Nowadays, most people like to find information on the internet, because, on the internet, there is a lot of information, and it is easy to find. So, many people make web sites for arranging information and definitions. Among of them, Wikipedia is a very famous web site. Jason Wolverton said, “Launched Jan. 15, 2001, it is already the ninth most popular Web site in the United States” (2007, para 9). This web site is a kind of encyclopedia. Every internet user can read and write on it. However, there is a lot of discussion about Wikipedia. Some people said that it has a problem because some information contains wrong definitions. Other people said that it is useful. I think that this web site is very useful for common people. Firstly, we can find information on it very easily. Secondly, everyone can fix it. Finally, for common people, we do not need quite detailed information.
First, we can find most information easily. According to Meredith Byers’ article (2007), “Controversy over use of Wikipedia in academic papers arrives at Smith,” “it frequently appears at the top of many Google searches and access is completely free” (para. 3). Definitely, it is free, and it does not require a personal account. Because of that, many people like and use Wikipedia. These days, we can see that it is translated into more than 20 countries’ languages on the Wikipedia web site. So, if you can not read or write in English, you can use Wikipedia. In Korea, we also use Korean Wikipedia, and it is very famous.
Second, everyone can write for and edit to Wikipedia. Recently, there is a lot of information and it is changed every day. We can not know all of the changed information. Jim Lengel said that there are hundreds of writers and editors, anyone can edit the article, and it is the newest encyclopedia (2006). So, we can learn the newest information from Wikipedia. If there are some mistakes, it will be fixed by other internet users. For example, in English Wikipedia, if there are some mistakes about Korean information, Korean internet users can fix it. So, I can not find wrong information about Korea on Wikipedia and we can even find not Korean entertainers who are not famous in the rest of the world
Finally, for common people, we do not need quite detailed information. There are a lot of words, and they are defined. Some professors can find small wrong information. However, I already wrote about this, because many people fixed it, it is usually right. Students do not need detailed information if it does not relate with their major. Also, it can be great guidelines for students. It contains useful resources for background information and we can find scientific facts quickly (Parry, 2008). For example, vanishing twin is a medical word. However, if we are not a doctor or nurse, it is not necessary to know this word.
As a result, Wikipedia is good for normal internet users. It is easy to find information. Also, we can write and fix it anytime. For common people, we do not need quite detailed information. So, I think that if we want to use Wikipedia continuously, we should find errors and fix them ourselves.
Byers, M. (2007, March 8). Controversy over use of Wikipedia in academic papers arrives at Smith. Sophian. Retrieved April 23, 2008, from http://media.www.smithsophian.com/media/storage/paper587/news/2007/03/08/News/Controversy.Over.Use.Of.Wikipedia.In.Academic.Papers.Arrives.At.Smith-2765409.shtml
Lengel, J. (2006, July 2). Authority. Teaching with Technology. Retrieved April 23, 2008, from http://www.powertolearn.com/articles/teaching_with_technology/article.shtml?ID=12
Parry, D. (2008, Feb 11). Wikipedia and the new curriculum. Science Progress. Retrieved April 23, 2008, from http://www.scienceprogress.org/2008/02/wikipedia-and-the-new-curriculum/
Wolverton, J. (2007, Jan 22). Wikipedia Wisdom. Valley Vanguard. Retrieved April 23, 2008, from http://www.svsu.edu/clubs/vanguard/stories/1141