November 14, 2005

More Find Online Encyclopedia Is Handy
NY Times

By several measures, the user-written online encyclopedia Wikipedia 
( has exploded in popularity over the last year. The 
Internet traffic-measurement firm Nielsen//NetRatings found that Wikipedia 
had more than tripled its monthly readership in September from the same 
month in 2004. September may have been a month of especially heavy usage 
for Wikipedia: the site does better during major news events, and September 
saw both the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the confirmation of John G. 
Roberts Jr. as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court.

But Wikipedia's popularity is not limited to periods of big news. 
Intelliseek, a marketing-research firm that measures online buzz, has found 
that the term Wikipedia is consistently used by bloggers - about twice as 
often as the term "encyclopedia" - and showed up in roughly one out of 
every 600 blog posts last month; it was one of every 3,300 posts in October 

"For bloggers, it's almost like a badge of credibility to embed Wikipedia 
in their blog references," said Pete Blackshaw, chief marketing officer for 
Intelliseek. "There's something about Wikipedia that confers a degree of 
respectability, because multiple Web users have converged on it."

George Antunes, Political Science Dept
University of Houston; Houston, TX 77204
Voice: 713-743-3923  Fax: 713-743-3927
antunes at uh dot edu

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