Wikipedia: A buddy, not Britannica!

During a discussion with two diploma students today about the recent Wikipedia "scandal" one of the students noted that the analogy that people are using is completely wrong. Wikipedia should not be compared with printed encyclopedias such as the Britannica, although they may be striving to get there some day. What the Wikipedia gives you in the way of an answer is about what you would get if you called across to a colleague in the next cubicle or called a friend on the phone and asked them, "Say, do you know what X is?".

The only difference is that with Wikipedia, you have 600.000 or maybe 700.000 friends out there, ready to answer your question at a moment's notice. You know that this may not be the authoritative answer, but it is pretty good for starters.

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