias Britannica and Americana because there was no concept of access to integrated information in one place. The electronic information age was just hatching. The Britannica was an icon. That was eventually replaced by the CD versions and Microsoft's successful Encarta which dominated most of the 90s. But with the mushrooming of the Internet and ubiquity of information today -- flying through the air literally -- what role do general encyclopaedias have to play? I can understand "vertical" encylopaedias that address specific fields or cult areas of information. But the Web has made the Britannica and all its descendents obsolete.

Also search engines scour the Net and bring you any kind of information you need in a few clicks from anywhere in the world in seconds -- basically decentralized information. General encyclopaedias like this are for all practical purposes the nemesis of general search engines (Yahoo, Google, etc.) because they work in the exact opposite manner by aggregating and accumulating rather than searching and accessing distributed information that you need. Kind of like a mainframe vs. a LAN.

Shuaib said...

The Urdu version of wikipedia needs our desperate attention though. It has got around 172 articles by now. But we need much much more.