Over the last 6 weeks I have been taking the online Writing Wikipedia Articles (#WIKISOO) course as part of the school of open through Peer to Peer University. I has been a fantastic course and I have learned a bunch of interesting things. I thought I would wrap things up with a list of the Top 5 Things I learned 😎
Top 5 Things I learned in #WikiSOO Feb14
- Editing Wikipedia is not that scary – Like for reals. I was initially skeptical about the process. I had a Wikipedia account from back in 2006, and had only made a handful of scared edits to talk pages. In the last 6 weeks I have made over 400 edits and find the process to be both relaxing and intellectually stimulating.
- People in the Wikipedia community are crazy nice – Most of my random online encounters have consisted of arguing with trolls who comment on my YouTube channel videos. To put things gently that is not a community that encourages civil discourse. Wikipedia on the other hand is this weird online counterpublic where it is a norm to assume good faith. People are even polite when dealing with spam and obvious abuse. It does a lot to encourage participation by newbies.
- Gamification on Wikipedia is Fun and Motivating – There are these Wikipedia specific badges you can earn from other users called BarnStars. They represent the work you have done. While it seems insignificant, they really do motivate participation. On a side note I am looking forward to integrating Open Badges more into the classes I teach.
- Creating and Editing New Pages is Fun – I’ve been creating a new page about Public Sphere Pedagogy as my final project for the course. It has been an interesting process and taught me a lot about collaborating in digital spaces. Even in the midsts of my hectic schedule I keep find myself logging on to make a couple quick edits or to add an additional reference I stumbled across.
- WikiPedia needs our help – Wikipedia is easily one of the most impressive achievements humanity as put together in our lifetimes. The easy to access body of knowledge is great, but still needs a lot of work. I feel committed to work to improve the articles relevant to my area of expertise. That said there are a lot of major articles out there that need some love. I encourage anyone out there to login, create an account and get editing.
I could probably go on for a while with these. Special thanks to our course facilitators Pete Forsyth and Sara Frank Bristow for putting on such an excellent course. If you are interested in learning more check out the course homepage at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WIKISOO