The dependence on wikipedia

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,015
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Let me ask you one thing: why did gotse delchev in wikipedia suddenly, overnight become a bulgarian instead of macedonian historical figure?
Technically because a Wiki author has edited that page and the moderating team hasn't considered that modification not justified [yet?]. If they have already examined it ... obviously ...

If I take a look at his page in English [Gotse Delchev - Wikipedia] it says he was Bulgarian and "most prominent leader" of what today is the IMRO [so there is a reference also to Macedonia].

Anyway, everybody can check the revisions of the page, in this case ... Gotse Delchev: Revision history - Wikipedia
 

Todd Feinman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2013
6,499
Planet Nine, Oregon
Wikipedia is very useful because it crowdsources knowledge, in conjunction with moderating teams / task forces. If you wait tables in Brooklyn but know everything about the history of canoes, you can contribute to the project. Reader beware, but it is a matchless modern tool. Compared to print encyclopedias -- there is no comparison:

"Thus, the text of the English Wikipedia is currently equivalent to 2,848.7 volumes of the Encyclopædia Britannica."
Wikipedia:Size in volumes - Wikipedia

It is only a starting point, and there are other specialized wikis, too.
 
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Aug 2019
218
North
Wikipedia is very useful because it crowdsources knowledge, in conjunction with moderating teams / task forces. If you wait tables in Brooklyn but know everything about the history of canoes, you can contribute to the project. Reader beware, but it is a matchless modern tool. Compared to print encyclopedias -- there is no comparison:

"Thus, the text of the English Wikipedia is currently equivalent to 2,848.7 volumes of the Encyclopædia Britannica."
Wikipedia:Size in volumes - Wikipedia

It is only a starting point, and there are other specialized wikis, too.
Wikipedian history changes according to day to day political developments. Macedonian example clearly represents this.
 

Todd Feinman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2013
6,499
Planet Nine, Oregon
Wikipedian history changes according to day to day political developments. Macedonian example clearly represents this.
Yet if you go to a paper volume of the Britannica and dust it off, you'll see it is frozen in time over a year past, and it has a teeny selection of entries. And for entries on technology and computers? Fuhgeddaboudit.
It's like someone using a walker trying to catch Usain Bolt.
 
Jun 2018
172
New York
I always use Wikipedia for a jumping point into further research. An overview to get an idea of where to start really. One thing a high school teacher of mine said had to do about not relying on it as a reliable source, it was further reinforced throughout college of course, though no one had to actually spell it out.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,015
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Did you write the Italian entry for Alien Space Bats? :)

One should be careful of relying on Wiki too heavily
On Wiki I write only on English ... my "Italian contribution" to the net is on Facebook: I'm among the users who translate from English to Italian ...
 
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Jun 2017
2,966
Connecticut
I think we historians shouldn't rely so much on wikipedia. What say you?
I think we should rely on wikipedia like sources, they are just more efficent and people can stigmitize them all they want, they are superior in terms of learning more information in less time and this superiority FAR outweighs any risk the information you are receiving is inaccurate(and you are likely to find contradicting info on Wikipedia if this is indeed the case that will make you clarify). In terms of the one site and it being alone I agree, I strongly support the concept of topical focused wiki's. Issue is unless you do intensive research on a given topic the alternatives(whether they be topic specific wiki's, or reference sites made by experts with a convenient interact) won't be as obvious unless you look for them. Those sites are out there but looking for them is really really annoying and google is very unhelpful in directing you to obscure reference pages. To find those wikipedia like alternatives that are superior on a given topic you got to invest the time to find them and at that prospect many people just go back to wiki.
 
Aug 2019
218
North
There's nothing useful as far as wikipedia is concerned. Especially if you're after reliable information on Balkans' history. Try other means of investigation. Cross-check, cross-check and cross-check some more. Per aspera ad astra.
 

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
4,460
Japan
Wikipedia is fine as a quick reference.
It’s far from perfect, but it’s capable of some great detailed works, aslong as you don’t take it as gospel.... I find it’s usually more balanced than many “historical” books. And is mostly useful for topping up knowledge on a subject I may have read about a while ago but haven’t committed to memory, also good for fairly shallow debates on topics I have a mild interest in, but no time/desire/money for an in depth study.

Any disputed claims are nearly always flagged for being disputed or unsourced so you know what is reliable and what is iffy.

I think there is some snobbery involved. “I got my facts from books, not Wikipedia”. (Though Wikipedia gets its facts from the same books).
Being in a book does not make the information more reliable.
I can think of several examples of deliberate hatchett jobs, bad research or agenda driven drivel from my own area of interest (napoleonic warfare, British military history)
 
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