Look yourself up in Wikipedia: You might be a beauty queen!

I know there is debate about what type of people should be included in Wikipedia. Imagine my suprise when I looked my name up in Wikipedia on a whim and found a budding teen who will be competing in the Teen USA competition 2007 listed on the page.

I went on the talk page and expressed my concern that I don't think that pageant winners would qualify for wikipedia status. Or do they?

The creator of this page is a user named pageantupdater whose purpose is to:

” …add to the collection of pages relating to the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA national and state pageants – and the titleholders.

If you know anything about a past or present Miss USA delegate please create an article for them! The quickest way to the links is to go to the state pageant page (Category:Miss USA state pageants) and click on their name from there.”

Under the five pillars of wikipedia, I do not think this fits the purpose of wikipedia. In their first pillar, they state:

“Wikipedia is an encyclopedia incorporating elements of general encyclopedias, specialized encyclopedias, and almanacs. All articles must follow our no original research policy and strive for accuracy; Wikipedia is not the place to insert personal opinions, experiences, or arguments. Furthermore, Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. Wikipedia is not a trivia collection, a soapbox, a vanity publisher, an experiment in anarchy or democracy, or a web directory. Nor is Wikipedia a dictionary, a newspaper, or a collection of source documents; these kinds of content should be contributed to the sister projects, Wiktionary, Wikinews, and Wikisource, respectively.”

After reading what Wikipedia says about handling trivia, I conclude that their suggestions are somewhat unrealistic as this person has made it her mission to create information about all of the pageant participants (and offering awards to those who join her in her purpose.)

Perhaps there should be wikipedia articles on all of the edublog award winners or presenters at NECC, surely they are more worthwhile than a pageant winners (I have won pageants too, you know, perhaps my reign is more noteworthy than my work in education!?!)

I like Wikipedia and will use their methods to promote its effectual use, however, when there are users dedicated to the propogation of trivia in Wikipedia, I think its editors should step in. They have created several other places for such news including: Wiktionary, Wikinews, and Wikisource.

Under edublogs in Wikipedia, I found the following notable edubloggers, each who has their own stub:

Looking on the history page, I see some great editors including Jo McCleay, Dave Cormier, and Bud the Teacher.

I guess the one thing that has struck me — here we are creating incredible resources and wikis of our own and yet ignoring the most popular wiki with the widest reach available, Wikipedia.

I talked to an orthopaedic surgeon the other day who says he consults wikipedia on an ongoing basis as his first stop. He commented that several errors and omissions really bothered him. I then told him that I believe if he is going to use Wikipedia, that if he is qualified (as he is) he has a professional responsibility to edit wikipedia. What do you think?

I challenge each of you to join in and work to improve wikipedia — AND DON'T go starting a contest of notable edubloggers — don't add your own name to the list. I would actually stay away from that.

Just remember, this is the picture of edublogs that is shown to the world. Are you happy with it? Does it need more information?

Hmmm. The bunny trails that we get on random searches!

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5 thoughts on “Look yourself up in Wikipedia: You might be a beauty queen!

  1. You may have not yet tried to do serious work on Wikipedia. The community there is pretty awful (similar to what happens in many popular sites or groups like on usenet), including both the admins and the anonymous vandals. Most of the admins are completely anonymous and do nothing but revert, delete, or “tag” stuff with boxes, and harass new users. The media has focused on Wikipedia’s issues with accuracy, but the Wikipedia community is the larger problem I believe.

    See for example:

    I like more focused wikis better, such as the ones you and others have created at sites like wikispaces.

    I also like Yahoo Answers better, it is now the #2 most popular reference site on the web: http://www.technologyreview.com/printer_friendly_article.aspx?id=17932
    and I hope the Citizendium wiki will do better since it will disallow anonymous admins with no experience or expertise:

  2. Wikipedia has no policy for determining notability of people, only a guideline. Recently, there was some controversy over articles on notable bloggers being nominated for deletion by a user, who had waged a war on blogs. The user has been banned now trolling and disruption.

    You are always welcome to add articles about notable edubloggers, just make sure that you’ve enough references to back up the claim that they are notable. Anyways, wish you a very Happy New Year!

  3. Hi Vicki
    I’ve just been reading this with interest – and the links that others have posted about Wikipedia and its “policing”. One of the links lead me (after a couple of clicks I think!) to This page , where there was a comment:
    Apparently this guy did nothing in his life except writing in blogs.
    (“This guy” had had his entry removed). I got to thinking, suppose Samuel Pepys had lived now and was a blogger. Would he have been banned… What about Anne Frank?
    I fully agree, by the way, with the point that you made in the more recent post that Educators don’t always think that much of Wikipedia – but I suspect that Edubloggers might differ….

    Congratulations by the way, on your recent Edublog award.

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