Wikipedia Adds Page Previews To Links For Faster Browsing

Wikipedia is making browsing even easier and faster by adding Page Previews to links on its pages.

Wikipedia just added a useful new feature called Page Previews. Now, it’s even easier to browse through the world’s largest online encyclopedia.

Browsing through the pages of Wikipedia is informative but if you’re like me, you could go down a rabbit hole. You could be wasting time clicking on links and articles that are useless or unrelated ones.

With the new feature, users can see a preview of the article behind the link including an image and a few sentences. When you hover the mouse over a link, a pop-up shows the preview. Simply move over the mouse and the pop-up disappears. This’ll help you decide if you want to click on the article or continue reading.

Adding the preview allows users to “clarify a confusing or unknown topic without the burden of opening a new page and navigating back to the original.”

According to the Wikimedia Foundation, this is “one of the largest changes to desktop Wikipedia made in recent years.”

The feature has actually been around for a while as an A/B testing. Through the test, Wikimedia found out that a lot users did not disable the feature. According to them, “each reader is interacting with the content of more pages while navigating the site.”

This is indeed very helpful. Now, I don’t have to open multiple tabs just to understand one single article. Good job Wikipedia!

Wikipedia protests SOPA / PIPA, plans 24-hour blackout

Wikipedia has announced that they will be shutting down their website (English-language) for a full day in response to the SOPA and PIPA legislation. The shutdown will begin Wednesday midnight )Washington DC time).

Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, announced this over his Twitter account.

The Wikipedia’s page will be replaced by a page that calls for people to call and write Congress. Wales was hoping that the calls would “melt phone systems” in the nations capital.

According to Comscore, the English-language Wikipedia has an estimated 25 million visitors a day worldwide. It currently ranks as the sixth most popular website in the world behind Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo! and Amazon.

To students, Jimmy Wales tweeted that they better do their homework early as the site will be offline for 24 hours.

Wikipedia is one of the more popular online encyclopedia’s out there.

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Google tops list of most visited sites for 2011

This year was another banner year for search engine giant Google. And according to the market research giant Nielsen, Google came out on top of all the websites as the top internet destinations this year.

According to the report, Google had 153.4 million unique visitors per month on the average. While Facebook, who by the way came in second, only had 137.6 million.

With 130.1 million unique visitors monthly, Yahoo came in at 3rd. Microsoft’s WindowsLive/Bing/MSN and YouTube completed the top 5.

Here is a complete breakdown of the top 10 with their corresponding average monthly unique visitors:

  1. Google 153,441,000

  2. Facebook 137,644,000

  3. Yahoo! 130,121,000

  4. MSN/WindowsLive/Bing 115,890,000

  5. YouTube 106,692,000

  6. Microsoft 83,691,000

  7. AOL Media Network 74,633,000

  8. Wikipedia 62,097,000

  9. Apple 61,608,000

  10. Ask Search Network 60,552,000

Nielsen also added that Facebook is the most preferred social networking site by the Americans having about 137,6444,000 unique monthly visitors per month. While Blogger was the most preferred blog site in the U.S.. Twitter followed Facebook and WordPress came in second after Blogger.

There was no surprise when Nielsen revealed that YouTube lorded over its rivals. The video sharing website topped the list with 111,152,000 average unique video viewers per month. It was followed by VEVO who lagged behind YouTube with 34,580,000.

Verizon drops Google and others, users aren’t happy

In move that is part of a five-year search and advertising deal between Microsoft and Verizon in January of this year, the carrier unilaterally updated user Storm 2 Blackberries and other smartphones so that now, only Microsoft Bing is available.

“We’re a proud supporter of Microsoft’s Bing search engine,” a company spokesman tells The Register. “On a couple of select smartphones (Storm 2 the most prominent), we’ve changed the [Verizon Wireless]-supplied web menu to make Bing the default search engine.”

Before, by the default, the search box could be set to search Google, Wikipedia, and other sites. Now, users will have to visit these sites via the browser to have access.

Users aren’t happy though. In a thread about the Verizon’s recent change at the CrackBerry, posts have now reached 36 pages long, and it doesn’t contain a lot of happy messages either. Other Verizon forums contain similar complaints too.

“Yesterday, all of the search providers that used to be available through the browser disappeared and bing is the only option. I hate bing. I no longer am able to search using Google,, or Wikipedia from the ‘Go to…’ page on my browser. This is a very poor decision…to take choice away from their users,” the first post says.


Wikipedia changes “anyone can edit” policy

Anyone can write and edit in any article in Wikipedia right? Wrong.

Well, it was free for all before the online encyclopedia changed their come-one-come-all-invitation-to-write-and-edit policy on some of the entries.

Now, Wikipedia are putting limits on some of the articles that can be edited. With “flagged revisions”, editors are required to “sign off” on the edits before the articles can go live.

The previous freedom that users had in adding and editing articles gave way to Wikipedia’s fame in the internet world. However, it also caused them some well-publicized problems especially when it came to entries about living people, including false information and vandalisms.

“We are no longer at the point that it is acceptable to throw things at the wall and see what sticks,” Michael Snow, Wikimedia’s board chairman told  The New York Times.

“There was a time probably when the community was more forgiving of things that were inaccurate or fudged in some fashion — whether simply misunderstood or an author had some ax to grind. There is less tolerance for that sort of problem now,” he added.

The change will soon be implemented on Wikipedia’s English version articles of living people.


Hewlett Foundation bestows half a million grant to Wikimedia

Wow, the people from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation sure have big hearts!

Since 2001,  the foundation has bestowed more than $100 million in grants to make educational materials available to all people for free. And they’re not stopping yet.

The nonprofit organization that runs Wikipedia has just received a$500,000 grant from the foundation to help the org expand its efforts to make educational information freely accessible.

In a statement released by Barbara Chow, director of the educating program at Hewlett, the foundation expressed their reason for choosing to bestow the grant on Wikimedia.

“The enormous popularity of Wikipedia and its collaborative premise make the Wikimedia Foundation an ideal vehicle for spreading the open educational resources movement,” she said.

The folks at Wikimedia are very grateful for the grant as this came at a “critical time” for the  foundation.

“We’ve just begun the planning that will help us identify how to maximize our impact around the world,” the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation Sue Gardner, explained in their own the statement. “This support will help us to execute our priorities for the current year, and enable us to plan for the future.”

Pretty cool of them huh? Let’s hope other multi-billion companies follow suit and share some too. 😉


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