The Truth In Wikipedia… Beer Style

Wikipedia. From random facts to writing essays, Wikipedia has become a go to website for knowledge and information. Many people used to be very weary of the information that Wikipedia provided. Teachers often deterred students from using it to prevent false knowledge from making its way into papers. If they didn’t follow this instruction, they were often given up by something that wasn’t right and could be tracked back to Wikipedia. Those days are long gone now, though.

Wikipedia includes a vast array of knowledge that is usually correct nowadays. With constant monitoring and use, “facts” that are entered with malicious or joking intent are quickly taken down or replaced with correct information. For instance, for a little bit of time, Jeremy Renner was a velociraptor (see below). That lasted only long enough for people to get screenshots.

Jeremy Renner Velociraptor

Scanning Wikipedia, I found that the page for Franconia Brewing was lacking, to say the least. Not knowing a whole lot about the style or setup of Wikipedia coding, I dove in and decided to help it out some. The changes I made were small, but I’m planning on working on it some more.

When I started, the page only told a little bit about the owner and a little about the when they started bottling beer. First, I added when it opened and when its first batch of beer was produced. Easy enough, you’d think.

For the most part, you’d be right. When you first get to the edit page, it seems like a daunting task. There is a lot of coding information and many things you don’t understand if you haven’t coded before. I do have some coding experience, but not like this. So I dug around a bit. I looked at other pages to see how exactly things were formatted and how to make the correct inline citations. Five minutes later, I had made my first entry. It was only a sentence or two, but it was a start.

So what now? I’m going to try and keep updating it as I can. With school, work, and this blog, it’s going to take some time to get it up to par. But I learned a lot during this process. Wikipedia can be a great tool. Information accessibility is key to developing the world, and the more correct information that is out there, the better off we all are. The downside to this, though, is that almost anyone with a computer and a Wikipedia account can access this information. (There are some pages that require special permissions.) You have to be careful with what you trust, but Wikipedia has come a long way. For the most part, though, it’s a great, historically correct tool.

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