What Wikipedia and SEAL have in common
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think about: When was the last time you went to the library? I’m guessing your answer would be ‘a while ago’ – I know I personally haven’t been in years.
Now, imagine you have a question – let’s say, what is the official language of Switzerland? And imagine yourself 20 years ago, what would you have done? You’d have probably went to the library, or you’d have called a super smart friend.
Luckily, we’re in 2019, so now we can google anything. And the first links that I get when searching for the official language of Switzerland are directing me towards Wikipedia.
Yes, Wikipedia revolutionized the way we access information, and also the way we learn. We’ve all heard of it, clicked it, browsed it, challenged it, but do we know what it really is?
Wikipedia’s initial goal was a very radical idea: a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to all human knowledge. It was launched on January 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. Wikipedia is a freely licensed encyclopedia – you can copy its content, redistribute it, and you can do so commercially or non-commercially.
- In 2003, The Wikimedia Foundation was established, a charitable organization that actually operates Wikipedia together with other WW educational projects.
- In 2004 appeared the earliest court opinions to cite and quote Wikipedia – a major step for them, being recognized by a court of low as an official information source.
- In 2005, Wikipedia became the most popular reference website on the Internet, according to Hitwise.
- In June 2011, there were more than 11 million articles in all Wikipedias and 6 million in the English version
And Wikipedia grew. It now includes over 40 million usable articles in 293 languages that have been written by over 4 million registered users and numerous anonymous contributors worldwide.
When you think about the main features that make Wikipedia such an amazingly useful tool, here are top 3 that come to mind, and all 3 of them also apply to SEAL, our Content Management Solution:
1. They are searchable
From Wikipedia’s foundation, all of its content was made accessible to web crawlers and search engines.
Wikipedia’s powerful presence as the internet’s eighth most-popular website gives all its pages very heavy weighting in search engine rankings.
With SEAL you can actually search all your company’s content, if that content was correctly indexed (to be read ‚it was tagged with metadata’). Imagine you have to search for something an ex-colleague of yours did 6 years ago. Would you like to find that document?
If your answer is yes, then you’re on the right track with a tool like SEAL, that can easily find any type of document.
You have the possibility of applying advanced search criteria (fussy search, character substitution), and even build your own search criteria through few clicks, even if you’re not an IT specialist.
Wikipedia has keywords, SEAL has metadata.
2. They are based on collaboration
Wikipedia achieved their current place due to collaboration. More than 4 million registered users and numerous anonymous contributors worldwide contribute to the Wikipedia encyclopedia. This wouldn’t have been possible without using collaboration.
The same applies with SEAL: all persons entering content into the application have to tag it accordingly, use the right metadata, so that in the future other colleagues will be able to find that information with a simple search. It only works if all people who’re using it follow the rules.
3. You can find information instantly
With Wikipedia or with SEAL, you can find what you’re looking for instantly. You simply use the search window and type the info that you wish to find, weather is:
- By document name or by its content
- By what the information is related to (the context)
- By how the content is handled or processed
- From any device
There are no long minutes or hours to get to what matters to you: your information. Slight problem: on Wikipedia you will not find the updated Accounts Payable – trust me, I’ve searched. But you can and will find this info if you’re part of the Finance Team and you’re using SEAL.
Depending on your role, you have unlimited navigation browsing perspectives: the same content displayed differently using metadata power.
Have I captured your interest?
Before you go, in case you were wondering, the official languages of Switzerland are German, French, Italian and Romansh.