Web 2.0 – The Internet revolution explained: Wikipedia

Have you ever thought that maybe somewhere in the world something new and exciting is happening but you just have no way to know it? Well, maybe that’s true, and maybe that thing is Web 2.0, it just might.

There is a lot of fuzz about Web 2.0, most people haven’t even heard about it while some others are sick of it. This post is intended for the former ones.

Despite of all the information available there isn’t a good way to describe it, as there is no easy way to describe a revolution, and anyway most people wouldn’t want an explanation, but instead “see” it. So that’s what I’m going to try here, to “show” it.

My first example will be Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Wikipedia is not like any encyclopedia, it has two key features: it’s online, and it’s open. That means anyone from anywhere can create or edit entries. At first instance it looks like an utopian idea, but the fact is that it works surprisingly well.

From quantum mechanics, to the omnipotence paradox, to the kama-sutra; Wikipedia has it all, in a condensed, friendly, complete, referenced and fancy way, with links to hundreads of related topics, you can’t ask for more. Well, maybe translations to other languages, but it’s slowly getting there.

If you don’t believe me just try to find information about an important icon in the history of your country, as Benito Juarez, or the exact definition and history of the word Negro, or random stuff about The Da Vinci Code and the history of the Holy Grail.

If you find any mistake just create an account and fix it, that way you’ll be helping to build this knowledge database, but the odds is that you’ll get much more information than what you put. In short: share the knowledge.

The essence of Wikipedia is Wikimedia, and in general: Wiki‘s. Wiki‘s are a way to share knowledge, anyone can put stuff, anyone can see it, and anyone can see the exact changes from one version to another of the same entry. Think of it as a dynamically shared dictionary in a blackboard, or something like that.

Unfortunately as The Matrix, you cannot really be told what a Wiki is, you have to see it for yourself, and the first step would be to use Wikipedia, so take the red pill and see it for yourself. :)

And btw, Wikipedia is part of the Wikimedia Foundation. Do you want to check some Oscar Wilde quotes? check Wikiquote. Do you want to learn how to play chess or do lucid dreaming? check Wikibooks.

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