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News Archives - August 2006
August 31 2006
: Massively Multiplayer Online Waste Of Time
Aside from the all-mighty Google and all those
If you're new to the internet and aren't familiar with Wikipedia (and even worse, unfortunate enough to be reading Pants), head on over there now because it's much better than everything else on the net.
The idea of Wikipedia is simple — it's a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Make a correction, add some info or create entire articles without even needing to register an account. While the format does leave itself open to attacks of vandalism, the number of (valid) contributors help keep vandalism to a minimum.
The number (and sheer diversity) of contributors also means that Wiki is a wealth of reliable up-to-date information across many more topics than a traditional encyclopedia could ever cover.
I have been anonymously contributing to Wiki for over a year now, although most of the time I was merely a glorified spell checker, fixing random typos and grammatical errors that I came across. After I quit my job at the start of this year I registered a Wiki account (so that I could keep track of all my edits) and I set myself the challenge of making a worthy contribution to the encyclopedia before I eventually returned to the workforce (an estimated 6-9 months later).
This seemingly easy challenge was a lot harder than it sounds for several reasons. I needed to find an article/topic that belongs in an encyclopedia but is not represented in Wiki well enough yet. I also need to have knowledge on that particular subject, and preferably it shouldn't be a high-traffic or controversial article (so as to avoid edit wars with other contributors).
The article I finally decided to improve was the biography of Mayuko Takata. Not only did it meet all the criteria set above, but it would also help me with my attempts to teach myself Japanese.
As an extra bonus, this would act as even more proof that I am her biggest fan (and/or crazed stalker).
Although these tiny snapshots easily demonstrate that I've added a crapload of information to Mayuko Takata's Wikipedia article, a larger-resolution comparison reveals some extra facts that (to be perfectly honest) are downright scary:
Unfortunately I was offered a job a little sooner than I expected so I haven't had any time to work on translations lately. Considering her entire media career was summarised in just five bullet points before I started work on the article, I'm quite happy that I've finally made a worthy contribution to Wikipedia. When my time frees up again, I'll get back and complete the article as I envision it, then move onto another topic that fits my picky criteria. Yumiko Udo, look out... :)
Although I'm obviously quite proud of the article and have basically adopted it as my own little baby, everyone I've spoken to about this has basically asked "what's the point?". And they are kind of right in a way...; I mean how many people would actively go to a site like Wikipedia and want to learn that Mayuko Takata once filmed a commercial for carrot juice? Probably not many, but here is how I can justify my contributions to the article:
So that's the story of my first "worthy" contribution to Wikipedia. Now that I'm working again, I don't have much time (at the moment) to complete the article or start work on other things, but I can see myself getting back to it when my time frees up again... Who knows, eventually I might even start writing articles for the Japanese Wiki...!
There's more where that came from...: Return to the News Archives index.
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