Whose Wikipedia is it anyway?

Many things come to mind when thinking of Wikipedia.

Some consider it a holy grail of all knowing knowledge while others define it as the stomping grounds of non-educated internet aficionados. While the credibility for many pages may be questionable, it is fair to say that Wikipedia is a relevant source of information gather which plays a integral part of everyday life. There is nothing that Wiki doesn’t cover. Seriously, it’s weird. Each and every facet of life is categorized then sub-categorized into one big helping of generalized information: including sitcoms.

The lineage of comedy is humungo in the Wiki world, settling its roots with the history of theatrical comedy then branching off to more modern practices including stand-up, roasts, film, and especially situational comedic television.

Want to know how sitcoms got their start in North America? There’s a page for that. How about a list of every episode of “Parks and Rec”? There’s a page for that too. Or maybe you were just extremely curious about the name of Nick Offerman’s childhood pet iguana? You can find it all.

But how reliable is this information? Conceptionally, Wiki is an innovative platform in which we the users have the opportunity to make available exactly what it is that we wish to learn more about. The freedom lies beneath our fingertips to type in a subject and create a page dedicated to it. But despite the lures and expansive repertoire of Wiki, it just doesn’t make the cut when it comes to quality control.

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After spending a few days editing basic branch pages of sitcoms, I’ve learned a few things about what it takes to be a successful Wiki page. It can be tough. Citations are constantly evolving due to pages being taken down. Credibility of sources can be hard to deem credible due to large chunk of information being sourced from popular bloggers of that topic. For Wikipedia, consistency is key. An evident pattern in the problems of the site is that smaller branch pages are more detailed and clearly sourced than larger ones, for example, the Modern Family Wiki page is much more carefully curated than the root Wiki page for sitcoms. Some pages have more supervision than others, making it harder to edit but also ensuring the quality of the content which is present.

All in all, Wikipedia has major pros and major cons. It is a cool platform to use (if utilized properly) and despite it not being the best source for credible information, it is one which gets the basics of my job done at the end of the day.

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