The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #99952   Message #2000841
Posted By: Dave'sWife
19-Mar-07 - 05:46 AM
Thread Name: BS: Wikipedia Boo-Boo
Subject: RE: BS: Wikipedia Boo-Boo
Unfortunately, wikipedia by its very nature is is quite open to vandalism. Most general vandalism is caught rather quickly but there is also a very strong anti-wikipedia movement, some members of which resort to types of vandalism not likely to be noticed quickly. Usually these vandals are former wikipedians with sour grapes who know how to avoid detection. Your usual wikivandal signs on only to make unhelpful edits. once spotted, another editor can track back through their history and revert those edits. the more egregious and sneaky vandals will make a long serioes of small but useful edits and then in between those, sneak in something rather vile into an article that is not goverened or watched by any wikiproject. They'll then go back to making normal edits, brying the vandalism in their log.

All this is Greek to most people I'm sure. I spend at least 45 minutes a day adding to Wikipedia on a variety of subjects and at least 15 of those minutes involves reverting vandalism. It gets a little tiresome at times but I enjoy creating or adding to articles on subjects I am familiar with, mostly music, history and literature.

Wikipedia has its faults, but it is also a fascinating way to waste a few hours when bored. In surfing through the pages, I've managed to learn more in a week on some subjects than i did in an entire semester of Graduate school. Even then, when reading up on new subjects, an editor can comeacross some minor fixes needing to be made and affect them.

If Wikipedia has one fault, it is in sourcing of statements. There are several different styles of inline citations and the current preferred method is a little complex for the beginner. As a result, some new editors just skip them altogether which usually results in their article getting deleted if it's a new one.

The other big fault I see is what i call wikifascism - that is people who simply live to attack newly created articles for notability and for a myriad of technical issies. They'll do a google search on a subject and if it doesn't get a undred thousand hits, they deem it not noteworthy and nominate it for deletion. The inherent issue with that is that many historical subjects that could use an article don't get one or get one many times that is deleted becuase google, a search egnine that favors new events and topics, doesn't have enough hits for the topic. I've googled certain mythological terms well-known in anthropological literature or in folklore and come up with jusrt a few hits.

Enough about that, let me wind up my wiki-rant by suggesting that MudCatters consider putting in some time over there when they can. There are a number of topics needing Folk Expertise. The article on Sacred Steel (the slide guitar tradition) for example could use some help. It's just a stub. Also, adding to the biographies of our esteemed folkies would be one way to help. Some of the bios are barely there to begin with. Adding some new ones is also helpful.

I'll come back to this thread with a list of Folk Topics that could use input.