[AI] Get more productive with Wikipedia

vishnu ramchandani vishnuhappy at yahoo.com
Mon May 26 07:06:40 EDT 2008


Get more productive with Wikipedia
Amit Agarwal

Wikipedia, the largest public encyclopaedia on the
internet that anyone can edit, was launched in 2001 by
Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. There are now over
2.4 million articles in the English edition of
Wikipedia contributed by people from across the globe.


The site needs no introduction. Wikipedia pages pop on
the front page of Google for almost every search and
no wonder; it is also one of the largest trafficked
sites on the internet with 55 million unique visitors
per month from US alone. 

Using Wikipedia is simple, just type something in the
Wikipedia search box, hit go and you are automatically
transported to the corresponding article. 

If there isn’t a direct Wikipedia page for your search
term, you get to see a list of other Wikipedia pages
that mention your search term. 

We look at different ways in which you can use
Wikipedia more productively. 

Search: Wikipedia search box recently added a ‘Find as
you Type’ feature where you get topic suggestions in
real time as you type more characters in the
search box. 

For instance, if you type ‘GOOG’—it will show a list
like ‘Google’, ‘Googleplex’, etc. A better alternative
to Wikipedia search is Wikiwax at wikiwax.com—this
shows a much larger list of suggestions and you can
also select a different language edition of Wikipedia.


Citations: The articles on Wikipedia can change very
quickly. So if you cite/link to an article from
Wikipedia on your blog or book or a research paper,
chances are that the reference may not make much sense
after some time because the article could have
undergone a series of iterations by different
contributors.
Therefore, you should always cite the current snapshot
of a page—just look for the link in the left sidebar
that says ‘cite this page.’ 

Tracking Wikipedia: Say you are a fan of ‘Amitabh
Bachchan’ and like to track his Wikipedia page for any
changes—you want to prevent vandalism and also
want to stay informed when some new information is
added to Amitabh's page on Wikipedia. This is easy
though it involves a series of steps. 

Open the Wikipedia page of Amitabh Bachchan and click
the link on the left sidebar that says ‘Recent
Changes.’ On the next page, you’ll see another link
that says ‘RSS’ that is again in the sidebar. Copy
that link to the clipboard and open another site at
sendmerss.com—type your email address and the link
here. You’ll now get email notifications as soon as
someone edits the Wikipedia entry of your favourite
star. 

Mobile phone: Wikipedia pages look good on your
desktop screen but they are not optimised for the
small screen of your mobile phone. Enter
wapedia.mobi—this
mobile website lets you conveniently read most
Wikipedia articles on mobile phones. If the article is
very long, wapedia would split it in multiple pages.


Download Wikipedia: If you want to read Wikipedia
stories on a computer that is not connected to the
web, you even have the option to download the full
Wikipedia database on to your computer. Head over to
wikipedia.org—it’s free though the file spans a few
gigs so make sure you are on a fast, unlimited
connection before initiating the download process. 

The writer is a professional technology blogger.


      Unlimited freedom, unlimited storage. Get it now, on http://help.yahoo.com/l/in/yahoo/mail/yahoomail/tools/tools-08.html/




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