Alright lets get this over with...I am not a fan of Wikipedia. I work in a high school library and I am daily reminding students that Widipedia is not a reputable source of information. I often get the response "what the big deal?" "its so easy to use," and the ever popular "why" said in that delightful teen whiny voice.
Wikipedia itself touts the premise that it is the "free encyclopedia that anyone can edit." (Wikiepidia) There lies the problem, anyone can edit it and add information that might sound true but is completely false. When someone uses Wikipedia for their main source of information will they dig further to find out if the statements are true? Wikipedia does check the information posted and others will flag information that is questionable or wrong but it is a huge undertaking and inaccurate information can remain on a page for months before finding out. Take for instance back in December 2009 reports were made that Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh was hospitalized, shortly there after Wikipedia updated his page stating that he died(Spiering 2009). They quickly retracted the obituary but the rumors about his death circulated for days. While this is a glaring inaccurate fact that was quickly changed, smaller bits of information are often undetected.
I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert of Irish Dance. I have lived and breathed Irish Dance for almost six years. I search the Internet for information, we compete in competitions and I gather information from others who have been in this "sport" for much longer than I. After my initial review of Irish Dance on Wikipedia I found it to be accurate without glaring misinformation. It was a generalization of the history and a surface description of the shoes, styles and music. It would not be my choice for gathering information as there are much better written sites on history and styles of Irish Dance on the web.
Spiering, Charlie. (2009 Dec 31). Wikipedia pronounced Rush Limbaugh dead. The Washington Examiner. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Wikipedia-Pronounced-Rush-Limbaugh-Dead-80429962.html