Wikipedia is an amazing idea, which I strongly support. Unfortunately I believe it has reached a maturity stage with a somewhat disappointing outcome.
On one side there is a lot of articles, covering probably more than any encyclopedia did before, and many of those are of good quality. This makes Wikipedia a great source of information and probably the first place to look for answers for many of us.
On the other hand I believe the quality of the majority of articles is far from that of an encyclopedic knowledge. And that is the troublesome part after so many years. It probably illustrates the herculean task that is the creation an encyclopedia. But I believe it also reflects the inherent problem of an incentive free encyclopedia: most of us will just search for information on Wikipedia. If the information is not there we will go somewhere else but won't had it to the Wikipedia page once we found it. I also realize that another more subtle problem is limiting Wikipedia: it is relatively common to have only a handful of editors active on a given article with very specific opinions as to what can go or not go into that article, with their own set of rules (contradicting Wikipedia's). It has created surrealistic situations where the history of a place is partially censored, the definition of a profession is limited to exclude people associated with a less favorable image or an airport page to not mention any of the airlines associated with it. All on purpose.
My understanding of Wikipedia's hope for those problems is that being transparent and open to anyone, an article will eventually "regulate" itself toward an encyclopedic coverage of the subject. But here again, the few of us that add that missing information will have to spend an incredible amount of time to pass the obstacles created by those article-specific rules from that handful of "local" editors.
In a more naive look at it, a commercial encyclopedia has a pressure to create something as exhaustive as possible otherwise it will be tagged as partial or non-encyclopedic and economically will not succeed. Wikipedia does not have any pressure and develops in the direction where the most determined editor stands. Not where the majority opinion stands.
Unfortunately I am clueless as to how this can be improved. But even so I will continue with my occasional contributions, but mostly limiting them to areas where opinions have little of an impact, I hope!!
Articles I created:
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