Rating My Life

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Rating my life one post at a time….

Remember the time ?

        It was Sunday afternoon, and I heard a knock on the door. I open the door and I see this young dude dressed all professional and stuff. I don’t remember his name but I know for a fact he was a salesman. He was there to sell Britannica Encyclopedia. So my mom asked him to come in and he started explain the need of encyclopedia. Those were the days when Encyclopedia was like a luxury. You need to be some rich , intelligent guy to have the set. And if you are kid its all the more interesting because I believed a kid having the entire set at his place is like the reincarnation of Einstein.

        It looked really good on your bookshelf, stating with Aa to Z . The matter in them were really new . My mom used to make me read one word a day. And all those photographs about cars and other stuff was really interesting . It was like a field trip every time i flip through those pages.

       After some years, the abridged version came on CD’s . When I got my first computer, I got the britannica cd free with it. It was like the next big thing for me. It was all the more interactive, with those sounds and graphics. I still remember spending hours and hours together listening to how the hummingbird sounds, the sounds of helicopter.

       Then came internet. Yahoo search , Lycos search. It was like magic, search for anything and Viola ! you have the page . Then Google happened. The coolest thing ever. But the most important development of all was one single website. It changed the entire perspective of knowledge transfer.

        www.wikipedia.org . It actually has the similar motto of that of a democratic goverment. BY THE PEOPLE, OF THE PEOPLE and FOR THE PEOPLE. Lets take a look at what wikipedia means

            ”  As of August 14 2007, Wikipedia had approximately 7.9 million articles in 253 languages, 1.95 million of which are in the English edition. It has been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world and the vast majority of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the Internet. Steadily rising in popularity since its inception, it currently ranks among the top ten most-visited websites worldwide. Wikipedia’s name is a portmanteau of the words wiki (a type of collaborative website) and encyclopedia. Its main servers are in Tampa, Florida, with additional servers located in Amsterdam and Seoul. ”    Wikipedia

             7.9 million articles in 253 languages. Well, that’s a lot of articles to refer too. So no more salesman knocking on the door to sell britannica. So what is cool in wikipedia ? Well, if you have a username and password you can start contributing for it. You can either start your own article about something(which is obviously be true and relevant) or edit the articles written by others(spelling mistakes, adding citations).

             Can I trust Wikipedia ? Well, Its good that its got 7.9 million articles in 253 languages, but how much of it is valid and accurate ? When you create an article in wikipedia, its reviewed by a commitee of admins and sysops. An article is not accepted until you have a proper citation attached with it. One top of all this , the article has to be approved by the committee of admins. 

            Other than the encyclopedia thingy , wiki group also has other activities like wiki quote ~ collection of quotes , Wiki media ~ Collection of multimedia files and others.

           Well today is wikipedia’s turn, god knows what’s gonna happen tomorrow. I guess I have said enough about Wikipedia. Below is a link to my user page in Wikiquote.

My User Page in Wiki Quote :
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/User:Vinch  

Britannica Vs Wikipedia :
http://news.com.com/2100-1038_3-5997332.html
http://fishbowl.pastiche.org/2005/12/20/wikipedia_vs_britannica_apples_vs_oranges

Cheers
Vinod Chandramouli

            

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Filed under: britannica, encyclopedia, google, Life in General, wikipedia

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