I’m a little worried that before too long I’ll be forced to betray my trusted old friend Wikipedia, as the mighty Google has deemed it a good idea to create its own Web 2.0 encylopedia, which I can already guarantee will be better. Granted, Wikipedia is a little rough around the edges – the legitimacy of some of its user-generated content can be questionable, it lacks a decent rating system, and the quality of the images isn’t what it used to be. But it’s served me well over the years and I don’t want to jack in a long-term relationship just because there’s a younger, better-looking model craving my attention.
So, I’ve decided to spend more quality time with my current online encylopedia in the hope I will get so attached I won’t desert to Google, like I do with everything else (maps, RSS, instant messaging, email – heck, I’ll soon be brushing my teeth with a Google toothbrush if they keep bettering every other product out there). Let’s start by installing the Wikipedia Search Bar. OK, now when I want to perform a search from within my browser I can plunder Wikis straight away without getting distracted by that alluring Google search field in my IE toolbar.
If I don’t want to leave Wikipedia feeling left out when I turn to the “Big G” for searches, I’ll simply download the Googlepedia extension. This displays Wikipedia entries besides the Google results, so I can enjoy the best of both worlds (and it wouldn’t be classed as two-timing).
In order to increase my exposure to the wonderful user-made database, I’ll install WikiReader, which allows me to open a Wiki document from any Windows application I happen to be using at the time. Oh, and I’ll also get hold of Quickipedia, so I can search and browse the site from my Palm handheld. Finally, by adding MediaWiki, I will be able to create my own Wikis and share them with others online.
There, now there’s no reason why I would possibly want to run off into the sunset with Google’s poxy new encyclopedia when it gets released, it there? Yeah, right!