Wall Street Journal Hosts Britannica VS Wikipedia Debate

Almost anyone who's ever spent a few minutes with Wikipedia can start appreciate the vast wealth of knowledge the site has to offer. Though the free encyclopedia is open to a whole host of problems, such as inaccurate information, questionable sources, and vandalism, its popularity continues to grow. Even with all the site's problems, the information on most articles is fairly accurate, as there are many respectable users who have taken up the job of keeping the service clean, and the information inside accurate.

Is it better than Britannica though? This issue has been brought up before, and the argument probably won't be laid to rest for some time, if ever. The two main viewpoints on the issue are very different. On the one hand, you could argue that Wikipedia is the better encyclopedia, as it's large user base can help ensure accuracy of information. Also with the way the service works, information on the site can be entered in instantaneously. However, the information found in Britannica can be more thoroughly researched, almost guaranteeing accurate information.

As Ars Technica reports, the Wall Street Journal has taken up the task of allowing Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales, and Britannica's Dale Hoiberg debate about which is the better way to go.

"For Wales, "openness" at all levels is the sine qua non of the highest levels of quality, and the openness he has in mind is one wherein anonymity is both cherished and respected. Part and parcel with this, Wales argues that the open nature of Wikipedia means that it can draw better contributors than can Britannica. Wales' arguments, at their core, rest upon the age-old idea that two heads are better than one. Alongside this, there's a notion that convenience and ideology both draw people to contribute to Wikipedia. With regards to the latter, there can be little debate. The rest is open season."