Wikis Gone Wild!

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Six years ago, Jimmy Wales introduced Wikipedia with the idea that the internet was for the free sharing of knowledge among, well, everyone. Those who knew something could contribute and edit entries for the benefit of those needing to find out. Since then, Wikipedia has become the go-to place for everyone from elementary school students to blog writers. Although the statistics are phenonemal, the real proof of success is when the knockoffs and parodies show up. Also, plenty of niche-audience sites use the Wikipedia format. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Wikipedia must feel very flattered.

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Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia is sometimes refered to as Wikipedia's empty-headed stepchild. It was launched in January of 2005 as a parody of Wikipedia. Among other things, Uncyclopedia is famous for popularizing the cult of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and for featuring randomly coined "quotes" from Oscar Wilde on many of its entries.

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Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki, was created on March 4, 2005 as a resource for all things in the Star Wars universe. It is considered to be a branch of Wikipedia, but has its own domain due to Wikipedia users' complaints about the "overabundance of minutiae" related to Star Wars on the site.

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Slackerpedia Galactica, factual pages on astronomical topics, but "loaded with humor, jokes, cheesieness and the absurd." This is a fun site. The entry on Pluto is written in the first-person narrative about the planet's demotion to dwarf status, and how he (she?) is taking the news.

MFWikiality.pngWikiality, "the truthiness encyclopedia" was launched by Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert in 2006 shortly after he was banned from Wikipedia for encouraging vandalism.

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Conservapedia, a "conservative encyclopedia you can trust" was founded in November, 2006 in response to an alleged liberal, anti-Christian, and anti-American bias in the articles of Wikipedia. It was created by a group of homeschool students, and has been criticized as innacurate and hypocritical.

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Vidipedia, the free video encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Upload or look up videos in many knowledge-based categories. You can also download or embed videos from Vidipedia.

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Monstropedia, the original open-source bestiary, is the "ultimate online encyclopedia of monsters in myth, magick and legend." It has 716 articles on a range of monsters from dinosaurs to fairies.

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Lostpedia is all about the TV show Lost. Read more about it here.

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Sikipedia, building an online collection of sick jokes was founded by Rob Manuel, with the intention of publishing the collection in book form eventually. Warning: offensive humor.

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My favorite by far is Wickerpedia, the hardwoven plant fibre encyclopedia. What's not to love about this one?

Believe it or not, I got a lot of information about these sites from Wikipedia, still the lodestar of internet information. As I was preparing this article, a song got stuck in my head. I'm sure you'll recognize the tune.

In the wiki wiki wiki wiki wiki room
In the wiki wiki wiki wiki wiki room
All the nerds add words and the emos swoon
In the wiki wiki wiki wiki wiki room

There are more Wikipedia knockoffs out there, I just know it. If you are familiar with any, please tell me about it in the comments.

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April 10, 2007 - 5:00am
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