Friday, January 15, 2021

Happy birthday Wikipedia

Happy 20th birthday Wikipedia. The Diary Review could not exist without it!

Wikipedia provides many of the leads for The Diary Review thanks to its events listings for every date throughout the year. Also, Wikipedia has become the very best encyclopaedic source of biographical and historical information, and because of this almost every story on The Diary Review carries a link to it.

When I first started compiling data for The Diary Junction, in 2005, I still relied a lot on printed sources. Today, in researching biographies for The Diary Review, I use Wikipedia all the time and printed sources rarely. There are three reasons for this: the vast amount of information available through Wikipedia; the ease of access (directly on the computer); and the level of accuracy (which wasn’t always the case in the early years).

However, I have had my issues with the Wikipedia folk, mostly because I am not allowed to add links from Wikipedia articles to The Diary Review (or The Diary Junction). When I’ve tried this once or twice, Wikipedia guard dogs have jumped on me, and threatened to blacklist me. They have a problem with any individual creating links to their own website and pages, even if those links might be useful and bona fide. Since I use Wikipedia’s external links often I can testify with confidence that many of them are far less useful, and far more cluttered with adverts, than any link to The Diary Junction or The Diary Review would be.

Nevertheless, a big thank you to Wikipedia, and all the best for the next 20 years.

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