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08 November 2005

Printing Wikipedia, An Inverse Google Print

"Entries from Wikipedia, the popular free online encyclopedia written and edited by Internet users, may soon be available in print for readers in the developing world, founder Jimmy Wales said on Monday. He said content from the Web site may also be burned onto CD's and DVD's so computer users in places like Africa, who lack access to high-speed Internet, could consult parts of the reference work offline", CNN But do you really think that printing it is a good idea? I believe that one of the major advantages of Wikipedia is that it can be live updated with the most recent topics every day. Also since it is edited by anyone at any time - which helps in correcting any error s soon as it is detected - it needs to be error free before publishing it on some static media like a printed books, or CD's. Finally, I don't think that publishing it on paper can be cheaper than a Dial-up Internet connection in most of the developing countries. Tags: , ,


  1. Go for it. Nowadays people who are designing and building stuff for the web are all on big screens, fast computers and fast connections. Most of the developing world is still on dial-up and slow computers with bad screens. For the slow world, hard copy or CD-ROM versions are just what is needed.
    For many of the people who use Wikipedia print or CD-ROM edition, this may be the first encyclopedia they ever have access to, so the concern about the quality of some pieces is a little comparable to saying you shouldn’t give free copies of Microsoft Windows to the developing world because it still has some glitches. Wikipedia will have some glitches but it is a fabulous resource, and the great thing about a little bit of wisdom is that it makes people smarter. Hopefully in the end, the user can decide what information is good and what isn’t.

  2. I think that Internet connections are everywhere now. And each one who can get a PC will have at least a dial-up connection there. Also printed books are sure more expensive. I am expecting a book with that size to be in the range of $100 to $200.

  3. But it changes the very fundamentals of what wikipedia is, which is an immediate and dynamic response to the world. The minute you put it down on paper it becomes permanent, unlike a Wikipedia entry