Faster info searching on Wikipedia becomes easier with previews

Wikipedia is being improved. The online encyclopedia that has been providing people with free information for 17 years now has page reviews turned on this week and that means that if you have a link in an article (and there are always a lot of them), that you can view a brief summary with the most important information about that item.

According to the Wikimedia Foundation, it is the biggest change in the desktop version of Wikipedia in the last couple of years and that is not the case. It would ensure that readers are protected against themselves and do not fall into the biggest fall of the site: going down the rabbit hole. You know it: you start reading something, click on a link, read on, click again somewhere and before you know it, your fact check about Leonardo da Vinci ends on the page about the walrus (four clicks further, to be exact ). Very dangerous, if your time is dear to you, but that is no longer necessary.

Mockup by Nirzar Pangarkar / Wikimedia Foundation, CC BY-SA 3.0. Article text from Mona Lisa and Leonardo da Vinci CC BY-SA 3.0. Images, public domain.

The foundation has tested the new feature A / B and they have found that the majority of visitors do not turn off the function and that it leads to fewer page views. This means that the information is usually enough to satisfy the questions or curiosity that a term, word or name evokes. That is a good thing because, in the end, it is Wikipedia’s intention that people gather their information faster. The more efficient that goes, the better. In the end, it is also good for the site itself because fewer pages mean less traffic and fewer costs. And they are already a problem.

We need the money

Speaking of money. You have to know it all by yourself, but if you just like me often Wikipedia used to find out or check something you should also have seen that they just get grubbed there and that they do can use help. As a non-profit organization, it is always wise to get enough money to pay the few paid employees and – not unimportantly – keep the servers up and running.

Less than one percent of the users of the largest encyclopedia in the world donate something. Logical, because everything is free on the internet if you search well enough. However, Wikipedia is one of the few sites where you are not the product, where you do not see ads and where no other funny business is going on. It may seem that they are begging, but that is literally your only choice if you make yourself dependent on the good will of the audience and they always say ‘I should also do it’ and then continue with online shopping. If you have never donated at all, a one-time donation may not be too demanding. In any case, I have donated, because I would not want an internet where the worldwide encyclopedia is run by a commercial party