General knowledge is an important part of everyone’s education, and it isn’t something that you stop learning when you leave school. It’s a lifelong lesson into the people, places, and things that have got us here today. The Internet has provided a new repository of sources to gain general knowledge from. But where do you look first?
In light of the Encyclopedia Britannica becoming a purely online affair, we here at MakeUseOf wanted to know which websites you use when you have a general knowledge query that needs answering. After all, the Web is a colossal beast that needs a certain amount of taming to get the best out of it.
Which Websites Help You Answer General Knowledge Questions?
We asked you, which websites help you answer general knowledge questions? The number of people who responded was a little disappointing, but those who did take the time to reply gave us names and numbers. Or just names, because this isn’t a war film.
Most actually confirmed what we already suspected: that a combination of Google and Wikipedia proves enough in the majority of cases. By typing the question, or just keywords related to it, into Google you will get the easy and obvious answers. And by and large they will be accurate. Clicking through to the actual website rather than relying on the snippet Google provides is always a good idea for context, however.
Wikipedia will invariably be at or near the top of Google Search results for most general knowledge topics. Wikipedia has come in for a lot of criticism in recent years, about the accuracy of its information, page vandalism, and in-fighting amongst the moderators, but it’s still a fantastic resource despite these issues.
MakeUseOf also got a few mentions, although I’m not sure how much our content can be described as ‘general knowledge’. We thank you regardless.
Comment Of The Week
Comment of the week goes to David Scarmardo, who gets nothing but my admiration and respect (which is surely more than anyone needs) for:
well, first try is always MUO (there is my kiss-butt contribution), but if I’m looking for tips or hints on my DIY projects I usually go to http://www.instructables.com for everything from closet organization to an arduino controlled home-made Segway.
Instructables isn’t strictly for general knowledge but as it’s a site I haven’t heard of before, David gets a nice namecheck. The MIT-originated Instructables lets people share projects with step-by-step guides that will allow others to follow suit. The Technology section will be of particular interest to MakeUseOf readers.
We’ll be asking a new question tomorrow, so please join us then. ‘We Ask [You] Tell Us’ is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. We ask you a question and you tell us what you think. The question is open-ended and is usually open to debate. Some questions will be purely opinion-based, while others will see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps for your fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.
Image Credit: Keith Williams