A recent survey by Yahoo! that polled 1000 people in Japan between the ages of 15 and 59 on varying forms of media and their credibility revealed what we’ve known all along: Wikipedia came in third behind newspaper and radio, and unmistakably ahead of television. Perhaps more surprising is that 2chan came in last, prompting us to believe that the survey only sampled people who leave their rooms on a daily basis.
Such results, should they be representative of the entire population, is a pretty strong indicator of the increasing credibility of Wikipedia as a source of factual information, quelling doubts that an user-edited encyclopedia website would be overrun by disinformation and attention-seeking trolls. Since Japan always tends to be ahead of the curve in its willingness and alacrity at assimilating technology into their daily lives, it may be a good indicator of things to come for the western world, should your own research habits be inadequately convincing.
To read the table above: x-axis is “credibility”, y-axis is “usage amount”, with the size of the circle indicating “usage intent”. The table shows us that after television, search engines and portal sites (like Ningin) fare well, followed by company homepages, specialist forums, Q&A sites (Yahoo Answers?!), magazines, video sharing sites (Nico Nico), personal blogs, social networks, 3D virtual worlds (Second Life), with “general bulletin boards” far in last, no doubt referring to the monstrosity that is 2chan.