You’ve likely noticed by now that a large proportion of the links on my blog are to Wikipedia. ‘Why?’ you ask. Why turn to Wikipedia when it may not be the soundest of sources? Well, I have a few reasons:
1) Wikipedia provides quick, clearly-written definitions and explanations of basic concepts, most often in layman’s terms that I don’t have the time or inclination to touch on myself.
It’s convenient to be able to throw up a link to a wiki article that will give you, my readers, all the background info you need to understand the current topic and allows me to go into more depth on my chosen subject since I have to do less explaining of the basics.
(Occasionally the link is also something only tangentially related that I’d like you all to see, but not badly enough to derail the post for it. A link to Wikipedia lets me lead you all to it to read and return to the post at your leisure.)
2) Wikipedia provides an excellent starting point for independent research. As hypertext documents each article is interwoven with the rest of Wikipedia via its links. That’s the point.
For my purposes, each of those links (whether in the text itself, the ‘see also’ section, or references) is a hook that will hopefully entice my readers to go out and explore the information available both in and outside of Wikipedia on their own. I want you guys to learn, learn to like learning, or, at the very least, do this.
If I linked to a single, dedicated source, you’d never have that opportunity for exploration.