You Don't Have To Quote Me On It

This morning, a friend sent me a message with a few lines that sounded like a quote from - a song? a poem? - probably expecting that I would get the allusion. I did not recognize it. So, of course, I did a search and it turned up in a number of places. But the one at the top was a site I haven't used in a while, and you may not know exists.

logoThat site is Wikiquote which is a free online compendium of sourced quotations from notable people and creative works in every language. Since it is an offshoot of Wikipedia, it generally includes links to Wikipedia for further information.

You should check out the site, but I would also recommend that you experiment in the sandbox to learn how you can edit pages on the wiki (but your changes are not saved and can't "damage" the wiki). You will need to log in with a free account to start actual contributing to Wikiquote.

You can search categories such as People (Douglas Adams Dante Alighieri Aristotle Emily Bronte  Buddha) or in Literary works (Dune Fahrenheit 451 Leaves of Grass The Little Prince The Lord of the Rings,) or in Films (Groundhog Day Harvey The Hours It's a Wonderful Life Life of Brian) and TV shows, proverbs and themes. Plus, because it is the Web, you will find people with new celebrity quoted there from viral, singing sensation Susan Boyle to the current United States Secretary of the Treasury,Timothy Geithner.

The Community Portal that gives you information on how to contribute to the wiki and a Village Pump area where users post questions.

Though Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotation. Tell me what you know," he also said "A great man quotes bravely, and will not draw on his invention when his memory serves him with a word just as good."

If uou're not a wiki user of any kind, try these quotes on wikis from Ward Cunningham, a computer programmer, who is best known as the inventor of the first wiki, called WikiWikiWeb, and as one of the pioneers in patterns and Extreme Programming.
"Wiki has a feel of brainstorming, though it's not as interactive. You can do 10 minutes of brainstorming, and 30 minutes of analysis of the product of that brainstorming, and have something in 45 minutes. The pace on wiki is slower. You could write a page about an idea, or maybe a page about a bunch of ideas. Then you could come back in a week and see what's developed on that page."

"A wiki is always in the process of being organized. But for every hour spent organizing, two more hours are spent adding new material. So the status quo for a wiki is always partially organized."

"What you get as a wiki reader is access to people who had no voice before."


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