When Wikipedia was launched, I was skeptical. Remembering the early Usenet days, I knew that there were groups of experts who were exceedingly generous with their time and, as a wiki user, I was a big fan of the technology. However, I was doubtful that a project as ambitious as an open source encyclopedia could succeed.
My skepticism has proven wrong. The advantages of the approach (the army of ants, hyperlinks, constant updates, varied perspectives) have triumphed over flame wars, vandalism and mediocrity. True, not every topic is perfect, but 4 million articles later I am ready to proclaim Wikipedia a phenomenal achievement.
I use and reference Wikipedia on a daily basis, and now that it is a Top 20 website in traffic rank with more than 10,000 pages served per second at peak hours, I would guess that my readers use it often as well. Its articles are a great starting point for topics as diverse technology, popular culture and history, and with their Google PageRank, they are easy to find.
Browse the best of Wikipedia like this article on 35mm film or this one on San Francisco or this one on cryptography. And, for the truly addicted, take Wikipedia with you when you are offline with a web pack from webaroo.
Bonus link: Check out Colbert on “wikiality”and bringing democracy to knowledge from the Colbert Report
Bonus news: A Wikipedia founder splits to form Citizendium, an “expert” edited Wikipedia