Jason made a post about how 26% of all search queries on Wikipedia are anime-related. Then, he took it further and proclaimed Wikipedia to become a premier anime website.
Aside from AoD and maybe ANN, there really weren’t any place to find information about anime. Sure, you could hunt through Animesuki’s forums, but that’s pretty dang time inefficient, and you might get dragged into a discussion about Lucky Star. Wikipedia solved a lot of those problems by providing anyone with a template to easily and quickly distribute information– the technology savvy anime fans carved out a huge niche on Wikipedia and set down roots. It became the defacto fact book for anime.
Nonetheless, with 26% of the top searches, I think that pretty much places Wikipedia as the #1 anime website. [...] I go there when I need to research something like Nanoha’s lexican, the ISBNs for Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, symmetrical docking, or the bust sizes of various Mai Hime characters [...]
Proclaiming Wikipedia to be the #1 anime website by looking at the breakdown of its own search terms is a bad lapse of logic. But beyond that, he is right: Wikipedia is where miscellaneous information can be found. Traditionally, fan sites performed that functon, and I think they still do. But Wikipedia essintially provides free hosting. It’s the Geocities of our time, without intrusive ads.
Still, I find myself looking at Wikipedia only rarely. The major reason why is that most of what I need is provided by ANN Encyclopedia. It is run “almost exactly but not quite” like Wikipedia. Wikipedia has the advantage of immediacy: A few weeks ago I edited the article about Stellvia, and my edits still stand. ANN also has user input, but in the form of corrections, such as when I corected their article about Rocket Girls. So, ANN loses here, but not by much. But it also has the advantage of being well structured. I often use their indexes instead of googling.
At least for me, specialized sites still go strong, and are going to continue doings so for the foreseeable future.
Update: There’s a good perspective at how the sousage is made, by Kelly Martin (I’m linking Advogato because Kelly’s own blog has no “previous” link and the whole series of posts has to be seen to appreciate it).