My Wikipedia Experience

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Wikipedia is something that I have grown up with and been told that it is not the most reliable source of information out there.

I found the training modules to be very insightful and provided me with the details behind this amazing website. Wikipedia is more than just a place for people to post whatever they want without fact checking anything. It has extensive rules and regulations to help prevent people from posting wrong or inaccurate information on the site.

After spending a lot of time looking through Wikipedia for articles that needed some extra information, I decided to work on the entry for my high school. Montoursville Area High School was in the process of renovations while I was attending there and (of course) was not finished until after I had graduated in 2017. The page contains a wide variety of information about the school including statistics on academics, sports, and other various clubs. The information about the renovation was very short and looked like it had not been updated since before the renovation was completed. I saw this as an opportunity to do some of my own research to add some beneficial information to this section.

After finding the information that I needed, I followed the instructions and went to the “talk” section. I actually did not hear anything back for this, possibly because it is not a popular page, thus does not concern the editors like something more controversial would. When I did not hear anything back, I decided to go ahead and make my edits.

This is a screenshot of what was there initially.

The section that I decided to edit, which is the last paragraph in the screenshot, had a slight typo to begin with. This was just a minor double space in between two words so I fixed that error as well as the sentence “The project is expected to be completed in 2017”. I updated it to say “The project has since been completed in 2017”. I also added some new information (last sentence) pertaining to the new classrooms that were added to the school. I found this to be very important information regarding the renovation so I was shocked to find that there was no mention of it in the article.

Since the information that I found was in pdf format found on the website, I was a little bit concerned when it came to making the citation for the facts that I found. Wikipedia made it fairly easy for me to just fill in the blanks as best as I could to automatically generate the citation for me. I found this to be very helpful and took some of the stress away before making my final touches.

Here is a screenshot of the updated version that I made edits to.

I am shocked that I have not heard a single word from Wikipedia regarding my edits. I have been checking the page frequently to see if there have been any changes to what I posted and there has been nothing. Based on the training modules and readings from the course, I expected my edits to be taken down immediately. I am glad they have not and I hope that means that I did everything correctly (or maybe I did everything wrong I’m not quite sure). None the less, they are still up and available to the public!

Overall, I really enjoyed the experience that I had with this assignment. I have always wondered exactly how to make edits on Wikipedia. I now know so much more than just how to make edits. I have learned about the background of Wikipedia, how it runs, and the great lengths it goes to in order to provide the most accurate information possible.

I won’t lie, I was quite intimidated at first. I was not sure how I was going to be able to find an article that 1, I knew a lot about and 2, was lacking some information that I could provide to it. Kristy’s blog post gave me a lot of inspiration for my topic of choice. Coming from a very small town, I knew that my high school couldn’t have that much information or edits made to it and I was correct! I am grateful that I was able to find something to add beneficial information too and not just some meaningless edits.

I can now say that I have learned something new and potentially beneficial for my life. I find that I get bored in some courses by just doing the same type of quizzes and homework assignments week after week, but this offered me a real challenge and a way to implement the learning material in a more hands on way. I plan to be more active on this site now that I have the knowledge to be successful with it.