Ann Eliza Bleecker,
Image via Wikimedia Commons
Forgive me for being a bit proud!
Except for occasionally voting in support or (rarely) opposition of various candidates, she stays out of the internal political discussions and controversies of Wikipedia (and other wikis), editing is all she does.
And when she edits, she's rather good. (I admit bias, mind you) I consider myself lucky to have a wife who enjoys many of the same hobbies I do (she's a skilled LEGO builder as well). She has built up a solid record of contributions.
She focuses on relatively obscure female historical figures, primarily Americans of the 18th and 19th centuries, who have been underserved by Wikipedia articles. It's not as glamorous as writing about major contemporary figures, and not nearly as easy, the sources can be hard to track down. But she writes good stuff! Her articles usually make "Did You Know" after they are created.
Case in point, her first Good Article (GA), which I used in my Britannica comparison, and then nominated for GA a few days ago. Yesterday it got reviewed, put on hold, and then, in a flurry of cooperative editing by her, Giggy (the reviewer), and myself, (all coordinated on IRC) had all the faults Giggy identified corrected in under 2 hours (maybe not a record, but quite rapid time for an article to come off hold) and was promoted. Here's an excerpt from the lede:
Image via Wikimedia Commons
Ann Eliza Bleecker (1752 – November 23, 1783) was an American poet and correspondent. Following a New York upbringing, Bleecker married John James Bleecker, a New Rochelle lawyer, in 1769. He encouraged her writings, and helped her publish a periodical containing her works.
The American Revolution saw John join the New York Militia, while Ann fled with their two daughters. She continued to write, and what remained of the family returned to Tomhannock following Burgoyne's surrender. She was saddened and affected by the deaths of numerous family members over the years, and died in 1783.
Bleecker's pastoral poetry is studied by historians to gain perspective of life on the front lines of the revolution, and her novel Maria Kittle, the first known Captivity narrative, set the form for subsequent Indian Capture novels which saw great popularity after her death.
Bleecker was an important, if somewhat obscure figure in the American Revolution, and Wikipedia now has a good article about her, where previously it had none at all, thanks to the efforts of one editor. Wikisource also has a considerable portion of Bleecker's existing writings, mostly again thanks to my wife.
And she had fun doing the work. That's the idea. When Wikipedia fosters this sort of thing, it works, and works well. Reading about the issues and things that need fixing can leave you with the impression of a complete disaster, but that's not the case. Imperfect, yes? but darn good. Remember that, please. And go write something!