Wikipedia turned 10 in January 2011. It has come a long way from its roots as a hackneyed collaboration of articles to up-to-date content moderated by editors around the globe. A recent survey from the Pew Research Center revealed just how popular the service has become. Read it here: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Wikipedia/Report.aspx

However, Wikipedia is still not accepted as a definitive source of news because the content and descriptions can be added by anyone and some people have figured out how to fake out the system. At the heart of the controversy is its banishment from academia. According to professional researchers, the information is not vetted using a more rigorous, scholarly method as used by its nearest competitor, Encylopedia Brittanica. Does it matter? Is the venerable Encyclopedia Brittanica nearing extinction? Will Wikipedia ultimately turn to advertising to fund its existence? Will this influence the content?

Here’s a test, search for the following words–Oliver North–using both services and then compare the results. (Naturally, membership is required to get detailed information from one of the services–which is a very important distinction.)

What are your thoughts?

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