Sunday, August 19, 2007

Wikipedia is once again in trouble

The free online encyclopedia is reported to have a collection of nearly one and half million articles while the Britannica Encyclopedia has only 120,000 articles. Once in the past Microsoft is alleged to have hired some one to post about their products on Wikipedia. After all it is easy to do so by any person because Wikipedia allows anonymous postings. Now a poster claiming to be a professor of theology turned out to be a 24-year-old college dropout discovered by The New Yorker.

The college dropout reported to be an expert in religious studies with the pseudo name ‘Essjay’ while his real name was Ryan Jordan.

This has made the Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales take steps to tighten the reigns on anonymous postings. He says that users can conceal their identities but to claim expertise in a particular subject they have to prove their credentials.

While Wikipedia is great source of information, it does not give balanced view on a particular topic. Both the cranks and experts are treated on the same level. This makes the information on the Wiki to be unreliable but a good starting point to learn.

If compared with Helium, helium is best place to get some useful answers because it claims to give answers without anonymity of members and ranks the information based on peer reviews.

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