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Author Topic: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?  (Read 27024 times)

Scott5114

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Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« on: December 31, 2009, 07:24:33 AM »

For those of you who don't know, I'm also an admin over at Wikipedia, where I do a lot of work with the U.S. Roads WikiProject (USRD for short). Well, we've got lots of articles that need expansion, and a lot of states have exactly zero people editing them, so we need more roadgeeks! If you're interested in participating, take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_U.S._Roads/New_user_orientation — this is a new page we've put together to help new users. So if you've ever thought about contributing (or contributing more), this page can help you make sense of things!

Editing at Wikipedia is a lot of fun, especially if you like learning highway history, because you're always turning up new things about the roads you're writing about. You get to meet more roadgeeks too!

If you've got any questions, post away!
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US71

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2009, 09:08:04 AM »

I've posted some to the Arkansas Highway pages, but the format seems tedious. Especially when some ignorant twit just starts entering stuff without any sort of verification.  :pan:
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Chris

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2009, 09:14:19 AM »

I used to work on the Dutch wikipedia, but got tired of all those linguistic purists there. The Dutch wikipedia is large in quantity, but small in quality, it is nowhere near the English wikipedia, so I almost always use the English wikipedia first. For instance, if you look up the Dallas, Texas page on the Dutch wikipedia, it's about 7 sentences of text, some uninteresting trivia and that's it.

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2009, 09:19:43 AM »

I've done edits off and on whenever I've been able to find published sources to back them up, but too often things happen, yet there's no published source that denotes what has happened (such as the recent signing of M-311). Honestly I'd love to keep articles up-to-date as possible, but that's hard to do when all I have to go on is original research, which is strictly verboten by Wikipedia. That (amongst other things) has kept me from becoming a more active Wikipedia editor.
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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2009, 09:38:05 AM »

I've done occasional "fixes" on a few Minnesota pages here and there, but I've found it easier (when I've had the motivation to begin with) to update my own highway pages...
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english si

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2009, 10:00:44 AM »

Honestly I'd love to keep articles up-to-date as possible, but that's hard to do when all I have to go on is original research, which is strictly verboten by Wikipedia. That (amongst other things) has kept me from becoming a more active Wikipedia editor.
Some of the most knowledgeable British Roadgeeks had a similar problem and then also had the problem that their websites were treated by one aggressive user as not good enough to be sources, and also plagiarised by others without source links. Add to that the odd numpty adding information that's full of crap on there.

I don't think any of the more involved SABRE members work on the UK roads wikiproject anymore, mostly because of the SABRE Wiki, which doesn't trash hours in archives researching, nor copies members websites (but rather acts as a portal for them). Plus, unlike wikipedia, we can have lots of very small pages without fear of deletion for not being interesting enough (as chosen by someone with no knowledge or interest in the topic).
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Dougtone

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2009, 10:06:18 AM »

I already indirectly work on Wikipedia.  It's a result of allowing creative commons for my photos on my Flickr account.  I've gotten feedback from a few people (from roadgeeks and those who aren't roadgeeks) that they are using my photos in order to complete their Wikipedia articles.

Dougtone

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2009, 10:12:46 AM »

Honestly I'd love to keep articles up-to-date as possible, but that's hard to do when all I have to go on is original research, which is strictly verboten by Wikipedia. That (amongst other things) has kept me from becoming a more active Wikipedia editor.
Some of the most knowledgeable British Roadgeeks had a similar problem and then also had the problem that their websites were treated by one aggressive user as not good enough to be sources, and also plagiarised by others without source links. Add to that the odd numpty adding information that's full of crap on there.

I don't think any of the more involved SABRE members work on the UK roads wikiproject anymore, mostly because of the SABRE Wiki, which doesn't trash hours in archives researching, nor copies members websites (but rather acts as a portal for them). Plus, unlike wikipedia, we can have lots of very small pages without fear of deletion for not being interesting enough (as chosen by someone with no knowledge or interest in the topic).

I find that Wikipedia is a good entry point into our roads hobby, much like nycroads.com served as an entry point into the hobby for me just over 10 years ago.  Regarding a wiki, it has been suggested to me to turn Gribblenation into a wiki on more than one occasion.  While I am opposed to that idea, I do think that an independent wiki focused on United States and Canadian roads and a little more flexibility than Wikipedia would be a good idea.  It's just a matter of finding the right people who can be dedicated to running a roads wiki and a web hosting provider that allows the creation of a wiki on one's site.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 10:15:43 AM by dougtone »
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Chris

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2009, 10:17:47 AM »

I have been working on a Dutch-language wiki about highways. So far I covered all freeways in the United States and most U.S. Highways. It took me two years, and I'm not done yet, I also covered various countries in Europe and countries like Japan, South Korea, Israel and Brazil.

The main problem with wikipedia is the original research ban. Almost anything is original research in the wiki I'm working on.

corco

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2009, 01:06:25 PM »

I'll modify errors that I find to be particularly egregious (eg claims that US-87 runs along I-25 from Buffalo Wyoming to Raton NM without deviation), but I have my own highway pages to put up and write, and those take a ton of time, so I just don't find myself with the energy to update Wikipedia, although in an ideal world I would love to.

rschen7754

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2010, 03:18:26 PM »

I find that Wikipedia is a good entry point into our roads hobby, much like nycroads.com served as an entry point into the hobby for me just over 10 years ago.  Regarding a wiki, it has been suggested to me to turn Gribblenation into a wiki on more than one occasion.  While I am opposed to that idea, I do think that an independent wiki focused on United States and Canadian roads and a little more flexibility than Wikipedia would be a good idea.  It's just a matter of finding the right people who can be dedicated to running a roads wiki and a web hosting provider that allows the creation of a wiki on one's site.

We explored that scenario a while ago when we were evaluating the option of forking from Wikipedia. We decided against this because the Wikipedia site gives us so many advantages (server space, being one of the top 10 sites on the Internet, peer review, infrastructure to deal with problem users, and so much more) that we would not have otherwise. We have had quite a few highway articles featured on the main page of Wikipedia before.
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vdeane

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2010, 04:03:55 PM »

While the serve space and publicity issues would be there, peer review would exist in the form of other road geeks (rather than people that know nothing about roads and are wrapped up in Wikipedia's politics) and infrastructure for dealing with problem users could easily be created (you could even copy Wikipedia's own policy).  Of course, this does assume that you would use the same software as Wikipedia does rather than try to create your own code from scratch.

I believe that server space could be mitigated by hosting it on wikia or some other service.

Publicity probably can't be solved.
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Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

rschen7754

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2010, 08:22:20 PM »

Wikipedia also focuses more on general interest; making articles that are useful to everybody, not just the roadgeek. This is helpful when you want to show your work to other people. The purpose of peer review is to provide a different perspective, and also get help from better copyeditors and writers.

The advantage of having such a system where anybody can edit and where people go every day is that we arguably have one of the best websites for US roads on the Internet.
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agentsteel53

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2010, 09:52:07 PM »

Jimmy Wales needs to stop begging me for money in huge letters as the very first thing I see on each page and then perhaps I can take the site a bit more seriously.

when I first clicked "turn off the shameless panhandling" I didn't mean "replace it several days from now with even more shameless panhandling".

by the way, give me some money, everyone.  I will buy vodka with it.  Vodka is good [citation required].
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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2010, 10:56:21 PM »

Jimmy Wales needs to stop begging me for money in huge letters as the very first thing I see on each page and then perhaps I can take the site a bit more seriously.

when I first clicked "turn off the shameless panhandling" I didn't mean "replace it several days from now with even more shameless panhandling".

by the way, give me some money, everyone.  I will buy vodka with it.  Vodka is good [citation required].
Adblock does the trick for me... The filter I use for it is "http://upload.wikimedia.org/centralnotice/*"
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Scott5114

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2010, 11:11:09 PM »

If you have a user account, you can turn it off permanently ;)
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agentsteel53

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2010, 11:15:38 PM »


Adblock does the trick for me... The filter I use for it is "http://upload.wikimedia.org/centralnotice/*"
sweet!  adding the filter now.  I hope they don't try to end-run it by changing the location of their propaganda machine.
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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2010, 11:26:56 PM »

Adblock does the trick for me... The filter I use for it is "http://upload.wikimedia.org/centralnotice/*"

Nice I'm also adding the filter now. I also hate the big and bold letters beggin me for money on every single page.

===

As for the road articles, I usually read them for some background information on a particular highway especially some of the ones in other countries that not covered on any roads website. I also use their road sign and shield pictures for sketchup models and other uses such as the MC 401 in my avatar.
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algorerhythms

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2010, 11:54:41 PM »

If you have a user account, you can turn it off permanently ;)

I've found that user account switch to be less permanent than I had hoped. (Mainly, because of the cookie settings I use, the message would reappear when I went to log back in after restarting Firefox.) So, in my experience the Adblock solution works best.
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mightyace

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2010, 03:39:48 AM »


Adblock does the trick for me... The filter I use for it is "http://upload.wikimedia.org/centralnotice/*"
sweet!  adding the filter now.  I hope they don't try to end-run it by changing the location of their propaganda machine.

Yes, that works nicely.  Thanks, folks!

My general rule on charities is, "Don't call me, I'll contact you if I want to give."
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Scott5114

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2010, 10:36:22 AM »

Waiting for en.wikipedia.org...
Reading en.wikipedia.org...
Transferring data from en.wikipedia.org...
Done

Shouldn't that count as "contact"? ;)
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Alex

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2010, 11:14:36 AM »

I'll start up a "Anybody want to work on AARoads" thread.  :cool:

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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2010, 05:18:14 PM »

There a site named Wikia www.wikia.com who hosts various wiki devoted to books, movies, cartoons, mangas,etc.... maybe we could host an highway wiki there.  Maybe we could cover the United States, Canada but also Australia, Mexico, Europe, etc.....
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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2010, 05:08:54 PM »

There a site named Wikia www.wikia.com who hosts various wiki devoted to books, movies, cartoons, mangas,etc.... maybe we could host an highway wiki there.  Maybe we could cover the United States, Canada but also Australia, Mexico, Europe, etc.....
Wikia isn't generally good if you're looking to make a serious project. Lots of ads as well.
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Re: Anybody want to work on Wikipedia?
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2010, 05:22:29 PM »

There a site named Wikia www.wikia.com who hosts various wiki devoted to books, movies, cartoons, mangas,etc.... maybe we could host an highway wiki there.  Maybe we could cover the United States, Canada but also Australia, Mexico, Europe, etc.....
Wikia isn't generally good if you're looking to make a serious project. Lots of ads as well.

Yes, and you have to abide by the Wikia policies for what you can do with your site (I think there's provisions for shutting it down if it goes inactive, you have to get the topic approved, other Wikias can get merged into your Wikia on whim, etc.) I looked into this back in the 2007 era when we considered forking from Wikipedia, but I wasn't really crazy about the idea.
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