Over the last 6 weeks I have been taking the onlineÂ Writing Wikipedia Articles (#WIKISOO) course as part of the school of open through Peer to Peer University. Â I has been a fantastic course and I have learned a bunch of interesting things. Â I thought I would wrap things up with a list of the Top 5 Things I learnedÂ 😎
Top 5 Things I learned inÂ #WikiSOO Feb14
- Editing Wikipedia is not that scary – Like for reals. Â I was initially skeptical about the process. Â I had a Wikipedia account from back in 2006, and had only made a handful of scared edits to talk pages. Â 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. Â To put things gently that is not a community that encourages civil discourse. Â Wikipedia on the other hand is this weird online counterpublic where it is a norm to assume good faith. Â People are even polite when dealing with spam and obvious abuse. Â 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. Â They represent the work you have done. Â While it seems insignificant, they really do motivate participation. Â 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. Â It has been an interesting process and taught me a lot about Â collaborating in digital spaces. Â 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. Â The easy to access body of knowledge is great, but still needs a lot of work. Â I feel committed to work to improve the articles relevant to my area of expertise. Â That said there are a lot of major articles out there that need some love. Â I encourage anyone out there to login, create an account and get editing.
I could probably go on for a while with these. Â Special thanks to our course facilitatorsÂ Pete Forsyth andÂ Sara Frank Bristow for putting on such an excellent course. Â If you are interested in learning more check out the course homepage atÂ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WIKISOO