Saturday, March 8, 2008


I like to write Wikipedia articles. I highly recommend it, in fact. Namespace shift, the tendency of people as they get more involved in wiki projects, to move away from writing, means that like so many others, I write less articles than when I first started. But it's refreshing to do so, it is a reminder of why we are here, and after the sturm und drang of AN/I (the administrator's incident notice board), RfAr (the requests for arbitration page), etc., it's nice to create something. If you're down and burnt out a bit, you too should try it.

Now, I'm no SimonP, author of thousands of articles and subject of his own article, or even a Giano, with dozens of FAs (Featured Articles, considered by many as among Wikipedia's best work). But I do pride myself on article creation. I even keep a todo list of stuff I'm working on so I don't forget. I work on stuff in my user space so when it goes live, via move, it's fully fleshed out and not likely to get nominated for deletion... it also means that I can take my time to work on it, and then nominate it for DYK (Did you know, Wikipedia's newest articles), free of any worry it's not new enough.

But sometimes I don't go back to that list as often as I should. Ah, the dangers of procrastination...

Example in point. U.S. Army Transportation Museum ... I had a stub of an article on that in my user space for ... 2 years, just about! I visited the museum while on a family vacation (for some reason I could not persuade anyone else to go with me to spend an entire day looking at vehicles of various sorts, go figure!) in spring of 2006... I drew up a fancy map (with some help from TIGER ). I have shedfuls of pictures I need to upload (hey maybe I'll do that soon!) to commons and categorize. But one thing and another always seemed to interfere with finishing the article off. Procrastination at its finest.

Well, when I went back to work on this, I found that a real article has been there since November 2007.. my procrastination meant someone else did the article after all. I did improve it a bit (from 1 to 8.5K) but I shouldn't have procrastinated. The project could have had an article way sooner than it did.

There are other examples on my todo list ... guess I better get busy.

Hey you, stop reading blogs and go write an article!



MessedRocker said...

I wish I could write some articles, I really do. But my problem is that not only does it take considerable effort for me to work up a work ethic, but as someone with eclectic interests I have no idea what to devote myself to.

Lar said...

I hear you, but...

You could always start writing about anything at all. Most of what I write about I didn't think I was that interested in, until some happenstance started me in on it. Some of it is local... some is childhood interest, some started on a whim (my whaleback articles were completely random chance).

I deliberately choose not to write about LEGO, my politics, what I do at work, etc, so that I have a chance to learn by writing. Take a gander at (another Wikipedian's blog) for instance... and marvel at the learning journey documented there.