The emergence of the internet immediately fosters the hallmark of knowledge which became advantageous to the digital generation. Diverse encyclopedia (e.g. Wikipedia and Britannica) and data-sharing websites are spreading around the internet offering holistic information for professional and academic purposes. However, this seems to be haven-of-free-science-and-wisdom already became a tainted universe because of fraudulence and vandalism circulating around the web. As a result, netizens coined the trite yet truthful adage — “don’t believe everything you read on the internet” — which pertains to the widespread of fake news, misleading headlines, and other forms of misinformation online.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane here. During your education years — secondary and tertiary specifically — research is vital and constant in seeking answers for your assignments. As you progress in your school journey, the complexity of research becomes evident, especially in thesis and reporting. Now, if you think about a favorite and handy research portal, I assume Wikipedia is the first thing that pops up on your mind.
The Widespread of Wikipedia
Wikipedia is the most popular online-based encyclopedia launched way back January 15, 2001. The reference portal had reached prominence among students and professionals alike considering its handy and simple navigations. Moreover, the SEO friendly contents and organized data format amplifies its accumulation of users making the online encyclopedia more operative. However, things have gone awry for Wikipedia as multiple claims of information treachery surfaced online which sparked debates among contemporary users, bloggers, and scholarly professionals. In the long run, the credibility of online articles and references consequently suffered from negative stereotypes and scrutinization.
Wikipedia provides millions of articles in a wide array of languages and topics which commonly ranks first in search engines. In this fashion, internet users will likely click on the first search result and ultimately gather data from it for research objectives — as it would be easier for users to rely on top results than gather further details from multiple sources for reckoning and superior research. Unfortunately, Wikipedia fall miserably short concerning its reliability and integrity of contents. Although Wikipedia strives hard in publishing fact-based and useful articles, the stigma of its lapses prevails which is condemned by editors and many scholarly practitioners as a citation source.
In this concurrent setting, how will content marketing thrive in an online universe full of fact-vigilantes and prying eyes?
Well, blogging is predominantly crucial in content marketing. It plays a huge part in digital marketing as it delivers all the necessary information the audience wants. For one to create a high-quality content for blog articles, the writer must have a handful of citations and references to support its arguments and integrity. Facts are very critical in blogging and content writing; Wikipedia as a source of citation is far from the option in content marketing.
Why? Although Wikipedia provides general information usable for quick research and data provision, anyone who has the internet can easily edit in or out the information explicitly. Fallacious information can be fixed by the site editors, but some errors are overlooked, for days, weeks and God-knows-how-many-months it could be. This is principally the case for some intricate subjects, which tend to remain uncorrected. Worst, malicious entries become far-reaching while reliable sources are silenced at some point.
No doubt, Wikipedia is a constructive tool. Most of us benefited from its journal without falling from grace, but in a world where inaccuracy is glorified, it is much better to be vigilant and do some objective judgment by doing extensive research. As Wikipedia themselves stated, they are not a reliable source. Some or most of its articles are vulnerable to vandalism which uses secondary sources making them the tertiary source. Neither content from Wikipedia is qualified as a primary source because of their circular sourcing scheme; except if the Wikipedia itself is being discussed in an article.
Content writing cannot befall as it is the bloodline of digital marketing. Use your critical judgment and evaluate citations from deeper sources rather than relying on Wikipedia. Well-researched facts will build credibility to your brand which will lead to brand awareness and possible sales in the long run.