Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Joining the ranks of Wikipedia editors

The other day I decided to make some changes to entries in Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit.
I’ve always wondered who writes and edits Wikipedia, which has nearly 3.3 million articles in English alone. It’s a special type of website called a wiki that is designed to make collaboration easy. Mostly volunteer writers and editors contribute to the website.
Making changes to Wikipedia articles is pretty easy, but there’s a lot of special coding to be aware of. It's also time-consuming work, so I doubt I'll be a major contributor.
I made fixes and updates to four articles: Halls of fame and walks of fame, Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame, Toy Industry Hall of Fame, and Plaxo.
In the article on Halls of fame and walks of fame, I deleted two redundant entries and added the Burlesque Hall of Fame, Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame and the Toy Industry Association Hall of Fame.
For the article on the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame, I added the 2009 inductees. I also added the 2009 and 2010 inductees into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.
And finally I updated the entry on Plaxo, the online address book company. I changed the article to reflect its new owner – cable company Comcast – and new CEO. Plus, I added some references, including a company press release and company blog post.
I like Wikipedia and think it’s a great public service. I’d caution anyone using it as their only reference though. It can get out of date and is always subject to possible false information. But its use of references to back up claims goes a long way toward alleviating concerns.

Art: Wikipedia logo

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