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Author Topic: Wiki, the be all and end all.  (Read 4664 times)

paul.fr

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Wiki, the be all and end all.
« on: 16/07/2008 00:56:03 »
When did this happen?

I have been noticing for a long time that answers to questions, are simply given as a link to an article on wikipedia. Now, I don't doubt that some members are reading those articles, and using their own knowledge to verify that the presented material is correct, but i don't think this can be true for all occasions.

So when did wikipedia become the be all and end all?


 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #1 on: 16/07/2008 07:49:02 »
I usually try to corroborate my answers elsewhere; but, in general, on Wiki things are explained well.
 

blakestyger

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Wiki, the be all and end all.
« Reply #2 on: 16/07/2008 08:55:37 »
I put a paper on my livejournal early this year and the Americans who left comments were horrified that Wikipedia was in the bibliography - though I think it's OK to use it sparingly, like Marmite.
 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #3 on: 16/07/2008 12:42:53 »
I LOVE Marmite !!


I think the main premise of the question is the protestation that sometimes a question is answered with nothing but a link. 90% of the time it's a link to Wikipedia.

If I do such a thing then I usually copy and paste the relative information and credit the source...in fact I do this where ever the source may be.

The advantage of Wikipedia is that it is a readily available resource (accurate or not) that everybody knows....it's to resources like Google is to search engines.

The bottom line is, a link takes people away from the site and instead of doing that, supplementing the link with the relevant information here would be better. People can use the link for further reading if required.



Has anyone ever found information on Wiki to be wholly inaccurate anyway ?
To be honest...I wouldn't know it if I saw it !
 

blakestyger

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Wiki, the be all and end all.
« Reply #4 on: 16/07/2008 16:39:34 »
This is hard to frame succinctly but I think that the main objection to Wikipedia is mostly due to the perception that some data/facts/information, call it what you will, may have no provenance and have been posted by people without recognised or qualified expertise in the field and it is hard to tell which it is - or put another way, by non-academics.

Personally, if this is the case, I think it's a shame because facts are facts regardless of their origin and I've known many very knowledgeable people who have little or no qualifications and yet are expert in their field operating outside of the strictures of academia.

I've never found Wiki to be anything other than useful in all the things I engage with. That said, some of the more subjective stuff surrounding religion, philosophy etc needs closer evaluation.
 

Online Bored chemist

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« Reply #5 on: 16/07/2008 18:31:35 »
I'm probably as guilty as anyone of posting a link to wiki as an answer.
I could cut and paste the stuff, but, to be fair I'd have to credit Wiki anyway. The easiest way to do that is to , Err? Um? Post a link.
Just posting the link saves time and bandwidth.
The other thing to note is that Wiki's indexing can be frustration. Unless you know to look for, for example, "melting point depression" or "cryoscopic constant", you will struggle to find out from Wiki how much nitrate you need to add to water to drop the freezing point to some given value.

I do always have a look at the article to see that it says something useful and helpful. In general, as Blakestyger says, it's quite accurate for most scientific stuff. I wouldn't always trust it about politics.
 

Offline Make it Lady

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« Reply #6 on: 16/07/2008 20:26:37 »
My son would die without wiki. He even looks things up when he is bored and has nothing better to do. I do find that when he does an essay for school that sometimes he has access to too much information and therefore finds it hard to see the wood from the trees.
I think Wiki is self policing. If something is wrong someone will soon be on to it and it is changed.
 

blakestyger

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« Reply #7 on: 16/07/2008 21:07:11 »
The other thing about using Wiki, or any other link come to that, is that it takes away an opportunity to converse. A pre-internet analogy is a child asking a parent a question only to have it point to a book. That's one of the strengths of this forum - people talk to one another.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #8 on: 16/07/2008 22:46:47 »
The other thing about using Wiki, or any other link come to that, is that it takes away an opportunity to converse. A pre-internet analogy is a child asking a parent a question only to have it point to a book. That's one of the strengths of this forum - people talk to one another.

Ah shuddupayourface!  ;D
 

Offline Make it Lady

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« Reply #9 on: 16/07/2008 22:51:56 »
Talk involves the movement of the lips and tongue, I think you will find or is that something else?
 

blakestyger

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« Reply #10 on: 17/07/2008 12:00:19 »
No - that's snogging  [:0]
 

Offline Make it Lady

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« Reply #11 on: 17/07/2008 17:08:32 »
My husband told me it was just talking. I hope he wasn't fibbing about the donut making.
 

blakestyger

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« Reply #12 on: 17/07/2008 17:36:27 »
...I hope he wasn't fibbing about the donut making.

...is this what the Germans call 'hiding the sausage'. [:I]
 

paul.fr

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Wiki, the be all and end all.
« Reply #13 on: 17/07/2008 17:38:24 »
...I hope he wasn't fibbing about the donut making.

...is this what the Germans call 'hiding the sausage'. [:I]

If that person failed to find the sausage, would they be a sauerkraut?
« Last Edit: 17/07/2008 17:43:54 by Paul. »
 

blakestyger

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Wiki, the be all and end all.
« Reply #14 on: 17/07/2008 18:40:20 »
That would be the case if he failed to hide the sausage.
 

Offline atrox

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« Reply #15 on: 17/07/2008 19:38:15 »

...is this what the Germans call 'hiding the sausage'. [:I]

oh, do we?
Must have missed that part of linguistic history ;-)
 

Offline Make it Lady

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« Reply #16 on: 17/07/2008 20:45:47 »
They do a course called linguistc history and you missed the lesson on hiding the sausage?!

Policemen play PC plod hides his truncheon.
 

Offline chris

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« Reply #17 on: 19/07/2008 01:25:05 »
I'm with Paul and Neil on what they say about this Wiki business.

There is no doubt that Wikipedia is an incredible knowledge archive and a very useful tool. However, increasingly people are posting links to Wiki pages in answer to questions, rather than actually addressing the question.

This is destructive for several reasons.

1) It diverts people away from this site
2) Rather than provide a clear answer to a question it just refers a questioner to related background material
3) It does nothing to stimulate discussion about the topic, which is what we are striving to do here.

What we really want is a thriving community here to interact with and to ask and answer questions so we all learn something.

By using individual specialist knowledge we can build here, in one place, clear answers to the questions that are posed. This will attract other visitors because search engines will prioritise us.

But if we just post links to Wiki pages all we do is boost their rankings but without benefiting our own community. At the same time we're likely to frustrate visitors who come looking for the answer to a question and end up referred to a wiki page; they could have saved time by just going there in the first place.

So please, everyone, try to add some value to the forum when you reply to someone. By all means support your answers with links to relevant background information but do, please, try to put the answer in context and create some content; this will stimulate much more interaction which is, after all, what we're presumably all here for.

cheers

Chris
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Wiki, the be all and end all.
« Reply #17 on: 19/07/2008 01:25:05 »

 

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