Posts Tagged ‘Wikipedia’

Stuff I finished recently

November 20, 2016

Big catchall post.

I recently finished #100wikidays, a personal challenge in which you commit to write a new Wikipedia article every day for 100 consecutive days. I did all biographies, mostly women, as usual; looking over the list, there were only two that I’d even heard of before the day I wrote their article. (This is how I usually work; if I don’t previously know anything about the subject, then I can’t say anything about them without a source. It still helps to know something about their historical context, of course.)

There were at least a dozen African women (because I was also doing the Africa destubathon for part of the time); a couple of Cornishmen (because of the West Country Challenge–sensing a theme?); two blind organist/composers from Philadelphia; one mother-son pair of artists; a lot of North Carolinians (partly because the NCPedia is online, unlike a lot of state historical encyclopedias); a few Guggenheim fellows, and a bunch of US women active in the peace movement. I even wrote two of the articles in a hospital bed when I needed an emergency surgery for a kidney stone. Here’s my whole list of 100 new articles. It was fun and I’d recommend it.

I also, recently (as in today), finished my contributions for the Yarn Bombing Los Angeles installation “California Yarnscape”, which will happen at the Autry Museum in spring 2017. Here’s my crocheted “Sequoias”, inspired somewhat by 1930s WPA posters for the national parks:

Also, somehow, I made two Halloween costumes this year; my son’s was the more ambitious, a rolling tarantula of funfur and pantyhose and wire and so much duct tape…

Mine was four pretty easy pieces (but I love the elaborate hat); an alien priestess costume, based loosely on the Sisterhood of Karn in old Doctor Who.
Finally, look for Jake and me in this flashmob video made at Venice Beach last Sunday. You’ll need to look closely; I’m in a black hat and red dress; Jake’s in his blue Convaid chair. This was also a lot of fun to do.

Wikipedia milestone 100

November 23, 2015

Earlier this month (November 2015), English-language Wikipedia reached its 5 millionth article — which turned out to be about an Australian shrub.

This weekend, I reached my own personal Wikipedia milestone:  I started my 100th article, during the New York Academy of Sciences Women in Science edit-athon.  It was about Nellie M. Payne (1900-1990), an entomologist who held a couple patents on insecticides. She did some pioneering research in the 1920s, on the effect of low temperatures on insects.  I just chose her off the work list for the edit-athon, probably because her name is Nellie (I’ve also done entries for chemist Nellie May Naylor and music hall performer Nell Emerald).  It’s not my most interesting entry, nor my best entry, but it’s my 100th entry.  Onward!  (My user page at Wikipedia has the complete list, if you’re curious.)

My Wikipedia Garden (to date)

June 24, 2014

I’ve been enjoying various crowdsourcing projects for many years, most noticeably Flickr Commons until Flickr’s user interface became unwieldy for my purposes, about a year ago.  I still use Commons images for collage projects sometimes, but only from my “Flickr Favorites” board at Pinterest.  (Can you still use Flickr? Good for you. I can’t. Yes, I know changes are afoot.  Changes are always afoot at Flickr; that’s not always something I like in a website.)

So I needed a new crowdsourcing home, and Wikipedia was the obvious next choice.  I’d already started to do little tasks there, and I was already comfortable writing Encyclopedia-ese from two print encyclopedia projects I worked on.  Now, a year on, I do still miss my Friday mornings with the Bain Collection, but I have a new playground, and so far I’ve liked that a lot too.

As of this morning, I’ve created 27 new entries on Wikipedia (26 on my own, one to help a friend whose work was stuck in an editorial queue).  Mostly women, but there are two men (both of them involved with oceans, though that’s a coincidence); a lot of people involved in museum work, which I don’t do, but I guess I gravitate towards those who do.  Some of these names I knew before starting their entries, but some were new to me on that day.  I like edit-athons, and I like picking names from a list and seeing where they take me.  Not surprisingly, I prefer writing about dead people, because their obituaries and tombstones are fair game, and their images are more likely to be available for use.  Six of my posts have been linked on the front page of Wikipedia as “Did You Know” (DYK) facts so far–not for more than a few hours, but it’s still a hoot, and the process of getting there is an impressive part of the backstage rigging of the site.

And yeah, six of them involved Flickr Commons images I wanted to know more about.  So it’s maybe not such a big shift after all.

Here are my 27 entries as of June 23, 2014:
(*=written as part of an editathon)