30 Days of Wikipedia: Day 2

January 2017 Adventure: 30 Days of Wikipedia

January 2017 Adventure: 30 Days of Wikipedia

This month I am revisiting a project I did last January.  Last year, starting in January, I worked on Wikipedia entries for 100 days.  It was everything I needed to take the next step in growth as a Wikipedia editor.

This year, I am doing something a little less ambitious.  I am editing for 30 days this month.  As I said a few weeks ago when I first announced this adventure, I am very aware there are actually 31 days in the month.  I suspect I am going to need at least 1 day off.

So, here I am, 2 days in and working toward some goals I set.

First, so far I have been primarily focused on editing the entry for poet and translator David Rosenbergpoet and translator David Rosenberg.  I was connected with Rosenberg in the early fall and agreed to help expand his entry.  Since then I have been conducting research to see what kind of biography sources.  I have found some great sources for him, but there is still very little.

This is the thing about biography entries, especially when the person is alive.  It is all about the sources that confirm information.  This is where almost every problem with these types of entries begins.  Authors know their lives, they are the authority of their lives, and yet they are often ignored by editors because their information can’t be verified by outside sources.  About 4 years ago, Philip Roth had an infamous run in with Wikipedia editors because of this very issue.

So, what am I doing?  I am finding verifiable sources.  I am sourcing from interviews with news sources.  I am looking for things that have an editorial process to confirm their information.  I am also working through finding ways to get new information and updates added to these reliable sources.  I am using all my reference librarian skills to hunt down what I need to make his entry better.

I am really enjoying it.  Today, for example, I tried to increase discoverability.  Wikipedia isn’t the greatest search engine.  It is really fueled by Google searches.  Increasing discoverability will get more people to see the entry and maybe more editors touching it to improve it.  I added a bunch of new categories to connect the entry to those related.

This month you are going to hear more about this process.  If you are a Wikipedia editor, I hope you can give me some advice on ways to improve what I am doing and maybe even help with the entries I am working on.  I am using a bullet journal to keep me organized.  I will share some of that this month as well.

How am I doing so far?

  • My goal is to get to 2,000 edits by the end of the month.  Right now I am at 1254 edits.  I am not sure I will reach this goal.  It may take another big project later in the year.
  • Another goal is to improve David’s entry.  I need outside assessment to do that.  At the end of this week I am going to ask for other editors to start the assessment process in the two related projects: biography and judaism.

It’s really hard to talk about progress 2 days into a project, but I am pretty pleased with it.  Tomorrow will be the true test when I am no longer on vacation and have to get work done.  We will see how things go then.

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