Sunday, April 17, 2011

On Becoming a Wikipedian

I am proud to say that my Wikipedia entry is still there. I also found this to be a tough assignment because I wasn't sure what to write about. It seems like everything I like has an individual Wikipedia page, and they are all relatively extensive to boot. I started looking at pages for locations by my house, such as the local parks and my high school. I found that they each had a lot of details and I wouldn't have been able to expand upon anything while also supplying a source. I started looking around my room, picking up even the smallest items--chap stick, a nail clipper, a tootsie pop--but I didn't know anything that wasn't already there. From there I started thinking of the most obscure items I could think of, and I was consistently shocked about the amount of time people have spent contributing information about seemingly insignificant objects. I can see how once someone edits an article, they get the Wikipedia bug and have to keep coming back for more.

Finally I remembered a conversation I had with my friend about old cartoon shows like Hey Arnold, Doug, Rocco's Modern Life, and more. I came across the entry for Courage the Cowardly Dog, and noticed that there was no mention of the music that can be heard in the show. My friend and I agreed that the music is a staple of the program, and is a huge part of what made it special. For us, it was definitely the single most memorable element. I recalled an interview I had read with the composers for the show, and together with the knowledge I already had, I wrote about the music. Even though I only added a single paragraph, it took a lot of time. I knew that plenty of people would reference this entry either to learn about the show, or reminisce about the old days. When people got to my paragraph about the music, I wanted to make sure they recalled the same warm feelings and memories that I did, so I tried to use plenty of examples.

I cited the interview at the end of my entry and submitted it. I was pretty proud to see it on the page, and I've been refreshing all week to see if it is still there. In the middle of the week I noticed that someone had inserted "citation needed" after a few sentences. Since all of the specific details I wrote about could be found in the article I cited, I added the citation after each sentence that called for it. I actually was a little annoyed about having to go through this extra step because I placed the citation at the end of the paragraph and if the person who changed it to "citation needed" had just read the interview, he would have seen that it was all coming from the same place. Nevertheless, I added the citations, and kept checking back in. A few days ago I noticed that someone removed all of the citations after the individual sentences, and now there is a single citation at the end of the paragraph. I think it looks much cleaner this way.


  1. This is great (and not only because I have fond memories of Courage myself)!

  2. No way! I would not have guessed that I was in the presence of a fellow Courage fan.