Wikipedia – Is it an authoritative resource?
Because my work involves recent technology, I use Wikipedia as a resource and frequently use definitions from Wikipedia in my presentations. Established encyclopedias and dictionaries do not cover many of the terms that I address. I recently attributed a definition to Wikipedia and received feedback from a critic in the audience stating that Wikipedia is not an authoritative source. I disagree with this assessment and believe that the person who made the statement is probably not aware of the quality and caliber of Wikipedia contributors and editors. Yes, some entries need work and are questionable in their authority, but the editors are reasonable in noting this in those entries. Otherwise, I find the information to be accurate and sometimes exhaustive.
Does anyone have an opinion about Wikipedia? Do you use it as an authoritative source? There was a recent Wall Street Journal editorial opinion written by L. Gordon Crovitz (5/12/2008 Pg. A13) which applauds Wikipedia and other bottom up approaches to communications. Suggesting that it may be a technology tool to improve governing!
There are many examples of successful collaboration using Wiki tools, in industry, government, and technology. A very informative book which I recommend in this area is “Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything” by Tapscott and Williams.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts on Wikipedia and Wiki collaboration in general.