Let's for a second look at other factual
(or "factual") works that people rely on: dictionaries
s. I'm not only going to show that E2 is almost identical in its form
to those literary form
s, but that if you have a problem with this in a hypermedium, the answer is a radical overhaul of our metadata management.
Consider the Encyclopedia: a collection of short articles summarising topics. Organised by title in alphabetic order, and searched by title. Uses "see also"'s to reference other articles. E2 nodes are searched by title, but often found using links within other articles. E2 also associates author metadata, and original date metadata with articles. Votes are also a form of metadata. As authors can be traced and called-up on the content of their nodes, E2 WU should be more accurate than the anonymous write-ups in an encyclopedia. E2 nodes also have a guide as to how old (and hence out-of-date) they are, which encyclopedia entries lack. As such, E2 wins a credibility-off with most encyclopedias, excepting the Encyclopedia Britannica, which has the same metadata (excluding votes).
The one difference with the Britannica is that Britannica articles possess metadata about the source of the information. This is delivered in the easisest form to navigate, alphabeitcally ordered, keyed, citations. E2 is a computerised system, however: there is no reason to simply use the forms that worked best in books, because we have more alternatives. If you want to know more about your articles, and you find most encyclopedias to be unsatisfactory (As you must if you find e2 unsatisfactory), then perhaps the solution is to make better use of the medium.
A starting point (Notwithstanding my position above) is to computerise the bibliography. This would allow hyperlinks to the full citation, to summaries of the books, to the authors. One could search articles by their citations. We could then add the opportunity for authors to provide structured metadata about each kind of entry: Person entries could have names, birth dates, lists of important dates. Every single entry could have keywords entered. Places could have structured names. The possibilities are endless. Don't settle for the old and the dusty, when we can have the old and the chrome-plated. Thank you for listening.