Becoming a Wikipedia Editor

I remember learning at a very young age that Wikipedia is a website that has nearly infinite information, but anyone could edit the text. This is why in throughout elementary to high school, teachers would frown upon using Wikipedia as a credible source. I made a few changes with my friends to see how quickly they would get changed back. To our display, it was only a few minutes. Now realizing that the reason the incorrect edits get changed so quickly is because of the volunteer staff who simply want to educate and share information. I wish I knew that sooner, I wouldn’t have been so quick to write inappropriate things on Wikipedia.

It was daunting to find out this was our assignment for a few weeks. What information did I have to share that would be good enough for Wikipedia? Or information that wouldn’t be immediately changed back. Daunting as it is, it has been an excellent learning experience.

I started out by finding a page that I knew a lot about myself that lacked depth. My husband and I both love coffee, so I chose the page for Chemex Coffeemaker. I began by introducing myself in the talk tab of the page, I wasn’t sure if I would get any buzz because the last edit appears to be from 2012. You can see my edit at the bottom of this image.

I waited a few days, but didn’t get any responses to what I posted under the Talk Page. Assuming no one had any issues, I went ahead and made some changes to the Brewing Method section. To my surprise, nothing was immediately flagged or taken down. I was glad no one objected! The wording seemed to match Wikipedia language with no bias or personal touches.

I checked again the next day and my edits were still there! I was so pleased that my wording and in text citations didn’t raise any red flags to other editors. I was a little bummed that no editors were actively monitoring the page or responding to my post under the Talk tab. It seems that those editing this specific page were doing it for the same reasons I chose this article. I love coffee and have an interest in the brewing methods, and felt like adding information for people who want to learn more about brewing with this type of equipment. That’s the reason Wikipedia was founded and remains such a great tool for people who simply want to learn more.

Finally, I added an additional section on how to properly clean the Chemex. So far, it hasn’t been flagged or removed altogether. I would like for it to remain, but I understand if it is.

Overall, I really enjoyed this process. I saw how hard the Wiki editors work to make sure the information is correct for readers. I definitely have a strong appreciation for them, because I could not do this long-term. I think in the future I will be more inclined to edit if I read something that has missing facts.

Here is a link to the page I edited.