How you can you use Wikipedia to find your path to your muse
Wikipedia is the online encyclopedia written by “everyone” that offers up a wealth of information and sources that can help spur your creativity. Whether you need it as a reference tool to keep rolling with your current creative project, or need inspiration for your next big idea, Wikipedia is there for you to utilize.
I love using Wikipedia, so much so, I actually feel compelled to occasionally hit the donate button. I remember back before there were computers in every home and little internet browsers that fit neatly in your pocket. Back in those days, if you wanted to find out about a particular subject you needed to get your hands on a set of encyclopedias. If you were lucky, you lived in the kind of house that had been talked into getting a set. If you were like my family, all you had was a random set of lettered books that your parents had found at various garage sales, which were a bit older than the swanky new set that the salesman was showing off, but helped in a pinch, if you were alphabetically selective enough.
For those of you who were not around during these days of freewheeling encyclopedia salesmen, where free information was subject to library hours, let me tell you a little bit about these encyclopedia sets. These things were books that contained articles written by various experts that a reader can reference for generalized information. What was really neat about these books was that the usually contained a list of other references that a person could look up to find more in depth information about the subject. This made a fairly up to date encyclopedia a valuable resource for a young student who wanted to get better than a C+ on their history report on the abolitionist John Brown.
Thanks to the information age, those days of needing to buy a new encyclopedia in order to find good sources of inspirational information are gone. While all the famous encyclopedias are still around having gone online offering easy to access up to date articles written by experts, Wikipedia has revolutionized how people find and obtain information. It is an open site, which means everyone, even non experts can add and edit content. While this openness might disqualify it as an academic source, it also allows it to be packed with all kind of information on just about every subject from Rock Stars to Geology.
More importantly, there are numerous links to other Wikipedia articles that allow you to go off on a tangent and explore other subject matter. Even more importantly, there are those sources at the end of the article that can take you to other sites that offer more detailed information, and further potential creative inspiration.