Readers of this blog may have noticed by now that a lot of the links in what I write lead to Wikipedia. I don’t work for Wikipedia, and I’m not even a contributor to its content. I am a big fan of that site (for several reasons), and I’d go so far as to say I think it’s the best site on the internet.
First, I mean, come on, how cool is it having a free online encyclopedia that doesn’t assault your senses with those increasingly annoying ads that infest just about every other site out there. I hate those fucking ads! (Pardon my language, but no other word fully carries the sheer loathing I have for them.) Given my choice, I’d rather have a house infested with mice, cockroaches and termites than an internet filled with those fucking ads.
So the fact that Wikipedia is ad-free and knowledge-full is a sheer delight and joy. They do depend on donations, and if you use the site heavily I urge you to donate something (and, yes, I do). Help keep at least one small portion of the internet sane and ad-free.
Second, Wikipedia is an outstanding resource. Some will claim bias or inaccuracy due to the way Wiki works, but serious studies have shown it to be extremely accurate. Deliberate vandalism tends to be short-lived due to the “neighborhood watch” aspect of its caretakers (nearly all of whom are volunteers).
I link to articles in Wiki, because they seem the best possible kicking off point for researching whatever topic I’ve linked. For example, I could link movie titles to an article in IMDB (Internet Movie Database), but that site has become infested with those … ads, and much that exists there is trite and noisy. The article for the movie on Wiki is usually chock-full of information, ad-free and has a link to the IMDB site, plus various others that apply (the movie’s official home page, for instance).
Finally, Wikipedia turns out to be a great resource for general reading and research. I’ve passed many hours reading articles about quantum physics, philosophy, baseball, movies, technology and music. There are even Wiki Books that gather related articles into a readable collection.
Viva la Wiki!