10 Explanations For Wikipedia's Unmatched Success As An Online Source

by Ricky Buhr

Wikipedia has, without a doubt, changed the way we obtain knowledge in today’s world.

What makes it so successful is it’s concise and to the point.

Remember those “World Book Encyclopedia Sets” you used to have in your grade school library? When pushed together, they made a cool image, and your library lady would pull her hair out if she saw you improperly using them because they were an $800 set.

Well, every piece of information in those annual sets of encyclopedias are now available on your freaking cell phone -- for free.

It's called Wikipedia, and here are 10 ways it has changed the way we learn and obtain knowledge:

1. It's completely ad-free.

The website runs smoothly, making your weird searches pleasurable and immeasurable. After your search, whether for a history paper or the history of LimeWire, you are left feeling satisfied with how easy the read was.

2. The traffic is sky-high.

The site receives 3 billion page visits a month from mobile phones alone, which most likely consist of students searching during exams or trying to prove a friend wrong on a certain topic.

If we ever need quick information on a subject, we instantly turn to Wikipedia.

3. Google trusts it.

When I Googled "Wikipedia Statistics" for reason number two, I was referred to a Wikipedia Page.

Google generally has a Wikipedia page come up as a top result for almost every search. Seems credible enough for me...

4. It's a super short, dense version of SparkNotes.

The site has brief, detailed plot summaries for every book you'll ever read, making SparkNotes look like an actual book to read.

5. It's credible enough for me.

Every teacher in your life has told you Wikipedia is not a credible source. Well, it seemed credible for my last paper because it’s all I used.

I actually just copied and pasted a load of random websites from Google into for my bibliography... I earned a B.

6. It offers seemingly endless information.

Ever wonder what a guy like Pauly Shore is up to these days? Find out on Wikipedia.

The site has up-to-date information on your favorite celebrities, from Amanda Bynes' latest freak out to Afroman’s latest arrest for punching a woman in the face on stage.

7. You can educate yourself — quickly.

Did your boss just use the words "liquidizing basket trades before the end of the fiscal quarter" in a meeting? Write that sh*t down so you can quietly go back to your cubicle and Wikipedia the hell out of it.

8. You don't hate the yearly donation request.

The way the site asks you for that donation once a year puts your so-called “knowledge” into perspective.

It gives you all the information in the world at your fingertips, to make your life easier in some way.

You can donate five measly dollars, or you can be a dick about it and abuse the website to get by in your everyday life.

9. The movie summaries are quick and trustworthy.

About to see the final "Hobbit" movie without having seen the prequels? Read the plot summaries on the Wikipedia pages and save five hours of your time watching the first two movies.

They were nothing more than dialogue with old English and a bunch of mind-numbing walking.

10. It's not embarrassing when it's on your computer screen.

Having a Wikipedia page open on your screen in class or at work always gives the impression you're doing some sort of work.

You could be reading about the next Kevin Hart movie and your employer/professor will assume it's "appropriate" content due to the fact of there being nothing but words on the page and very few pictures.

So, why not keep reading dumb sh*t? I mean… it looks like work!

Wikipedia has, without a doubt, changed the face of learning. I would say, by sophomore year of college, I stopped purchasing most books for class from the bookstore because 95 percent of the content was available on Wikipedia.

That other 5 percent came from the professors' “self-published” book for which you really had no choice but to pay $18 for it in the bookstore.