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Wikis: Thing 4

A wiki is a collection of documents that can be edited by multiple users and is normally used in order to collect information. Wikipedia, easily the most famous wiki, is an online encyclopedia where any user can edit information regarding to any topic. Anytime I need information in a timely fashion, I head straight to Wikipedia. Even search engines understand the brilliance of Wikipedia, always listing the appropriate entry in the top 3 results when applicable. I rarely bother going directly to a wiki’s website because I know that using Google will show just what wiki I need.

Wiki’s are successful because other users compile information that you might need. When I look for reviews for certain creative medias such as movies or albums, I can go to the appropriate Wikipedia entry and find information from many reviews, and links to the each of the reviews as well. I don’t have to waste my time individually looking for each review all over the internet. They are already compiled into a list for me.

And it’s not just Wikipedia. There are more specific sites, such as WoWWiki, which provides a compendium of knowledge for Blizzard’s massively (and somewhat scaringly) successful online video game.

Wikis are structured from within, meaning that those who use that information have the ability to edit. More importantly, structure does not come from above, so official organizations and governments cannot control what information is available. And as long as people see value in its existence, a wiki will generally have little difficulty in being accurate because any inaccuracies will can be corrected.