wikiHow Offers Nearly 200,000 How-To Articles

By Pack, Thomas | Information Today, June 2018 | Go to article overview

wikiHow Offers Nearly 200,000 How-To Articles


Pack, Thomas, Information Today


Want to know how to hang a large painting, repair a tire with a nail in it, or apply hippie makeup? Or maybe you'd rather learn how to keep spiders out of your house, check your pulse on a smartwatch, get sweat stains out of hats, move to Australia, or care for a Colombian boa constrictor.

You can find step-by-step instructions for these tasks and about 193,000 more at wikiHow (wiki how.com), the popular how-to website that calls itself "a worldwide collaboration of thousands of people focused on one goal: teaching anyone in the world how to do anything."

How to Build a How-To Site

Programmer and entrepreneur Jack Herrick wanted to create an online how-to manual with accurate, up-to-date instructions in multiple languages on every imaginable topic. He and a partner bought eHow when it was in the process of going bankrupt in the early 2000s. eHow's articles were from professional writers, but Herrick envisioned the site as a wiki, with articles written and edited by a community of volunteers, so he launched wikiHow on Jan. 15, 2005, which was Wikipedia's 4th birthday.

Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., wikiHow is now available in 17 languages, and it's won many awards, including a Webby Award for Community. Of course, there are potential dangers in relying on web-based information that can be written by anyone, anywhere, but wikiHow strives to publish reliable advice. According to the site, the average article has been edited by 23 people and reviewed by 16 others.

In addition, articles posted with a green checkmark have received another layer of review. For instance, a green checkmark on a medical article means it has been reviewed by a physician. Similarly, lawyers review legal articles, and veterinarians review articles about pets.

Overall, the site is the combined effort of "thousands of volunteers, the largest team of illustrators on the web, hundreds of photographers, and over 100 credentialed experts," according to wikiHow. …

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wikiHow Offers Nearly 200,000 How-To Articles
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