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Wikipedia VS Google

 
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Probably 8 times out of 10, when I look something up on Google, there is a wikipedia link in the top 5. I have found myself lately going straight to wikipedia and bypassing google all together. I assume it has to do with the type of information I am looking up.

For example, if I were to search for help on a bug in my development work ( assuming I skipped JavaRanch ) google would be my first choice. However, if I were searching for historical information on a specific programming language, wikipedia would be the place to do. Obviously, encyclopedia type searches.

Anyone else see a similer trend? I wonder if Google, Yahoo, or MSN might try and buy wikipedia soon.
 
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Wikipedia is not allowed at my workplace. So, I go to google, and type "wikipedia 'search string'" and then click on the cached link below the search result to look at the wikipedia contents.
[ October 19, 2006: Message edited by: Sharmi Ragoth ]
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Originally posted by Sharmi Ragoth:
Wikipedia is not allowed at my workplace. So, I go to google, and type "wikipedia 'search string'" and then click on the cached link below the search result to look at the wikipedia contents.

[ October 19, 2006: Message edited by: Sharmi Ragoth ]



Really? Are they afraid you might learn something? Companies that do this sort of thing annoy me. However, that's not the topic of this thread, so let's not go down that path.
 
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I find myself typing
wiki "search string"

when I am looking for a lot of topics
 
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For example, if I were to search for help on a bug in my development work ( assuming I skipped JavaRanch ) google would be my first choice. However, if I were searching for historical information on a specific programming language, wikipedia would be the place to do. Obviously, encyclopedia type searches.



Same here. If I'm sure that a particular thing will be there in wikipedia, I just type "wiki thing" in my Firefox address bar. Takes me directly to its wikipedia page in most cases. For the rest, it's the good old way of wading through google search results.
 
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Yeah, I have a "wiki" button (quick link) that I use to go directly to wikipedia. For web searching, I have a "meta" button that takes me to metacrawler (since I'm usually not satisfied with Google results).
 
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I too am often inclined to go to Wikipedia first, or to look for Wikipedia links among the Google hits. Depending on the topic - in particular, depending on whether I know in advance what the name of an appropriate topic would be, to use in Wikipedia. If I'm not sure, I'm much more likely to go to Google first.

Back before Google's prominence, I tended to look at yahoo as being loosely equivalent to a table of contents for the whole internat, and altavista as being the index. If I knew the general topic and where to find it in the heirarchy, I would use yahoo for its nice orderly view - otherwise I'd use altavista to find keywords wherever they may be. Then google came along and was so good at both roles, it totally displaced both yahoo and altavista, for me. Now with the rise of Wikipedia I find myself using Wikipedia like a table of contents, and google like the index. Though both are somewhat able to function in the other role, if necessary, and it's easy to go from one to the other.

Wikipedia does have some dangers, where the anyone-can-edit ethos sometimes leads to nasty edit wars and vandalism, particularly with controversial topics. I think Wikipedia has gotten somewhat better about limiting such things, though I'm not sure. I think it's important people remember to view Wikipedia with a certain degree of skepticism. Glancing through the recent edit history is a good way to see if you're seeing something in the midst of an edit war, but it takes some extra effort.
 
Jim Yingst
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Firefox users should note that there's a Wikipedia search engine you can plug in:

https://addons.mozilla.org/search-engines.php

Previously I used to leave the search engine on Google most of the time. But now I have a full Google toolbar for that - so the original search engine field is usually set to Wikipedia.
 
marc weber
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Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
...Wikipedia does have some dangers, where the anyone-can-edit ethos sometimes leads to nasty edit wars and vandalism, particularly with controversial topics...


Very good point. It's (usually) great on the dry stuff, but there are certain topics that just can't seem to get a decent article.
 
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Originally posted by Jim Yingst:

https://addons.mozilla.org/search-engines.php



If you are using Firefox, it is really easy to set up a quick search. That's what I have done. (Ctrl-L -> Type "wp <search_term>" -> Enter )
 
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Yesterday, I wanted to dig into B-trees and indexes in database in google. I got a link to wikipedia and when I went into wiki, there were a host of words (bombastic, mathematical links) and on clicking them, it lead to an other page which again had so many links. End point is, it didn't give me enough, down to earth explanation on these concepts. I was a bit fed up and had to click on other links in google where somebody had given me a simple, lucid explanation of things (which had lesser/no links). I don't know if wiki is trying to teach people too much at one go.

I still appreciate head first book, where you read something and you go down a few pages, and if you see a new concept being explained which reminds you of something you had read a couple of pages back, head first takes the pain of re-explaining the user or atleast uses correct words to tap the mind and get the user reminded of what they had read a couple of pages back. Had they given a line saying "refer to page 35, line 67", do you think head first would be appreciated this much. I personally believe, wiki better concentrate on meta-cognition, instead of just giving loads and loads of information.

I believe google is good, when you want to learn something.
 
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Originally posted by Sonny Gill:

If you are using Firefox, it is really easy to set up a quick search. That's what I have done. (Ctrl-L -> Type "wp <search_term>" -> Enter )



wow nice trick, hope IE will implement this.
 
Jim Yingst
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[Sonny}: If you are using Firefox, it is really easy to set up a quick search. That's what I have done. (Ctrl-L -> Type "wp " -> Enter )

If I'm using Safari, it's just

Ctrl-L -> Type "w" -> Enter

thanks to Safari's ability to sense my thoughts.
 
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These are how I feel about Wikipedia. I don't necessarily use it to replace Google, but I do use it constantly during the day and night, any time I hear a word or phrase where I want more information. I love the fact that they have a giant list of events on every day of the year.

OK, show of hands...who here has looked up their own birthday there?
*raises hand*
 
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I wonder why JavaRanch isn't mentioned on their java page?
 
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Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:
I wonder why JavaRanch isn't mentioned on their java page?



There is now a really crappy article on the Wikipedia about the Javaranch. I felt we needed our own entry. i'm a really crappy writer, so unless some of the more talented folks help, i'm sure it'll be gone soon...

JavaRanch Wikipedia article that needs help
 
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Wikipedia may not have JavaRanch, but I found it. I use Google.co.uk, and it directed me here! (and how glad it did).

I was(am) a complete novice, so probably only typed 'java training' or something and got a link. However, just tries it and no link, so now I am not sure.

The thing is, do you want traffic, or people who really appreciate a resource for what it has to offer?

Either way, an entry in wiki wouldn't harm, but I was attracted by the cattle drive (which also generates money for the site - if very little), so promote the training it is first class.

Regards all
 
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Originally posted by fred rosenberger:
There is now a really crappy article on the Wikipedia about the Javaranch. I felt we needed our own entry. i'm a really crappy writer, so unless some of the more talented folks help, i'm sure it'll be gone soon...

JavaRanch Wikipedia article that needs help


An administrator already deleted it. Apparently they felt it was Blatent Advertising.
 
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