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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

"Ignore All Rules"

Ignore All Rules
If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining your life, ignore it.
I am really liking editing Wikipedia so far. I adapted this (above) from Wikipedia: Ignore All Rules
"If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it."
But also, "treat others with respect and civility".
And also, "Knowing the rules is more important than following them."

One of the Five Pillars of Wikipedia is that it has no firm rules; it has evolving guidelines and procedures.

Create a Working Government

What an fascinating political experiment Wikipedia is.
Having just spent four months with Jefferson and Lincoln, I'm amazed to see people---to be one of the people---working on such a democratic project.

Wikipedia is fifteen years old, and over that time, people have obviously put a lot of thought into making it work, including being aware of people's differences. 
I appreciate this article, for instance: "Wikipedia:High-functioning autism and Asperger's editors".
I fail at autism, being the sort of neurotypical who, I expect, appears "to high-functioning Aspie/auties..., to have almost-moronic levels of data processing." 
But the point is, it behooves any group to expect differences between members,and to factor them in.

The process reminds me of the ongoing political experiment that is United States.
 Will it work? Will it fall apart? It's a work in process.
(We survived Andrew Johnson. Would we survive Donald Trump?)

Don't Bite
 
Will I get bitten by Wikivampires? was one of my personal concerns. ("Wiki user who loves to bite the life out of newcomers. They are extremely hostile in regard to Wikipedia’s policies and guidelines.")
 So far, I've had good luck on Wikipedia.
On my second day, I got a super friendlyFace-smile.svg message from a copy editor who'd fixed a formatting error I'd made, explaining how to do it correctly. 

I wrote back: "Thanks for being so funny and welcoming. I'd heard horror stories about how I get jumped in a dark alley if I dared to edit Wikipedia, especially being a woman. "

She replied: "I've heard those horror stories, but they're not coming true on my watch. (Personally, all of my interactions have been positive, though I certainly don't deny harassment on Wikipedia is a real problem.)"


Here's a picture of what I hope to avoid forever: editing wars, modelled by statistical physicists. (It looks scary, but actually it's also a picture of how "opposing views converge over time.")
Dots represent editors, and lines show the disagreement between pairs of editors leading the to "reversion" each others' contribution. The few most active editors (large dots) are the most active warriors with heavy interactions (thick lines).
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-conflicts-wikipedia-statistical-physicists.html#jCp

 My Fannish Edit

Since a lack of women volunteers is one of my motivators for editing Wikipedia, I thought I'd look for topics and people I like who might have been overlooked by the guys.

Fan fiction, for instance. Since the "practice of transformative fanwork [is] historically rooted in a primarily female culture", I guessed it might be overlooked on Wikipedia. 

And so it is.
I spent a couple days editing this entry for the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW), the organization for fans, by fans, that sponsors Archive of Our Own (AO3), the huge online archive of fan fiction and other fan works. 
(Huge = 2 million works, so far.)

I love and admire the phenomenon that is fan fiction (though I don't read fanfic much).

3 comments:

Zhoen said...

You go girl.

bink said...

Wow! Your wiki page on OTW reads just like a great wiki page! Clear, professional, full of useful information neatly laid out. Congrats on nailing it!

Fresca said...

Thanks, Zhoen!

BINK: Thanks! I didn't write the whole page, but I'm glad that my edits appear to be seamless.