Erik Moeller wrote:
The other reason I see is that the German world
wide web is a bunch
of crap, and everyone knows that we're one of the best things that
have happened to it in the last 5 years ;-)
Perhaps this is one of the bigger differences... I've had trouble
convincing people that Wikipedia is all that useful, because they just
think "well, I could google for this", and chances are they'd get
something back, maybe even something good. Now obviously we're better
than just googling for an answer, and every day we're getting even
better, but many English-speaking people are used to being able to
find answers to most of their questions online anyway through some
searching, and there is indeed a lot of stuff already out there, so it
takes some more convincing to show them that Wikipedia really *is*
different (and better) than what's already there.
One possible hook is to pick apart a Google result or two, show how
often 90-95% of the results are bogus sites just trying to sell you
something. Small towns in the US are an example - just try to find
the town's home page or date of founding amongst all the "fine motels
in Smallville, Nebraska", and "real estate opportunities in Smallville,
Nebraska". Official websites rarely include anything about the more
sordid parts of a organization's or person's career, and random
informational websites don't have the cross-linking for lookup, nor
any review mechanisms to get the obvious factual errors fixed.
Might be amusing to set up an informal "advertising department"
with pages that compare Wikipedia's better articles to the
other web pages point-by-point. I've seen WP "win" dozens of times
for instance, but have no place to note them down, so they can
be waved at the skeptical.