Dear WikiDudes: I will be your best Wikipedia editor ever!!


Dear Wiki-Lords,
 
Wikipedia is super-duper awesome! I love how you used to be able to look up and learn anything about anything really fast and easy.
 
The thing is, dudes, now the ‘pedia has grown into a world-wide-serious mo’fo’, with long articles and really big words. (Kinda not so simple and helpful as it useta’ be, I think, but I’m no WikiDude, so what do I know?)
 
THAT’s why I wanna come work for you. What d’you say I help you out with your weensy widdle editing problem?
 
You know–the one where it was perfectly acceptable for a bunch of pathetic loser trolls
Hello Loser Man
to go into the entries of well-known gamers and insert lies about them? And keep doing it, without having their editing privileges revoked?
 
“Media and gaming culture critic Anita Sarkeesian was called a “lying whore,” and game developer Zoe Quinn was labeled a prostitute. Fellow developer Brianna Wu’s page claimed she gave her husband AIDS because she was raped by her father who first infected her.”
–Lauren C. Williams in Think Progress article “The Five Horsemen of Wikipedia Paid the Price”

 
I’m thinking if some Bible-totin’ Christian trolls had edited a Muslim married guy’s entry over and over to say he whored around and gave his wife AIDS, you dudes would have done something sooner. Or if skinhead white trolls had targeted a black guy and said those things over and over– Come ON, dudes–what do YOU think!?
 
But I could be wrong, Wiksters. You are the experts, after all. What I do know is that you lost a lot of editing power, ’cause when you finally DID do something, you not only told the trolls they were naughty and couldn’t edit anymore, but you told your own editors they were naughty too, and couldn’t edit anymore (!).
 
Shame on them, for repeatedly removing those lame-#ss trolls’ malicious, childish lies!! Bad editors, bad!!
 
Bad-No Wagging Finger Man
 
Anyhoo, since you’re down a few editors–and you were already down a hella bunch of lady editor types (less than 15% girl dudes, huh?)–
 
I’ve checked out your Manual of Style, and it’s all “No problemo” from my end! I’m rarin’ to get started snippin’ and rippin’!
 
WIKIPEDIA MANUAL OF STYLE EDITING RULES
 
“Wikipedia articles should be well-written and consistent with the core content policies:”
 
No original research.
Check! Everything I learn comes straight from others. Or I make it up on the spot.
 
 
Neutral point of view.
Check! I’m nothing if not fair and objective. Ask my downstairs neighbor.
 
 
Verifiability.
Che– Uh…
Hey, ‘Pedia dudes–Two out of three?
 
 
No Weasel Words:
“Research has shown”, “It is often reported”, Many are of the opinion”, etc.

 
 
Some people would say you guys are too picky.
😈
 
 
No Editorializing Adverbs:
Clearly, Unfortunately, Happily…

 
Luckily, I don’t use any of the ones you list.
 
 
Skip Judgy “Said” Synonyms When You Quote:
Denied, Surmised, Insisted…

 
If you insist.
😈
 
 
No Compounds and Neologisms
(Made-Up Two-part Words or Brand-Spanking New Words)


 
OMG! I know. ‘Cause, doesn’t it drive you cray-cray when you have to google abbreviations or new expressions you don’t know yet? That’s where that morning dose of Buzzfeed education comes in handy–amirite? BTW, this is such a coincidence,’cause just recently, someone seriously got on my case for using BTW in a blog post and not explaining it.
😈 (SWIDT?)
 
 
No Contentious Labels or Puffery
(Translation:
No Derogatory or Complimentary Terms)

 
Got it, dudes: Aside from listing their deeds, Nelson Mandela and Hitler are to be described in the same breezy, offhand way.
 
 
Be Direct. Don’t Use Euphemisms and Idioms.
Except when labeling derogatory or complimentary terms for Wikipedia’s editing style manual (see previous rule).
 
No worries: Any indirect fishy words and phrases will join their brethren and sistren down in Davy Jones Locker o’ Bones once this straight-talkin’ straight-shootin’ Aspie-girl gets through pickin’ off those perplexing Pisces!
 
Shooting Fish In-or-From A Barrel

I’ve Heard This Is the Recommended Method🐱


 
 
Use Specific Times, Places, and Events.
A WikiPedia Article is Forever.

 
This one reminds me of a little anecdote:
 
Oh, don’t worry: I’ll be brief, AND avoid idioms and euphemisms–whatever THEY are! (I’m sure if I don’t know what they are, that must mean I don’t use ’em–am I right? Gotcha there, eh, your WikiNesses–Ha ha ha!)
😀
 
When I told my BFF yesterday that I planned to apply to WikiPedia, she was sure I was wasting my time.
 
“YOU? Seriously?! Remember when we drove all the way to T., and you drank all of that —, and then kept me up all night singing? Do you really think you are the sort of person the WikiPeople are looking for?”
 
 
Yes. Yes I do.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Miss Outlier
 
 
GLOSSARY
 
cray-cray-No one says this any more–do they?
BTW-By the way.
OMG-Oh, my goodness! (golly! gosh!)
SWIDT-See what I did there? (Usually refers to a pun just made.)
 
APPAIDIX: GETTING PAID TO EDIT FOR WIKIPEDIA
 
There are bunches of people getting paid by commercial corporations to edit Wikipedia entries–had you known that? You can imagine that they are not motivated purely by public-spirited humanitarianism. Writers are given explicit instructions to fluff up entries or remove negatives.

Three links I thought were interesting:
bad companies are paying;
why not let good companies pay;
should you worry.


 

Advertisements
Leave a comment

49 Comments

  1. Totally enjoyed this, Babe. Cynic I may be, but I don’t believe anyone—paid or unpaid— is essentially motivated by public spirited humanitarianism. The whole discussion of who is “objective” and who is “subjective” is a big yawner in my book. The internet is a grand amusement park and/or cesspool. You pays yer money and you takes yer chances.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    • Thank you very much for that “totally enjoyed”, Cynthia!

      You have a wise perspective, maintaining distance and objectivity to the supposed objectivity of sources.

      But I do disagree with you on your cynical conclusion, because I believe I have often taken and do often take actions motivated (consciously) only by public-spiritedness. (I believe this of others, as well.)

      However, it is pertinent to also mention that I joined a support group for a brief time composed of many similar eager beavers. Such eagerness to please, it turns out, can be a hallmark of children of abuse–What we ourselves think of as doing deeds for the good of all can be the grown-up version of the love-seeking, needy behaviors we were following in childhood.

      Does that undercut my conscious motivation? Eh. Who gives a rat’s behind?

      Like

      Reply
  2. Hilarious! I may hire you as my editor for everything I write.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. M-R

     /  2015/03/27

    A worthy and serious piece of creative nonfiction.
    [grin]

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  4. Eda

     /  2015/03/28

    Luv yr spellin, Outlier.

    Like

    Reply
  5. The hallmark of a good writer is the ability state their biases in unoriginal, neutral, verifiable, assertive, clear, nonjudgmental, simple and direct terms.

    I do this all the time and if anyone disagrees or doubts me, I’ll go psycho.on them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Yes, A.I., your appeal derives in great measure from your training at and strict adherence to the principles taught at the Vulcan School of Writing.
      😉

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  6. Paul

     /  2015/03/28

    Ha! Too funny OB. I have actually read a few Wiki articles on subjects about which I was intimately knowledgeable (like a company I worked for for 12 years) and they were so good I seriously wondered how anyone knew that without being an insider. I found them to be well balanced because, as you have pointed out it is not only possible but common , to write with a slant. In fact it almost impossible not to. All we really have is our perspective – objectivity is a fairy tale. To wit – the history books from which our children are taught. The winner writes history – or Wiki articles. So I’m not surprised that some articles have a slant. Hard to avoid. I mean if the most knowledgeable person in the world wrote the article, who could edit it?

    I don’t doubt that it becomes increasing harder and more complex to oversee this bastion of common knowledge. Being human, the overseers will undoubtedly resort to more rules and sillier requirements. Which they have.

    I think you would bring a breath of fresh air to this increasingly hoity-toity endeavor OB.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. Thank you for the compliment, Paul. The dedication and thoroughness of the Wikipedia volunteers is awesome, and when I read the rules I mock in this post, as well as a host of others which editors are supposed to follow, I became even more impressed with their work. I also realized that I would most likely not enjoy being a Wikipedia editor at all.

    What I consider the best style of clear, concise expository writing is one done in a colloquial style–whether for a “techie” in any particular field of knowledge, or for a layperson–because that is what people understand most easily.

    Most of us don’t speak or think in academic language. When we read it, our brains must do a translation step. Some of us do that more quickly and transparently to our conscious than others, depending upon our vocabulary and grammar levels.

    Why, if an author is trying to transmit potentially-new knowledge to a reader in the clearest way possible, does it make sense to additionally challenge the reader by adding a layer of thinking complexity with academic language?

    After years of writing academic-ese, I finally wised up, changed my ways, and made my clients on both the tech and user sides of the house immensely happier. (This was aeons ago, and informal, or even charming and comical, documentation styles are more common now.)

    ‘Pedia rules, it would appear, do not allow this language. Or perhaps they do, and I misunderstand them.

    I also believe in the “peeling an onion” approach to documentation. With technical topics, I think that one should always start simple, describing the topic in terms a layperson can understand, then break it down a bit more, a bit more, and so on. I found that even subject experts like their data presented in this manner. Works great for grant proposals, too!
    🙂

    But when you look up many topics on Wikipedia now, BAM! Talk about Revenge of the Nerds. The first paragraph is loaded with geekspeak. I have taken to going elsewhere for my data sources for animals, vegetables, and minerals–and science and medical topics.

    Speaking of nerds…just how long have I been typing here…?
    🙄

    Have a great day, Paul!
    (Still improving calcium-wise, I hope!)
    🙂

    Like

    Reply
    • Paul

       /  2015/03/28

      Calcium is coming along perfect – last night it was 1.01 where normal is 1. Can’t get much better. Believe it or not phosphates are low – Yikes! – we’ve been working for 5 years to try and get them down. All looking good.

      Like

      Reply
      • I am SO happy for you, Paul!! You must feel marvelous compared to previously! And has your sleep continued to come in longer continuous periods?

        Like

        Reply
        • Paul

           /  2015/03/29

          Yes, absolutely. It is uncommon now for me to sleep for less than 3 hours and often it is 5 hours. I decided to have a nap for 1 1/2 hours the other night before a favorite program came on (Bluebloods) and I woke up 4 hours later. Ha! Apparently I need to change my expectations.

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
  8. “Luckily”, I follow you in my reader. Enjoyed this.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Happily, I am hearing from you again.
      🙂
      How ARE you, Maggie? Thank you for stopping by! Pleased you enjoyed your visit.

      This one almost didn’t show up in the Reader. Another WP “undocumented feature” I reported and de-featured myself: Originally posted as Private, changed to Public, didn’t show in Reader. Didn’t exceed max total of tags and categories. Hadn’t micky’d with post date. Have no idea what triggered the nix. Tried updating it. Still no luck. Accidentally fixed it when I remembered I hadn’t set a Featured Image. Setting one caused the post to show up in the Reader. O-kay then. I guess that makes sense. My own WP Tips say you should set one, so that’ll learn me.

      Like

      Reply
  9. Love the post. Love the glossary! Good Morning!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  10. RR

     /  2015/04/01

    Loved this. What a read!
    Thanks girl dude (dudette?). 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Hi, Rebecca,
      I am back again with the living, and thank you for the “loved this”–I loved reading that!
      🙂

      Like

      Reply
  11. Hi Outlier! And excellent post indeed… I should recognize that I use Wikipedia when I write my posts, it is a source among others…Which leads me to an assumption: maybe some articles on “Wiki” are better than others… I guess that the topics make the difference. However, I have read awful petry analysis on Wikipedia… (I wonder if a High School Student copypasted his assignment!) …
    The weak points you have highlighted above are certainly (I would avoid saying “Clearly”) accurate and well pointed!…
    I second mots part of your statements…Thanks for sharing and I hope they hire you as soon as possible! 😀 Happy week Aquileana ⭐

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • BTW you can start by editing my typos and so on above here. I already saw one! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    • Thank you for that “excellent”, Aquileana!
      🙂
      I have been very tempted to edit some Wikipedia articles, but:

      (1) the interface is quite awkward–more so than the WP text editor;
      (2) there are many more restrictive rules and guidelines than the ones I poked fun of in the post;
      (3) there is no helpful “Welcome to editing Wikipedia” guide to explain the steps. You are on your own.
      (4) My few forays into new sites and forums led to missteps that were met with such vicious abuse–likely not solely due to my pathetic newbie-ness, but also because I am female–that I do not wish to be subjected to same again.

      So instead of correcting blatant errors, I have been extremely frustrated when I have seen statements that are just plain wrong. However, perhaps, when I come to the end of my blogging life, in a couple of more years, perhaps (?), I shall turn to a Wikipedia editing life.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  12. How did I miss this? How? 🙂

    Like

    Reply
    • How do you find time to read anyone else’s blog posts, ever, with your family, your busy and vital job, your own excellent posts, and your thoughtful responses to your many followers? How?

      Thank you for somehow finding the time, Victo!
      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • I don’t sleep much… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        • Not only that, but you read like lightning!

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
          • That is a matter of necessity. Reading hundreds of pages of medical records between patients… Gah! You learn how to do it fast. Very fast.

            Liked by 1 person

            Reply
            • Even with instruction, my top speed is 175 c.w.p.m. I still sound the words in my head. I believe this compensates for dyslexia which my strong phonetic sense and good Aspie pattern sense were always able to work around. In numbers, I am hopeless, and still know not one person’s phone number by heart, nor my license plate–and cannot memorize these without jumbling. Frustrating.

              Liked by 1 person

            • You just understand on a deeper, more subconscious level that there is no need to waste brain spaces on numbers of that sort. That is what smart phones are for!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Ye-e-es.. I had to write hexadecimal numbers on my hands when I was a programmer. Sixteen digits, when seven were beyond me?!
              I am currently impatient for the smart chips to enhance my reading speed and memory. By the time those are ready, they should come neatly packaged in my new artificial eyeballs, and I can skip the annual retina checks due to my Plaquenil and Behcet’s, too!

              Liked by 1 person

  13. I did not know this about wikipedia – and they can be such great resource so I hope they improve – and format her list – I love the no use of adverbs and also I hate weasel words too- and actually just agree with all of the suggestions.

    There is a health blog that I follow and while I really like the main writer’s view and the research she does is decent – her personal writing style really grates on me. I have not figured out why – it might ben be her grammar/syntax – but after reading this I also think it is the subtle way she sues idioms or slam/slang words – (like moron) and well, I know everyone cannot write neutral and a voice gets imbedded in our pieces – but still puzzled about why that particular write grates on me…

    Like

    Reply
    • Sometimes, a writer is humbled–or humiliated, depending upon her/his ego–by discovering that a piece has…failed. That happened with this piece, with more than one of its readers

      Thank you for your compliments, but the Wikipedia folk deserve them, not I, for the rules you admire, rightly, are theirs. That you are not the first to mistake them as mine led me to add a subtitle in the post to clarify this for any future readers.

      I was attempting to point out humorously in the post that I would be a poor Wikipedia editor because my writing style is closer to your health blogger’s: Slangy, filled with adverbs, and so forth. At the same time, though, I was also attempting to point out that the Wiki-p folk go a bit overboard in their strictness. I think there is a middle ground.

      While the post was not a stunning success (!), these are still my opinions.

      Sorry for the confusion.
      o_O

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • well thanks for clearing it up – and I did misunderstand that!! and ohhh – I see what you are staying – like a middle ground would keep it form too dry and lifeless – keep it form being too formal and maybe give it a hint of voice….

        anyhow, I know I am just meeting you – but I do not think you write like that health writer – anyhow, looking forward to peeking in on your blog in the coming year of 2015 –

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply

Best comment wins prize! (sorry, i tell naughty lie...)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: