The World Wide Web (now more commonly known simply as the Web) has been with us for over 20 years now, and in that relatively short space of time it has unequivocally changed the world. For better or worse. The architects of the Web could not have foreseen what a huge impact their creation was going to have, but over the course of two decades and counting the Web has evolved into a sprawling mass of websites and pages that number in the billions.
Wikipedia is often mocked for its perceived lack of truth. Because it’s an encyclopedia built entirely on the contributions of random people, it has a reputation for not always being accurate and truthful. In some ways this assertion is fair… little-known entries (such as those for people you’ve likely never heard of) can be manipulated by pranksters or editors with an agenda, but it’s far from the norm, especially on popular, oft-visited entries.
Wikipedia is packed full of content. At the time of writing there are over 4 million articles contained within the English language version, with more being added all the time. All of these pages are free to view, not lumbered with ads, and are edited by people like us. It’s a resource that everybody knows about, but which very few people truly make the most of.
You probably have a practical understanding of how Wikipedia works. To sum it all up, anyone can edit the information on a page, and they can do this quite quickly. These are the basic mechanics of how a wiki generally works, and Wikipedia just so happens to use it for their online encyclopedia. However, there are plenty of other purposes for this type of site. I’m here to offer a few suggestions for offbeat ways to use your own wikis.