Last night I was sitting on the couch with my computer on my lap and a cat stretched out on my lower legs. With no desire to move, I was spending my time surfing the Web. Eventually I ended up at Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, figuring I'd read some random articles and perhaps even learn something.
I often use Wikipedia to research things, but I always go straight to the information I'm looking for. Since I didn't have a destination this time, I started at the main page, where I found all kinds of interesting stuff: a featured article and picture, some current events, links to some of the newest articles, and a list of "on this day" anniversaries. Wow! Just reading all this information could keep me busy for hours.
Down at the bottom of the page were links to Wikipedia's sister projects, other online collaboratives. I had no idea there was so many user-edited projects bundled together. The content of some of them were pretty easy to figure out by their name: Wiktionary is a dictionary, Wikinews is a news source that anyone can write for, and Wikiquote is a collection of quotations.
However, some of the projects were a bit harder to figure out by their title. Wikisource is a free library. Wikiversity gathers educational materials and activities. Wikimedia Commons is a repository of images, sounds, and videos. Wikibooks collects free educational textbooks and learning materials. Wikispecies is a directory of species. There's even a Meta-Wiki which is devoted to the coordination of all the Wikimedia projects.
Now that I know all this content is out there, when I have time to kill 'llI know where I can go for some interesting reading.