Layar in the wikipedia – How to improve and secure?

On: October 3, 2010
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About Layla Van Daalen
I am MA New Media student of the University of Amsterdam. After I passed my study Communication Multimedia & Design, I worked for half a year as a graphic designer. 1 year ago I moved to Amsterdam to start my premaster at the university. I succesfully completed my premaster this year, and I’ll hope to complete my master at the end of this schoolyear (2010-2011). Beside my study I am still working as a graphic designer and beside my creative activities I am also interested in new media theories. In particulair I am interested in social media, design & interactive installations, locative media, user experience & behaviour.


The English Wikipedia remains more than 3,4 million articles, the Dutch Wikipedia on the other hand less than one million, so I thought it should not be difficult to find an interesting subject for a new entry on this free encyclopedia. During the brainstorms, thinking of new-media related and other different kind of subjects, I found out it was harder than I thought. Although I had a backup in my mind, an entry about Charlie Winston, a Canadian singer, I thought it was not value added. Unless he/she had an important role for the Netherlands or abroad. But he has not.

I asked friends and others, whether they knew an interesting subject. Most of them could remember an moment while searching the web, that they encountered a subject that could not be found in the Wikipedia. Even do I. But is hard to remember what it was about. I recommend the next time we encounter such a problem we, or ask an other user, immediately add a new entry about it.
Actually later this week I found a subject that could be useful, called Lifehacking. However, while searching on the Wikipedia the term redirects you to the term Lifehack. I wonder if there is a possibility to unlock it and if others will agree? I am not sure.

So I still had no subject. Begin this week, in the news I read about the introduction of a new concurrent of the iPad, Blackberrys new Playbook. Immediately i thought lets make an entry of it, actually without thinking about it’s relevance. I soon found out, someone else already did, just a few hours before. Maybe a colleague of the master, or are there really so many people active on Wikipedia? I had not thought about it.

This and many other attempts, it was almost annoying.

Still looking for inspiration, the idea about Layar came to me. I think it is a really good subject to add to the Wikipedia. Even though I didn’t know how to start, search for good sources and where to find good information, i did well. But not for long.

A few minutes later I got a message from Algora, an user of Wikipedia, that she has put my subject on the deletinglist. It was just a few minutes later, amazing that there are such active users! But that is probably the reason why Wikipedia is seen by many as a professional and trustful source. The reason she quoted “it look too much like a business promotion and there are to much external links.” I can understand, and I have improved the entry, but I am still not satisfied.

This experience has made me more active, more professional, and more responsible for the entry I added on the Wikipedia. It gives you the feeling you’re also have an important role for the free encyclopedia. Yes, that’s one of the good things about Wikipedia. And now I have to found a way to make it better within two weeks, to be sure it stays on the Wikipedia.
Then I can be proud to be the founder of a new entry, Layar.

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