I love Wikipedia. There I’ve said it. While it may be dismissed out of hand in academia, for the everyman it has become an indispensable tool, primarily when it comes to avoiding ridicule. Where actually is Budapest? Wikipedia. What does FIFO stand for, again? Wikipedia. Who on earth is Thomas Piketty? All together now, Wikipedia.
However as useful as Wikipedia is, I soon found that it had its limits. While it is able to tell you who Sepp Blatter is (a Swiss football administrator), in doing so it relies on words to communicate meaning. I found myself thinking, what if I didn’t understand words? How would I possibly even use Wikipedia? I myself would sometimes not know the meaning of a word in a Wikipedia entry (e.g. administrator), leaving me feeling lost, confused, and unable to find the meaning of that word anywhere on Wikipedia!
It was this mixture of general concern and personal experience that inspired me to start Wikiwordia – Wikipedia, but for the words of Wikipedia. While this may be a startling concept, it has caught popular imagination, and new users have been joining at a rate of knots.
Far from a competitor, Wikiwordia is the perfect companion for Wikipedia. If you are stumped for the meaning of a word, our Wikiwordia app can tell you what that word means. For example if, while browsing through Wikipedia pages, you come across a difficult word like “Dictionary” in Samuel Johnson’s entry, and can’t quite recall that word’s meaning, simply click on it, and Wikiwordia’s API interfaces automatically with Wikipedia to help you out (indeed I must do so myself! Words are tricky, aren’t they?)
As well as constantly refining the app, and most importantly building up an exhaustive list of Wikinitions based on our own proprietary research, we are also constantly building out additional services, in response to requests from our users. For example we are currently developing sub-app-app Wikiwikiwordia, for those people who don’t understand words they find in Wikiwordia.
Like Wikipedia, Wikiwordia is a non-profit. Where Wikipedia “exists to bring knowledge to everyone who seeks it”, Wikiwordia exists to bring knowledge of the words of Wikipedia to everyone who needs it. With your help and continued support, I hope that we can do that.