100 Days of Wikipedia: Week 14

I am reaching the end of this challenge.  Some big things happened this past week.  First, I passed the 1,000 edits mark.  This means, after having an account for over 10 years, I have finally made 1,000 edits.  I am actually at 1,026 edits since then.  I published a new page I had been working on for the New England Football League.  It was promptly nominated for deletion (I expected it) and I crafted my defense of the page.  No decision has been made yet, but I maintain it should be included.

I also started playing with a tool called Twinkle.  It has helped deal with vandalism and leaving messages for editors and others.  I wish I had found it sooner!  I am enjoying how easy it is to use.

Day 92 3/2/16: I edited the Sheila Wingfield entry for +629 bytes

Day 93 3/3/16I edited the Julia Flynn Siler entry for +721 bytes

Day 94 3/4/16I edited the Nicola Beauman entry for +1960 bytes

Day 95 3/5/16I edited the Karen Tongson entry for +665 bytes

Day 96 3/6/16I edited the Mary Cosh entry for +653 bytes

Day 97 3/7/16I edited the Jessica Denay entry for +609 bytes

Day 98 3/8/16I edited the Janet McNeill entry for +854 bytes

I have 2 more days to make up for missed days.  I will post that update and a final review of what happened over the last 102 days as I worked on this project.  There has been so many interesting things happening, but they really require a larger review to talk about.

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100 Days of Wikipedia: Weeks 12 & 13

Two weeks in one.  As things just get busier in life, I am glad I am on the tail end of this project.  I did lose a day on week 12, adding another day to the end.  I find, at this point, I spend more time identifying an entry that I can edit.  This is a major part of what this project is about, but I will talk about that in the final post at the very end.

Until then…

Day 79 2/17/16: I edited the Erika Krouse entry for +740 bytes

Day 80 2/18/16: I edited the Susan Jane Gilman entry for +1129 bytes

Day 81 2/19/16: I edited the Angela Bourke entry for +754 bytes

Day 82 2/21/16: I edited the Marcia Bonta entry for +1160 bytes

Day 83 2/22/16: I edited the Dominique Manotti entry for +1153 bytes

Day 84 2/23/16: I edited the Celestine Sibley entry for +2836

Day 85 2/24/16: I edited the Jane Thayer entry for +638 bytes

Day 86 2/25/16: I edited the Rosemary Rogers entry for +782 bytes

Day 87 2/26/16: I edited the Eithne Strong  for +776 bytes

Day 88 2/27/16: I edited the Amie Kaufman for +375 bytes

Day 89 2/28/16: I edited the Barbara Smucker for +1623 bytes

Day 90 2/29/16: I edited the Marianne Fritz for +696 bytes

Day 91 3/1/16: I edited the Suzanne Jill Levinefor +755

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100 Days of Wikipedia: Week 11

I am officially 3/4 of the way through this project. I am ready for this to be over.  With so many things happening in real life, I want to finish what I started but also not have to worry about it.  I will reflect more on this when the project is over, but I am quickly getting into the habit of checking and editing.  I am beginning to wonder if I should do this again over the summer except do it as intended: create a new entry for 100 days.  It is something I am considering, but it really depends on what is going on personally.

Day 72 2/10/16: I edited 2 entries to make up for missed day.  I edited the Jane Christmas entry for +764 bytes.  I also edited the Betty Lasky entry for +947 bytes.

Day 73 2/11/16: I edited the Anne Villeneuve entry for +551 bytes.

Day 74 2/12/16: I edited the Mary E. Bibb entry for +654 bytes.

Day 75 2/13/16: I edited the Leslie Leyland Fields entry for +270 bytes.

Day 76 2/14/16: I edited the Elinor DeWire entry for +764 bytes.

Day 77 2/15/16: I edited the Chloe Neill entry for +693 bytes.

Day 78 2/16/16: I edited the Danielle Wood entry for +1229 bytes

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100 Days of Wikipedia: Week 10

This was the week I finally hit the snag and missed a day.  There are times of the year when I have so much going on that I can’t focus on everything.  February is rarely one of those times.  In fact, typically the snow leaves me stuck in the house with nothing to do.  I typically get seasonal affective disorder in February because there is nothing but snow.  This year it is different.  This year there is a puppy to consider and entertain.  This year there has been less snow than previous years.  This year I am the only reference librarian in my library.  This time last year there were two of us.  This time 2 years ago there were four of us.  There is just so much to be done and I can’t do it all.

It happened on Tuesday (yesterday).  I had a few days of remembering to make my edits at the last minute.  It was a busy weekend with snow storms to book end it.  An unexpected four day weekend means the next day I work, it will be crazy.  That was Tuesday this week.  When I finally remembered I had not done my edit, I was just about to fall asleep.  There was no point in dealing with it then.

So, what will I do?  Well, this is a personal challenge.  On Wednesday I edited 2 entries (you will see them on next week’s update) and I will tack a day on to the end of the challenge.

Other than that, I have been so busy that it has been difficult to do more than just add a citation, update the information on an entry, and submit that.  It always increases an entry by at least 600 bytes, but I wish I had time to create more entries again.

In other Wikipedia related news, it is time for me to start planning an edit-a-thon I am hosting at the university this April.  The theme is Latino Americans.  I have already started creating the list of entries to edit and create.

Day 66 2/3/16: Edited the Hadley Irwin entry for +2099 bytes

Day 67 2/4/16: Edited the Nell Zink entry for +665 bytes

Day 68 2/5/16: Edited the Judith Frank entry for +1126 bytes

Day 69 2/6/16: Edited the Ruth Landshoff entry for +629 bytes 

Day 70 2/7/16: Edited the Kayla Perrin entry for +734 bytes

Day 71 2/8/16: Edited the Bea Uusma entry for +1215 bytes

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100 Days of Wikipedia: Week 9

With the semester in full swing, the second half of this adventure has been more difficult than the first half.  These days I am just happy to get a citation added to an entry.  Putting in a citation always gets me to my goal.  I have been doing just that.  I have focused on entries from 2014 and early 2015 that are about women writers (it’s a goldmine) and authors I can find on the library’s biography tools.

I passed the 900 edit mark this week.  My thought I could get past 1,000 this past week, but it has just been too busy to do so.  I hope to do it before this project is over.

Day 59 1/27/16: Edited the Colleen J. McElroy entry for +1062 bytes.

Day 60 1/28/16: Edited the Alexis De Veaux entry for +1224 bytes

Day 61 1/29/16: Edited the Kathleen Coyle entry for +1819 bytes

Day 62 1/30/16: Edited the Beverly Lowry entry for +733 bytes

Day 63 1/31/16: Edited the Emma Richler entry for +622 bytes

Day 64 2/1/16: Edited the Maria Jane Jewsbury entry for +714 bytes

Day 65 2/2/16: Edited the Rachel Abbott entry for +654 bytes

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100 Days of Wiki: Weeks 6 -8

I know, I skipped a couple of weeks of updates.  That’s how busy things have been in life and work.  That isn’t to say that I didn’t stick with this challenge.  I just haven’t been able to focus on it here.

What happened that has kept me so busy?  Primarily the spring semester of classes has started.  This means I am now the only reference librarian in my library.  It is a complicated situation.  There have been a number of developments in the work I do with Wikipedia.  Some I can talk about here, others are too premature to mention.

First, last week was the #1Lib1Ref event where librarians around the world were asked to add 1 reference to a Wikipedia entry each day for a week.  I participated.  You can see the Twitter feed for the hashtag to get an idea of how many people participated.  It was a great event.  During these past few weeks I also attended the ALA MidWinter conference. On my other blog I wrote about the books I got, but I did have some good conversations about running events around Wikipedia.

In terms of editing, I focused on adding citations more than creating entries.  I wanted to keep in the spirit of the #1Lib1Ref event.  I continued to focus on biographies of women writers and realized even those that had been created needed a lot of work.

This marks the half-way point in this project.  I am also nearing my 1,000 edit on Wikipedia.  In fact, I am hoping to hit that mark by the time I post the next entry.  I need about 18 edits to get there.  I think it means I need to work on some entries I have been developing for a few months.

Here are the edits I made:

Day 37 1/6/16: Adelbert Ames-  added +364 bytes.

Day 38 1/7/16: Lucha Corpi- created with +4381 bytes

Day 39 1/8/16: Lowell Memorial Auditorium- added 1368 bytes

Day 40 1/9/16: I edited 2 entries to reach goal.  First, Sheridan Le Fanu for +245 bytes. Second, Maggie Cassidy for +42 bytes.

Day 41 1/10/16: Academic Writing Month for +297 bytes

Day 42 1/11/16: A bunch to get to my total this day. The total added, in the end was +636 bytes

Day 43 1/12/16: I edited the entry for Mary Tabor +696 bytes

Day 44 1/13/16: I edited the entry for Mark Kurlansky for +2180 bytes

Day 46 1/14/16: I edited the entry for Lynne Olson for +1194 bytes

Day 47 1/15/16: I edited 2 pages for reasons.  First, Maxine Trottier for +1862 bytes.  Second, the Cross Point building entry for +346 bytes.

Day 48 1/16/16: I edited the Laurie Carlos entry for +484 bytes

Day 49 1/17/16: I edited the Mia Lehrer entry for +1,056 bytes

Day 50 1/18/16: I edited the Margaret Harkness entry for +794 bytes

Day 51 1/19/16: I edited the Jane Kurtz entry for +647 bytes

Day 52 1/20/16: I edited the R. J. Anderson entry for +1577 bytes

Day 53 1/21/16: I edited the Amanda Hopkinson entry for +800 bytes

Day 54 1/22/16: I edited the Rebecca Wittmann entry for +735 bytes

Day 55 1/23/16: I edited the Nelly Kaplan entry for +1448 bytes

Day 56 1/24/16: I edited the Sophie Littlefield entry for +787 bytes

Day 57 1/25/16: I edited the Sarah Ewing Hall entry for +785 bytes

Day 58 1/26/16: I edited the Sue McCauley entry for +649 bytes

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100 Days of Wiki: Week 5

It was a quiet week for me.  Nothing exciting happened for me in relation to Wikipedia, but between Cedric Doggery being neutered and the New Year, my goal was to just stick to the goal of increasing the bytes on an entry.

What I have been researching is getting more involved in patrolling new entries.  For some reason I thought it was a formal thing that I would be assigned or approved to do, but it doesn’t seem like that is the case.  There are three types of deletion requests and it turns out that patrolling them is just something you can do.  I am still looking into it, but I won’t take it on until this project is over.

I also spent the week focused on editing Lowell related entries: UMass Lowell Alumni and Lowell politicians.  I created fewer entries, but I am spending time adding citations to entries to improve them.

Here is what I worked on in the past week:

Day 30 12/30/15Michael Casey (poet)- added +353 bytes.

Day 31 12/31/15Christopher J. Coyne- added +270 bytes.

Day 32 1/1/16Sean Garballey- added +1443 bytes.

Day 33 1/2/16: Harish Hande- added +541 bytes.

Day 34 1/3/16: Jenny Nordberg- created an entry with +3799 bytes.

Day 35 1/4/16: Mary Helen Ponce- created an entry with +3177 bytes.

Day 36 1/5/16: William McNeill Whistler- added +951 bytes.


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100 Days of Wikipedia: Week 4

At the end of this entry I will share the edits I made over the last week.  Before I get to that, I have had a second experience with the Articles for Deletion (AfD) process.  Wikipedia has a bunch of identified problems.  First, there are fewer and fewer new editors coming on board.  By new editors I mean people who set up an account and use it at least 5 times a month.  Second, their male editors outnumber their female editors significantly.  Third, entries about women and topics considered to be of interest to women (more than men) are very low when compared to men and those entries of interest to men.  Fourth, the creation of new entries have slowed down.

Keep these problems in mind as I tell you this story.  I have been working on a project to specifically increase the number of biography entries about women writers.  I like bio entries because I can easily find and use references through the library.  I can easily write a biography entry and create a good one in about an hour or so.  I have been focused primarily on creating those entries this past week.  Last week I had one hiccup when my entry was put up for speedy deletion while I was making edits.  The editor in question removed it as soon as I pushed back.  It is important to note that it happened within 5 minutes of creating the entry and it was suggested I create the bulk of the entry in my sandbox space before moving it to the entry proper.  So, I continued with my efforts in that manner.

When creating a biography entry, I often look to have 3 quality sources- including one traditional reference source.  The more sources I can find, the better the article and the more notable the person.  When it comes to biographies, notability is a huge issue.  Notability is often why biography entries get deleted.  The thing is, just because the person isn’t notable to you, doesn’t mean they aren’t notable.  Winning awards in your field, being the subject of a traditional biography source, and being covered in the news are easy ways to identify someone as notable when you don’t know who they are.  In Wikipedia’s case, at least 3 sources outside of personal webpages, blogs, and profiles, is also a good sign.

I created an entry this past week for Kelly DiPucchio, a children’s author.  I had a solid page with plenty of sources and within 30 minutes, someone had requested it be deleted because she was not notable.  This is someone who wrote a book with the Queen of Jordon and has won awards.  I did a little research and the editor who requested it be deleted write primarily about athletes- people I would never identify as notable.

I fought back.  I put up my own defense of the entry.  I reached out to other editors I know and asked for their help with the entry content, sources and defense.  So much of what is there now is the work of a few people, not just me.  We were successful, in the end, and saved the entry.  It prompted me to ask a few questions about guideline for editors regarding requests for deletion (the AfD process).  I wanted to know if people who question notability should wait a certain amount of time before requesting deletion.  Considering my first had happened within 5 minutes (and that editor thought it was a good-faith 5 minutes) and the second happened within 30 minutes, it seemed this happened too quickly.

Turns out, not so much on guidelines, but there are general suggestions.  Primarily, one that came up was “Please do not bite the newcomers“.  This relates to the often-dickish behavior by established editors when rules are broken, guidelines not adhered to, or any other perceived infraction by a new editor.  I am not a new editor though.  I have been around for over 10 years.  I am just new to creating entries.  In this case I knew and followed the rules, I just had an over-zealous editor recommend deletion without following other guidelines like learning if the person is truly notable or not.  This editor’s hand has been slapped for this behavior before.

Now imagine I am not an experiences editor who knows what is going on.  Imagine I really was new and creating one of my first entries.  An editor pushes to remove my entry and without a support system, would I have been able to fight back?  Would I have even bothered?  I have heard from plenty of people that they created an entry about someone, another editor said the person was not notable, the entry was deleted, and the other editor never came back.  All those problems I listed- this case is a clear example of something that is causing these problems.  A female editor creating a new entry about a female author- specifically a children’s author- is nominated for deletion by a male editor who writes primarily about male athletes.  He has more editing experience than I do, even though I have been around longer.  This needs more attention because I suspect it will happen again and most people I asked about this just sort of shrugged and offered how I can be in a better position to fight, rather than keeping it from happening in general.

More on this if it happens again- I am still formulating what exactly is going on.

Day 23 12/23/15: I created an entry for children’s author Kelly DiPucchio for +3929 bytes.

Day 24 12/24/15: I created an entry for Michelle Hoover for +4460 bytes.

Day 25 12/25/15: I added +1113 bytes to the Themla Todd entry.

Day 26 12/26/15: I created an entry for Lisa Robinson for +3141 bytes.

Day 27 12/27/15: I created an entry for Quail Hawkins for +3867 bytes.

Day 28 12/28/15: I added +637 bytes to the Julia Hartwig entry.

Day 29 12/29/15: I added +527 bytes to the Jerry Bergonzi entry.

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100 Days of Wikipedia: Week 3

I feel like I have hit a stride.  I have a few sources to find entries.  I have a few little things I can do to get my bytes in for the day.  The thing I have to overcome is time management.  That is, making sure I make the time to do the edits.  As little work as it takes to reach my daily goal, managing it can be difficult depending on the day.

This week was the start of a 2 week vacation from work.  Even though I am staying at home and working on projects, my goal is to get out of the house everyday so I can work without puppy intervention.

Day 16 12/16/15: I found a list of biographies that needed to be created.  I created one, my second entry created for English poet Heather Buck.  Creating the page and adding the basic content from the source I found added +537 bytes.  By the time I was done with it, I had added +1952 bytes.  This was the first day I started working on entries about women writers around the world.  I have pretty much been working on these entries ever since.

Day 17 12/17/15: For most of this week I created entries.  I realized, once I popped the bubble of creating entries, it was surprisingly easy to keep doing just that.  I did hit a hiccup with another editors who, while I was in the middle of editing the Isabel Wolff entry today, requested the entry be deleted.  It had one line and I was adding content as he did that.  He later said he had waited 5 minutes to see if anything would be added, but I should build it in my sandbox before creating it.  Point was taken and that was what I started doing the rest of the week.  On The Isabel Wolff entry I created an entry with +2888 bytes.

Day 18 12/18/15: It turns out I am surprisingly good at creating biography entries.  They are really easy to create with you have biography sources to help, which I do!  I created an entry for Latina writer Estela Portillo-Trambley today.  I created an entry with +4368 bytes.  I contemplated re-starting this challenge and scrapping the days I only editing entries.  I changed my mind because I see this as an evolution of my comfort editing and creating entries.  As I learn more about editing, the more risk I am willing to take.

Day 19 12/19/15: I created an entry for African American romance writer Felicia Mason.  I created a +4338 byte entry.  There wasn’t much to say about it.  I did start looking into the ‘Did You Know’ section of Wikipedia.  It’s an element on the main page that shares little known facts from nominated entries.  When you nominate a page, you give it the DYK fact.  I would like to get some of my new entries added to the list.  The key is that for every one you nominate, you have to review one.  I am going to use my vacation freedom to look more into doing that and creating the list of what my new entries should have as a hook.

Day 20 12/20/15: Sunday was a busy day with family time.  The whole week was busy, but only Sunday claimed most of my day.  To make sure I got something done, I went to an entry already created by someone else from the list of women writers.  I found Christine Craig and added +654 bytes by basically adding citations.

Day 21 12/21/15: I was able to edit an entry even though my day was basically spent obsessing about Star Wars.  I created an entry for Demetria Martinez with +4080 bytes.

Day 22 12/22/15: Today I created a page for Joyce Harrington.  The entry has +2141 bytes right now.

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100 Days of Wikipedia: Week 2

I tried my best to plan ahead for this project.  It’s not completely possible to do so.  I have my little journal with ideas on what entries need work and what should be done.  I have a plan for what I can do when nothing else is easy to identify.  When in doubt, I can always turn to my watchlist, the entries I want to know about.  It tells me who updated them, when it was updated, and allows me to compare versions.  It is a great way to combat vandalism.  It turns out, the watchlist is becoming the source of many of my edits in these early weeks.  As I watch for vandalism to favorite entries, I am finding easy opportunities to expand on the entry in question.   I even expand the list as I edit and connect to other entries that need work.

Day 9 12/9/15: This was a day dictated by my watchlist.  Most of my friends know I am a fan of the band Better Than Ezra.  It shouldn’t surprise them that the Wikipedia entry is on my watchlist.  What surprises me is that I have rarely edited the entry.  When I woke up to find a new member of the band on the entry, I ended up focusing my day there.  First, I edited that content.  There was no good source listing this person as a band member.  One random webpage of band pictures listed the person, but nothing from the band or in the news.  So, I explained why I removed the content on the entry talk page (+803 bytes), removed the content on the actual entry (-15 bytes), and explained my removal on the editor’s talk page (+527 bytes).  It was an anonymous editor so I don’t know if it will ever be acknowledged.  Since I was already working on the entry, and I can only work on it once, I did the edits I had noted to myself.  This focused on the lead section, the summary of entry.  I added +570 bytes expanding that.

Day 10 12/10/15: This was a very big day for me, I officially created my first entry.  For this challenge, I worked on the History of Lowell entry.  Primarily I added an image and cited a source.  The image was of a marker related to Lowell history.  This added +443 bytes to the entry.  Most of the work I did was moving the entry for Pollard Memorial Library to the encyclopedia from my sandbox/workspace.  With all the work I did, I added +13,911 bytes for the entry.  This is the first entry I created and I already have a bunch more to go.  The last thing I did was reverse a bunch of vandalism on a few entries.

Day 11 12/11/15: It was a busy day at work so I was exhausted by the time I got home.  I did work on the entry for In The Unlikely Event, the book by Judy Bloom.  I find myself going to entries for the current book I am reading to see what the entry says.  I made two edits in which I added content from interviews and articles about the book.  In total I added +1213 bytes.

Day 12 12/12/15: Weekends are clearly going to be the most difficult.  Vacation will be difficult as well, but weekends are constant.  When I realized there would be days when I would struggle to identify an entry to edit, I signed up to get suggestions on my talk page: SuggestBot.  It’s a bit of code that provides me with suggested entries and what type of work they need.  It is based on other edits I have made. One entry it suggested was Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, an Italian writer.  I found a source, corrected some data, and added +388 bytes to the entry.  I also started re-building an entry for the New England Football League, a semi-professional football league.  The entry had been deleted, but I think it should be re-added.  I found the old content and started adding it back in.  Now I have to update it and find some sources.  I will also start articulating why I think it should remain in Wikipedia.

Day 13 12/13/15: I went back to the suggestion list on Sunday.  I worked on the entry for the Charles River Museum of Industry in Waltham, MA.  It was placed at Francis Cabot Lowell’s first mill in Massachusetts.  This is probably why the bot suggested it to me.  I cleaned up the entry, added some sources (just a couple), and added +269 bytes of data.

Day 14 12/14/15: Yet again I used the suggestion list to find a page to edit.  I am really finding a wealth of ideas there.  I worked on the Southern Cross Novel Challenge entry and did a lot of work.  This is a writing competition like NaNoWriMo… actually, inspired by NaNoWriMo, but from the southern hemisphere so they work in June.  It seems to have closed in the past few years, but I was able to do a lot of work to clean it up and verify sources.  I added +458 bytes to the entry between adding and removing information.  I also worked a bit on the NaNoWriMo entry to make a space to mention the spin-off compeitions.  That added +273 bytes to the NaNoWriMo entry.

Day 15 12/15/15: I discovered a tool called ReFill that fixes citations on entries.  I primarily played with it today.  I went through the list of entries from SuggestBot and put them all through the bot to see if citations needed to be fixed.  Primarily, Yeti and the British Literature entries had changes. On the Yeti entry, I added +205 bytes.  On the British Literature entry, I added +380 bytes.  The total was +585 bytes.

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