Please talk to AuntieRuth55

On: October 4, 2010
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About Marije Rooze
Full time New Media student, part time geek.


I am a student and this means that I love Wikipedia by default. When you hear about something you know nothing about, you just go to Wikipedia. Wikipedia is like a friendly Labrador, always there when you need it. And the good thing is, you don’t have to take it for a walk on a rainy day. Other people will take care of it. They will train, feed and nourish it when it’s sick. So, till last week I only took from Wikipedia but never gave anything back. But this week I got myself leash and walked the dog.

It was not as hard as I expected to be, the most difficult part was to find an uncharted topic. Eventually, I decided to create a Dutch article about Chris Ware, an American cartoonist. On September 29, 2010 at 16:56 my first article was put on the digital encyclopedia. Three minutes later a Wikipedian had edited my article, four minutes after that a new edit was made by a different Wikipedian. I felt actually proud, my article was worth editing. But I also felt a little protective, what if I didn’t like the new adjustments? You can undo it, but that is, in my opinion, like a digital slap in the face. Luckily for me, I wouldn’t have to do anything drastic, all the changes were actually quite helpful.

I was intrigued by the Wikipedians who had took the time to edit my article. I looked at the user page of the first Wikipedian who edited it. It seemed he was just new but has been quite active on Wikipedia. But when viewing his discussion page it seemed clear that not everyone was happy with his contributions. Other Wikipedians had posted mostly irritated messages on his page,  someone for instance didn’t find his article about Mugglenet (a Harry Potter thing) suitable for Wikipedia. The article was nominated for deletion. Which was not appreciated by the creator of the article, which he, naturally, verbalized.

In my opinion, the most interesting, and sometimes amusing, things happen on the discussion boards. It shows the passion, frustration and joy that drives the community. These Wikipedians, they are definitely not easy. I have been lucky so far, no one has deleted my article or wrote something hurtful to me. But my subject is not that controversial, if I had edited the “In the news” section on the homepage I would definitely be punished. That area is for the newbies off-limits, high-profile pages are big targets for vandalism. And please, take Wikipedia and it’s contributors seriously. If you publicly announce that you only write articles to keep up your GPA, expect some negative comments. When that unfortunate event happens, you can respond in two ways. Either rethink your attitude, which could be achieved by being adopted by a more experienced mentor, or stay stubborn:

Let me repeat this again, I do NOT want to write this article on wikipedia for my class but it is a REQUIREMENT. If you have a problem with this, please talk to AuntieRuth55. Thanks Panzak7 (talk) 19:23, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

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