Sunday, 4 September 2016


The Best of Wikipedia: 5 Apps to Find Weird or Interesting Articles
By Mihir Patkar,
Make Use Of, 3 September 2016.

The world’s favorite encyclopedia, Wikipedia, has changed how we access information. It’s free, it’s regularly updated, and it has more articles than any other storehouse of knowledge. But it can also be entertainment.

In the past, we dove deep into the well to find insanely weird Wikipedia articles. Given its publicly editable nature, Wikipedia has writings that will shock you, make you laugh, or just go, “WTF?”

Finding these bizarre articles isn’t as tough as you might think. Like with everything else, there’s an app or site for that.

1. Endless: Find New Articles, Richly Formatted for Beautiful Reading

If you use an iPhone, Endless (iOS) is going to be your new favorite app. It is the perfect execution of a simple idea. That idea is to help readers find interesting articles on Wikipedia, while at the same time making Wikipedia beautiful.

Everyone knows that Wikipedia’s design is a bit old-school, so Endless improves how words and images appear. It feels like a smoother, richer reading experience.

Most of the articles are hand-picked by the editors, and will give you just the amount of information you would want to know. If you’d like to know more, the full entry and related links are a click away.

Download: Endless for iOS (US$0.99)

2. Wikiverse: See the Connections, Browse the Universe

One of the great joys of Wikipedia is getting lost down its information rabbit hole. You start reading one article, you click an interesting link in that, and one more, and one more. Pretty soon you are far away from where you started, but enthralled reading about fascinating people on Wikipedia.

Owen Cornec loved this as well. So he set about plotting over 250,000 articles like a map of the universe, show their interconnections. If two articles are closely linked, they will be closely plotted on the map. As editors change the Wikipedia articles, they might drift apart or grow closer together.

It’s a beautiful look at the relationship between information. So go for a ride through the Wikipedia universe (Web), checking the top 25 entries or just float around.

3. Weeklypedia: The Most Edited Articles, Every Week

What makes Wikipedia great is that anyone can edit an entry. It’s actually a neat way to find out “trending” topics, since those are more likely to receive edits. However, there is no easy way to find these trends.

Weeklypedia (Web) is your best bet as it gathers the top 25 most edited articles or discussions every week. Yup, you’ll get those pointless but entertaining Wikipedia edit wars. These are then sent as an email blast to subscribers every Friday or you can visit the site and check them out too.

It’s a simple list of which article was edited how many times by how many authors. But that simple list ends up being a way to see what you should be reading about these days. This is an email newsletter that’s worth subscribing to.

4. /r/Wikipedia: User-Submitted Interesting Wiki Reads

Yup, Reddit can be productive if you know how to use it right. The community at /r/Wikipedia (Web) has almost 150,000 subscribers and loads of regular contributors. And all of them have the same agenda: find and share fascinating links on Wikipedia.

Users update the subreddit every day, so you’re bound to find something new to read all the time. If you know how to use Reddit effectively, this will quickly become your favorite new source of entertainment.

You really should subscribe to it on official or unofficial Reddit mobile apps. It makes for the perfect read when you are commuting or just need to pass five minutes of your time.

5. The Wiki Game: Turn Learning into a Quick Game

The Wiki Game (Web, iOS) is a brilliant educational game for kids and adults. At its core, it’s all about connecting two Wikipedia articles. How you connect them is where the game comes in.

So play a game of six degrees of separation with two randomly generated Wikipedia articles. Or get into the real-time speed race to beat the clock (and other opponents). There are also challenges where you don’t use a certain search term.

As you play the game this, you’ll find plenty of cool Wikipedia articles that are well worth reading. In fact, you might surprise yourself with how knowledgeable you are!

Download: The Wiki Game for iPhone (US$0.99) or for iPad (US$0.99)

Top gif image: Wikiverse. Credit: Created from Owen Cornec/YouTube.

[Source: Make Use Of. Edited. Top image added.]

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