Tuesday, September 04, 2007


As we all know, Wikipedia is the definitive repository of all knowledge in the known universe. In fact, looking stuff up in Wikipedia is so commonplace, it's become a verb. It's been verbed, if you will. Don't know something? Wikipedia it.

I was at a workshop on social software the other day and the speaker showed us a graphic on what Wikipedia would look like if it were bound in a series of books, like old-timey encyclopedias. Keep in mind, this is just the English version (which contains nearly 2 million articles at present); just the current Wikipedia articles (not older edits); not the discussions; and it doesn't include tables or pictures, just text. This is how big a bound copy of Wikipedia would be, as of August 2007:

While checking out this graphic, I then noticed this one, which breaks down what Wikipedia actually contains:


Stacia said...

As an intellectual, how could you possibly encourage the use of Wikipedia? The TAs always hated it when students used Wikipedia over the highly researched and legitimate encylopedia the university provided on-line, free of charge. That's why I love the break-down of Wikipedia!

Anonymous said...

Yes I look forward to another term of marking papers full of Wiki as a reference! At least its not online 250 this time Beth! Sure do miss you around the building!

Jorge said...

Wiki is an awesome resource when it's kept up properly.

I'm sure Encyclopedias were frowned upon as the tool of the devil when they came out.

"What's that? A series of books containing references to everything? PISH POSH! You must DERIVE IT ALL FROM SCRATCH FUCKERS!"*

*This is a true quote from old timey-times.

Beth said...

Stacia - ya, I was being a wee bit facetious when I said "Wikipedia is the definitive repository of all knowledge in the known universe." And by "wee bit" I mean "a whole hell of a lot". I wouldn't let my students use *any* encyclopedia (Wiki or old-timey ones)... read journal articles kids!

Anon - I know who you are! I'm coming back to the building in Jan - going to be teaching FNH 370! What are you TAing?

Jorge - You are an old-timey timer. It's true - I read it on Wikipedia!

Anonymous said...

Ops I didn't mean to make you guess! I forgot to sign my name!
Your teaching 370! That's great. I can totally picture you being great at that class! Having a senior level will be nice too as they should know how to read JAs :)
Next term I'll put that on the list of classes I want to TA!

I'm TAing 470 with 90 students this term! They are doing case studies this year as well so should be a lot of work but thats my fav class so. Also doing a 1/3 TA of 350.

I look forward to seeing you then! We should hook up for some caffeine sometime before that though! I wanna hear about the new job, etc etc.

Beth said...

Yes, we should definitely hook up for caffeine sometime soon and catch up! I don't work Fridays, so Fridays are good (except this Friday - I'm going camping). Or weekends. Or evenings. It's not like we don't live in the same neighbourhood!

Anonymous said...

I actually moved to Kerrisdale! ITs full of old people but quiet and I like it. There is a Artiggano around here which is good expensive coffee. But I'm up for whatever. Lets touch base next week and see if Friday works! Have fun camping.

Beth said...

You moved to Kerrisdale??? But you had such a nice apartment!!!

I've been to Artiggano downtown - I'm up for trying a Kerrisdale one! And my next Friday (Sept 14) is totally clear right now! I'll email ya!