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Pest Analysis of Online Wikipedia
Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that constitutes varied information from different parts of the world. The information added in Wikipedia can be edited by anyone from any part of the world making it free from being bias in terms of language or location. The wide coverage which attracts different opinion from different parts of the world makes Wikipedia to be an encyclopedia as it incorporates all these ideas into one. This makes Wikipedia a place to meet and share knowledge on various areas of education from different parts of the world and thus enhancing knowledge development (Andler, 2012).
Wikipedia has also been integrated with a wide variety of languages from all parts of the world (Gondek, 2011). This provides an opportunity for a person to post his information in the language that he prefers and which in turn can be understood by a certain ethnic group of people. It also makes Wikipedia to cross-cut across so many cultures and thus attracting a wide community to add or edit information (Kubiak & Benbow, 2009).
It also covers many other different topics focusing on different aspects of research that could not be found easily in ordinary websites and databases. Wikipedia foundation developed the Mediawiki software that stores all the information contained within the Wikipedia website. The software can also track down all the editing that are done to the documents thus researchers can access previous edited information. It has extensions to other Wikipedia sites since it can store large amount of data (Tiffany & Peterson, 2010).
Since Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, it does not involve any paper work and thus reducing the cost of publishing books to researchers (Andler, 2012). On the other hand, it is limited since a person willing to post information to its website or edit the already available information has to have access to a computer connected to the internet. Wikipedia also saves the cost of travelling to do research or seek information since a person can obtain the information easily from this large encyclopedia even from the place he desires.
Wikipedia also does not require any subscription charges to access its information and this makes its information cheaply available to anyone at any time (Gondek, 2011). It provides non-monetary awards to appreciate the members who make exemplary contributions. This involves sending a five-pointed “burn star” to the person in order to appreciate him (Fortenberry, 2010).
Wikipedia provides freely available information to all members in the internet. This allows the expansion of knowledge by interested people from different parts of the world. This has helped Wikipedia to grow extensively with information more than other encyclopedia sites such as Britannica. According to Pradhan (2009), Wikipedia has attracted a large number of people from all over the world who meet in Wikipedia to read, write or edit the already existing information. Wikipedia is well integrated with the search engines such as the Yahoo, Google and Microsoft network (Msn) whereby it appears among the first items in the list of the displayed results (Qin, 2009).
This is because it contains a large database of information that has been updated all over the world. Its thus provides an easy way to search even to those who are not well vast with the internet searching. Wikipedia is a political free website (Ward & Daniel, 2006). Any political comments or information posted in the website does not have an influence to other areas. This is more strengthened by the fact that Wikipedia is not a 100 percent reliable source.
Allowing anyone to edit the work makes Wikipedia to easily fall in the trap of vandalism of information (Prunckun, 2010). Some people can edit information even without having done any research. Wikipedia does not have a limit of who should edit and who should not. Some people have taken over this opportunity to put misleading information in the website and even in already edited information. This brings about the occurrence of common errors, information gaps and misleading information. However, Wikipedia foundation has managed to develop software that automatically corrects some of these errors.
Another weakness is the editing of the information in the form of consensus (Berger, 2011). This method involves coming into an agreement of the right information through continued editing by various people. This may also take many years before particular information is agreed upon to be true since the editors are located far away from each other.
Another threat is from other online encyclopedias like Britannica which are more reliable than Wikipedia. This is because they are managed by a group of experts who are paid to do so. The editing of the information on these other encyclopedias is also done by experts rather than any individual (Chapman, 2011). Despite the small fee charged for the use of their resources, their information is more reliable and researchers may shift to them if Wikipedia is no longer trustworthy.
According to Haberer (2011), Wikipedia lacks authority and accountability of the information that it withholds as it is posted or edited by anyone. This makes Wikipedia not to have rule over what is published on the website and it cannot account for any errors, information gaps or misleading information obtained from its website. This may make it less preferred in comparison to other online and printed encyclopedias that have both the authority and are accountable of their information.
Wikipedia should try and device a way of controlling the information from vandalism especially the already completed work that is incorporated with unreliable information by malicious people. These will make the information available on Wikipedia more reliable and researchers can be motivated to post more of their findings on its website. This will together help combat errors that are made during typing. Wikipedia should also develop more software to enhance its continued competition to other like encyclopedias. This will also enable easy search and also linkage to other sites where the required information can be easily obtained in case it is not available in Wikipedia or it is insufficient (Naoum, 2001).
A better and faster method of arriving at an agreement over a certain research should be developed to avoid discussions taking too many years before an agreement is reached. This will motivate researchers and those updating information to it more frequently since they know an agreement of the right information will be arrived at very soon. This may involve person to person online talks as is the case with social sites between two or more individuals. The organization should also device a smart system to ensure that some parts requiring to provide accurate information can only be updated and edited by professionals who are specialists in that particular area.
Wikipedia may also control the way the information is published on its website to avoid armature publication which highly affects the quality of the information on the website. This is because some people just express their views or ideas without having researched or thought about them first. It should be a requirement for the people editing or posting a comment or new information to conduct a thorough research, a person may be required to log into an account which should be assigned after thorough scrutiny so as to eliminate misinforming content on the Wikipedia database. This will enhance a good follow-up of the commentator.
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Porters PEST Analysis Table.
|Rival||Entry||Buyer and demand||Suppliers||Substitutes|
|5 forces today||It is free to obtain information from it.||It has captured a large share of the market because of its free rate.||It is free to obtain information from it and thus easily affordable by many.||It is free to upload or edit information to anyone who is willing.||It is a free encyclopedia managed by volunteers and less people may be willing to come up with such.|
|Political||It is non political||It is an open source to anyone.||Information is politically unbiased in anyway.||Information is politically unbiased.||Information is freely available to anyone to read and edit.|
|Economic||It is free to access the information||There are no charges for using the information||Information is obtained freely by anyone.||Information is offered freely to anyone who needs.||It is well established therefore cannot be easily substituted.|
|Social||It comprises many languages||It is well spread to all parts of the world||A person can obtain information in the language he desire||A person can post information in the language he desires||Due to it being multilingual, it is well rooted in all parts.|
|Technological||It is well integrated with search engines e.g. Yahoo, Google etc.||There is continued innovation for more advanced software e.g. mediawiki||A person can easily obtain information from the website during research.||A researcher can easily post or edit information on the website||Since anyone can edit the information, it cannot be easily substituted.|
|5 forces future||Continued provision of more reliable information increases market share pushing off competitors||The size and positioning in the market put off new entrant to compete as they may need to invest heavily to obtain the set standards.||Holding of quality and reliable information due to extensive researches done to fill current information gaps.||Ease of exchange of ideas to enhance update of comprehensively researched reports uploaded on the website.||Technological advancement by software trainees makes it overcome current and future problems that may arise due to malicious behaviors and also handling of large volume of data.|
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