Adding to Wikipedia: Not too much of a hassle

On: September 28, 2011
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About Jorrit Schaap
I am a digital innovator from Amsterdam with a master's degree in New Media and Digital Culture. I help companies that need digital innovation for their future growth. I combine my academic background with practical skills in web development, motion/web/graphic design and data visualisation. I wrote my BA thesis on the Cultural Meaning of Animals in Online Brand Identities, focusing on Mozilla Firefox and MailChimp, and my MA thesis on How To Videos on YouTube. During the Data Visualization elective course my team and I created the EU 2020 targets monitor, a tool for monitoring and comparing the progress of member states towards the 2020 targets and now hosted by the European Student Thinktank. In my free time, I play guitar in an indie rock band and occasionally perform as a veejay.

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Contrary to many stories I heard before attempting to make my first contributions to Wikipedia, the actual process was not that much of a hassle at all. I made three (albeit minor) contributions, namely editing two existing entries and adding one new entry. For the English Wikipedia, I first of all edited the entry on the Filter Bubble (a concept from the same-titled book by Eli Pariser, of which I wrote a book review for this blog). Shortly after making the alterations, I actually received a comment on my “Talk” page, consisting of a positive remark about my rephrasing of the text explaining the concept. After that I edited the Dutch Wikipedia article on the ID-card (Identiteitskaart), since news had just come out that the ID-card would no longer be free for Dutch citizens and the article on Wikipedia had become outdated. This alteration too has so far not been reversed or edited. Finally, I added an entry to the English Wikipedia about the Dutch rock band The Deaf. While writing this entry I actually expected it to be removed quickly after posting, because of Wikipedia’s guidelines on notability of its entries. However short my entry, it’s still there and hasn’t received any negative feedback (only constructive, like the need to add a list for the references and to add categories).

For the entries on the ID-card and The Deaf, I referenced the Dutch news site NU.nl. For The Deaf I also referenced the band’s official website. I did not add any references to the entry on the Filter Bubble. I would argue that the contribution to the ID-card is still there because it is inarguably true. The entry for The Deaf fits within the believe that Wikipedia might more easily accept articles on popular culture. The rephrasing of the concept of the Filter Bubble may be altered in a later stadium when more people become familiar with the concept I guess. All and all, contributing to Wikipedia has been a positive experience for me, but maybe I just got lucky.

<update>

Two weeks later, the wikipedia entry on The Deaf has now been marked for speedy deletion..

This article may meet Wikipedia’s criteria for speedy deletion as an article about a band, singer, musician, or musical ensemble that does not credibly indicate the importance or significance of the subject

See the entry.

Jorrit –  October 12th, 2011

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