Why and how to create and edit articles on Wikipedia


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When there is a Wikipedia article on a topic that you search on, it usually appears as the top result or near it. It's tempting for the passionate professionals here to jump in and contribute but be careful because this might backfire. This talk will help you contribute to Wikipedia successfully.

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Why and how to create and edit articles on Wikipedia

  1. 1. Why and How to Create and Edit Articles for WikipediaFrom ProductCamp Boston, the UnconferenceColin Warwick, Product Owner, Agilent Technologies, but this is mypersonal experience and opinion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Woz2 colin.a.warwick@gmail.com @ColinWarwickNotes on this session are here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Woz2/ProductCamp_Boston_notesThis presentation is licensed CC-BY-SA Creative Commons 3.0 -Share Alike - Attribution
  2. 2. Why?From ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference
  3. 3. Why? Because Your Customers Are Reading It…From ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference …but Wikipedia is different from other top user-generated content sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter… You need a different approach… Quantcast Compete Site Uniques/mo. Rank google.com 160,693,511 1 facebook.com 154,573,438 2 yahoo.com 152,335,520 3 youtube.com 150,702,803 4 bing.com 121,796,759 5 wikipedia.org 93,065,246 6 amazon.com 89,851,449 7 msn.com 86,391,408 8 live.com 76,311,162 9 ask.com 72,773,201 10
  4. 4. Why? Community Writing About Your Company and ProductsFrom ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference 1,700 “Volumes” & Adding 20 Per MonthImage credit: Wikipedia/Tompw CC-BY-SA
  5. 5. Why? Your Customers See It When They SearchFrom ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference
  6. 6. How Should You React If You Don’t Like What They’re Reading?From ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference
  7. 7. How?From ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference
  8. 8. You Are Not Interacting With a Data Center…From ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference Photos of the Wikimedia Cluster in the EQIAD deployment Photo Credit: WikiMedia Commons/RobH Note: WikiMedia Foundation has 679 servers compared to Google’s one million
  9. 9. You Are Interacting With Real People Just Like YouFrom ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference Video credit: WikiMedia Foundation CC-BY-SA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Great_Feeling.ogv
  10. 10. No Superpowers… Just 300 Edits… You Can Totally Do It…From ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference Edits Cumulative Wikipedians Cumulative Edits 1 4,058,477 100.0% 193,308,312 100.0% 3 1,614,938 39.8% 189,392,607 98.0% 10 772,557 19.0% 184,566,290 95.5% 32 300,523 7.4% 176,631,859 91.4% 100 121,156 3.0% 166,948,068 86.4% 316 52,329 1.3% 155,152,123 80.3% 1000 23,328 0.6% 139,120,606 72.0% 3162 9,576 0.2% 115,086,052 59.5% 10000 2,975 0.1% 78,947,127 40.8% 31623 609 0.0% 39,467,980 20.4% 100000 62 0.0% 11,784,655 6.1% 316228 8 0.0% 3,991,297 2.1% 2001 to date, cumulative bottom to topIn addition WikiMedia Foundation has 131 paid staff. Source: Wikipedia
  11. 11. Would You Grab the Microphone at a Town Hall Meeting?From ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Sage Ross
  12. 12. Neutral Point of View: Think Like an Exo-AnthropologistFrom ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference Artist impression of smallest known exoplanets based on Kepler mission data. Comparison to Earth. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Public domain
  13. 13. Conflict of Interest Hinders Neutrality…From ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference Milkshake Anyone? Photo credit: WikiMedia Commons, Flickr, kr zyboy2o CC-BY-SA
  14. 14. Passionate Experts Are Welcome…From ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference
  15. 15. Aim of a “Neutral, Reliably Sourced Encyclopedia” Comes FirstFrom ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference Guideline supporting Neutral Point of View principle
  16. 16. Primary: Secondary: Subject of article, press Reliable source (John Tertiary:release, blog, unreviewed Wiley, Nature, New York Wikipedia paper Times)
  17. 17. MechanicsFrom ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference
  18. 18. Account Creation TipsFrom ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference• One Login  One Real Person • Not shared between your department or company• Pseudonymous login: e.g. two random words “PurplePython” or something.• Fill out (optional) email address field • Communication is key • Set “E-mail me when my user talk page is changed” preference
  19. 19. Account Creation TipsFrom ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference• Don’t look like newbie by leaving your user pages blank (“redlinked”). At a minimum: • Put icon for your primary language on your user page (“Babel box”). • On your talk page, to tell other editors how to communicate with you. (“TalkBack template”)
  20. 20. Editing TipsFrom ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference• Collect your reliable sources first – Proves notability• Learn a bit of Wiki mark up code – Especially reference/citation tags• Edit existing articles before creating a new one• Draft new articles in a “sandbox” – Never attempt to create a new article “in-situ”
  21. 21. Side Benefit: Exposure for Your “Remark-able” ContentFrom ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference Note: Use {{request edit}} Remark- tag if in doubt able content on your site (Apologies to HubSpot for mashing up their “sprocket” logo)
  22. 22. Risks and BenefitsFrom ProductCamp Boston, the UnconferenceRisks• “Public embarrassment” if contributions are biasedBenefits• Learn more about topics you think you knew something about• Make voice heard in the community• Side benefit: Exposure for your “remark- able” content if worthy
  23. 23. Questions? From ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference“Whose parents came to California after 1930?” 7th & 8th graders in Westley, California. Photo credit: Dorothea Lange/U.S. National Archives and Records Administration/WikiMedia Commons. Public domain
  24. 24. Backup SlidesFrom ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference
  25. 25. Neutral Point of View: Think Like a JudgeFrom ProductCamp Boston, the UnconferenceGordon Hewart, 1st ViscountHewart (1870-1943)Photo credit: WikiMediaCommons/Public domain
  26. 26. Why? Because Your Customers Are Reading ItFrom ProductCamp Boston, the UnconferenceTotal Annual Expenses: ~$26 bn incl #3 1 million servers 25,000 paid staff ~$1.9 bn ~$0.018 bn 697 servers 131 paid staff ~$0.10 bn 1,000 paid staff
  27. 27. Created in 2001 By a “Bunch of Nobodies”From ProductCamp Boston, the Unconference