Wikipedia. Everyone knows it. Everyone uses it. But how to use it effectively?
If you thought of Wikipedia as just a free online-encyclopedia, built by enthusiasts from all around the world, you’ve seriously underestimated its influence. In the era of constantly growing Folksonomies Wikis – so-called Wikipedia-engines – are usually one of the essential tools, which enable users to collect information, share it and use it for personal, business and collaborative purposes.
If you know what I am talking about, you should have taken a closer look at dozens of useful tools, which can make the life of wikipedianers easier. With them you can collect information in a more efficient way; besides, they will help you to find the information you are looking for much-much-much quicker. An overview of the essential services, tools, engines and tutorials related to Wikipedia and Wikis – for our readers. Links checked: May/26 2008.
Wikipedia and similar projects
- Wikibooks is a collection of free, open-content textbooks and learning materials for free use. Now over 22,000 book modules in over 1000 books are available.
- Wikimedia Commons is a media repository that is created and maintained not by paid-for artists, but by volunteers. The database includes over 895,000 media files – images, audio- and video-files.
- Wikinews is a free news-service and free-content news source. Wikinews allows anyone to report news on a wide variety of subjects.
- Wikipedia’s Randompage delivers a random page from the Wikipedia-database – an interesting solution for the start page in your browser.
- Wikiquote is a free online compendium of quotations from notable people and creative works in every language, including sources and translations of non-English quotes.
- Wikisource is an online library of free content publications, mostly scientific, which are license-free or are released under free license.
- Wikispecies provides an open, free directory of species – intended for biologists, chemists and doctors. Over 74,000 articles are available.
- Wikiversity students and professors can use the joungest Wiki-project as a plattform for the creation and use of free learning materials and activities. Wikiversity is a multidimensional social organization dedicated to learning, teaching, research and service.
- Wiktionary is a collaborative project to produce a free, multilingual dictionary with definitions, etymologies, pronunciations, sample quotations, synonyms, antonyms and translations.
- Proposals for new projects presents an overview of projects, which are being observed and created by Wiki-community. Many ideas are realized, some of them haven’t been released yet, and some are discussed and revised.
- Wikipedia DVD (in German): the complete Web-lexicon for free download.
How to use Wikipedia efficiently
- Googlepedia Firefox Extension shows you a relevant Wikipedia article along with your search results in Google.
- Pathway is a Mac-Tool, which improves the functionality of Wikipedia and visualizes the navigation in the encyclopedia. Links are presented as the nodes of a tree and are connected with each other; relevant categories are shown in sidebar during browsing.
- Wikimapia und Placeopedia combine the functionality of Google Maps and Wikipedia to create a complete description of the Earth. Both projects presents objects on the world map together with relevant Wikipedia-articles. The Earth map is being instantly edited, improved and updated by volunteers from all around the world.
- QWika is a search engine designed specifically to search wikis. The aims are to cover all wikis in all sizeable languages, translate them, make them easily findable in the shortest possible time. Currently over 22 Mio. articles from 1,158 Wikis in 12 languages are indexed.
- This Wikipedia Bookmarklet enables you to search for unknown terms with a single mouse click – just darg the link to your Favourites, select the term you’d like to look up and click on the bookmarklet. If you’d like to ask the Wikipedia via Search box, check out out the Wikipedia Bookmarklet Searchbox.
- Wikipedia Categorical Index provides a detailed overview of available categories available and can be used for quick navigation in the encyclopedia.
- WikiMax und Wiki LumRix are special search engines for Wikipedia: just start to enter your search request und and you’ll be given the links to the page you might be looking for.
- Wikipedizer delivers to a given URL-address a list of relevant and related Wikipedia-articles.
- Wikipedia Statistics presents official statistical data about the state and development of Wikipedia.
- wikidPad is a comfortable Windows-environment for the creation and management of articles in Wiki-format. This free wiki notebook/outliner runs as the background process on your desktop and helps you to store your thoughts, ideas, todo lists, contacts, or anything else you can think of to write down.
- How To Contribute To Wikipedia: Gina Trapani explains step-by-step how to create wiki-pages, format them properly and add them to the encyclopedia.
- Wikipedia Cheatsheet presents all formatting tags in a brief table-overview.
- Wikipedia Firefox Extension and Wikipedia Toolbar integrate all formatting tags for the MediaWiki-format in the toolbar of your browser. With these tools you can also use ready-to-go templates, special symbols, images, links etc. A detailed overview of the Wikipedia tools can be found here.
- With Wikipedia RSS Feeds you will be instantly notified about the new articles on a specific topic or the modification of a selected article.
- Wikipedia Starter Toolset includes examples to the formatting of a variety of objects you might be willing to use for your Wikipedia-articles.
- Wikipedia Tools lists various tools and tutorials intended to simplify, make more efficient, or provide additional functionality to Wikipedians.
- Server projects presents further tools for efficient work with Wikipedia.
- Comparison of wiki software is a detailed comparison table of 29 popular Wiki Engines.
- MediaWiki is the most popular Open-Source-Wiki-Software, which is used by Wikipedia itself and is released under the GNU GPL license. Learn how to Set Up Your Personal Wikipedia in few steps, most questions can be solved with MediaWiki Help Contents directory, which is a list of guides and single-topic help files for the MediaWiki software.
- Wiki Engines presents a list of reference to hundreds of engines, which are divided in several categories.
- WikiMatrix gives an overview of 69 Wiki Engines in a comparison table and provides detailed information about the functions of every single system.