Technology. Do you know what Wikipedia is? Did you know that this open source encyclopedia covers 1,391,807 topics (in the English version, as of this writing)? That it may be (or soon become) the greatest collaborative knowledge gathering effort the world has ever known? That it is the 17th most popular site on the Internet, receiving 14,000 hits per second? That you can find a topic in Wikipedia by simply entering “wiki” at the end of a Google search? (e.g., Lost TV show wiki)?
If you’re interested in understanding the origins, goals and inner-workings of this astonishing phenomenon, I recommend these two articles from The Atlantic and The New Yorker, respectively:
- The Hive: Can thousands of Wikipedians be wrong? How an attempt to build an online encyclopedia touched off history’s biggest experiment in collaborative knowledge, by Marshall Poe (The Atlantic, September 2006)
- Know It All: Can Wikipedia conquer expertise?, by Stacy Schiff (The New Yorker, July 2006)