Did I miss something here? Maybe it’s just me but I really don’t see what the big deal is with Wikipedia. First of all it sounds like you are mixing something (mixing in the sense of a rick-a-re-mix as opposed to, for example, mixing sodium and chlorine together to make table salt (by the way has anyone else tried this? It’s a lot harder than you initially think!). You know, 'wiki-wiki-wiki.'
Second of all, does this thing even do anything? I really don’t see any point to it aside from maybe as like a Google alternative for people that want every letter in a single word to be the same color (you can point out its flaws all you want but sooner or later you’ll come face to face with the fact – the undeniable fact – that Wikipedia is wonderfully easy on the eyes).
Maybe I’m not making myself clear, so I will attempt to do so through anecdote. The first time I heard about Wikipedia, the conversation went something like this:
John Kerry (honestly this is the real name of the dude that works at my local video store (I also hate NetFlicks), no relation to the Massachusetts Senator): “Have you heard about this new Wikipedia thing?”
Me: Yeah I think so. It’s something DJs do right?
JK: No, not at all. It’s this web site where you type in anything and then it takes you to a page where you can read about it.
Me: Isn’t that just called…the internet? I mean I thought we already had that?
JK: Alright I didn’t mean for this to turn into an argument. By the way do you know you
have late fees?
I left the video store pretty confident that I had won the argument with John Kerry. I mean sure, he said he didn’t want to get into an argument, but isn’t that just because he knew it was an argument he couldn’t win? I mean let’s think about it, I thought to myself. Wikipedia is nothing more than a smaller, neater version of the internet. Then I remembered Google (also a silly name – Wikipedia ripped off everything!). In fact, I thought, whoever made Wikipedia probably just searched Google, read a few pages, and then wrote a nice summary and then made that the only page you can read when you put your search into Wikipedia. Then I thought, we already have one of those, and it’s called the Google “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. So not only have we all seen this before, but we all haven’t cared. Pretty much the only positive thing I can say about the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button is that if you turn your Google settings to be in Spanish, it’s a “Voy a Tener Suerte” button, but this hardly makes up for the existence of this self-congratulatory and superfluous button. Why self-congratulatory you ask? Google is glad you asked. If you’re like me you probably saw this button and thought “what (in the name of jumping Jehosaphat) is this?” The obvious answer being: “nothing.” So to make sure you probably pressed the button without typing anything into the search box. And of course this search for “nothing” using the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button yielded precisely that: nothing. And by “nothing” I mean a description of the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button (which, as we worked out in the previous sentence, is essentially; nothing). Here is their description of this ingenious button:
“An "I'm Feeling Lucky" search means less time searching for web pages and more time looking at them.”
This is great because I was getting tired of how much time it was taking me to look at the search results before clicking on them. I mean if you add up all of the times that you looked at the search results instead of going directly to the first result, you would probably figure out that it took six seconds of your life, which would be more than offset when the first result isn’t any good, or isn’t enough, and you have to go to another result. So now you are probably asking “why did they spend taxpayers dollars creating this useless button that does nothing?” And the answer (of course) would be that not only do people who access Google from their laptops while walking across a busy intersection (which they wouldn’t do unless they were feeling lucky, so…) really need that time saver, they also happen to make up one of the most tenacious lobbying groups in Washington.
The point is, I knew I was onto something with this “I’m Feeling Lucky” thing so I decided to test out my theory with the button even though I wasn’t actually feeling lucky (don’t even get me started on the fact that thanks to the entrapment tactics of Google, millions of upright and honest Americans are now perjuring themselves every day with this insufferable button). So here is what I searched for juxtaposed with what Google’s abhorrent “I’m Feeling Lucky” button provided me with:
“Bill Clinton” – Wikipedia’s page on Bill Clinton
“Michael Jordan” – Wikipedia’s page on Michael Jordan
“corn” – Wikipedia’s page on maize
I think this (quite nicely) proves my point, and so I leave you with one parting reflection: How fancy do you think Wikipedia thinks it is when it gives me “maize” when I search for “corn?” I mean what a nitpicker, and what nerve to correct me – the customer! If Wikipedia had paid closer attention while they were ripping off everything from Google, they would have noticed that instead of automatically presupposing my mistakes and taking me straight to the maize, not even saying anything but rather acting as if nothing had ever happened, Google has the decency to ask me if I meant something else, and to do it politely and tactfully. In fact, it doesn’t even take any extra effort either since everyone knows that all that is necessary to be tactful on a computer is the use of italics. See, that got polite at the end, don’t you think, you idiots at Wikipedia?