Can we live without Wikipedia?
It’s now about two months since I decided to quit editing Wikipedia, and I think it’s been the best decision I’ve made so far this year. Wikipedia can be pretty distracting if you take it too seriously, and in fact the best advice I can give to anyone thinking of becoming a regular Wikipedian is: don’t.
I’ve decided that I’m not going to make any anonymous edits either. When I see stuff on Wikipedia that is blatantly biased, untrue and even downright stupid, it takes a lot of restraint to avoid clicking the “Edit” button, but I’ve decided that the best thing to do is just resign myself to the fact that Wikipedia is a soapbox, it is a social networking site, it is an indiscriminate collection of information, and it is pretty much everything else that it claims it isn’t, and trying to keep it right is like painting the Forth Bridge.
For a while I’ve been wondering on and off whether I could just dispense with Wikipedia altogether. As an experiment, I’ve added an entry for en.wikipedia.org to my hosts file on my work computer to block it off completely. It gets a little bit frustrating when I come across a link on someone’s blog to a Wikipedia entry on something I don’t properly understand, but hey, there’s always Google to help me seek out more reliable sources. It’ll be interesting to see how long I can go without it, but I rather suspect that before too long I won’t even notice it.