My wife and I were fortunate to partake in a tremendous experience while traveling through Australia for three weeks. Mobile technology (both Android and Apple) and Online Services always traveled right along with us. We used our tablets to:
• Navigate with Google
• Conduct research on Trip Advisor
• Communicate with friends, family and work
I also did a lot of note taking with Evernote, and some diary writing with Day One. Overall it was a very satisfying experience – unobtrusive computing helped us to have a better experience.
But one service truly disappointed me: Wikipedia. We tried to look up travel related information as well as random topics we had been discussing while on the road. I found the overall quality of the experience disappointing and, in a way, outdated.
Lack of curation
Content-wise, a lot of Wikipedia articles felt incomplete or, to be more precise, I wasn’t given the opportunity to to delve deeper into the topic. Links below the articles were often outdated or were simply not adding further information. The curation of links and additional material was clearly an issue.
Lack of visual content
Furthermore, we were missing relevant visual content. While there is an explosion of visual content created in Content Marketing Initiatives for Social Media, there is simply not enough visual content in Wikipedia. How far better could our experience with Wikipedia be if we could have more video, relevant pictures and perhaps some infographics to help us to understand things better?
Lack of context
Google Now became a vital part of our mobile experience while traveling, and is proving its ability to improve in providing useful content. Compared to Goole Now, Wikipedia felt, in a way, dumb. Knowledge and context belong together and I was missing an integration of Wikipedia in my Maps App. How great would it be to get hyper-local knowledge on Wikipedia?
Overall I believe we need a push for Wikipedia content in order to keep it relevant. Who will be the company that decides to tackle this problem?