The Wikipedia soap opera

I'm not going to belabor this Wikipedia thing. I'll tell you more later how this works out. Here is what has happened as I've worked with the edublog page (and my own name, which technically is Victoria Adams Davis but I found Victoria Davis via my Google RSS feed for my name.)

It seems that people should not create pages for themselves. If they are noteworthy, their community should create it and add it. That is where we as edubloggers have not done a very good job. We seem to look stuff up in Wikipedia — do we edit and add?

The fastest way to get yourself deleted is to create it yourself. So, if someone is noteworthy, it is your job to add them.

  • After someone named IcecreamAntisocial took a knife to notable edubloggers striking out Josie Frasier, Miguel Guhlin, Will Richardson, and Alfred Thompson. This person did not leave a note on the talk page as should be practice when names are deleted as such.

So, I added back Will Richardson (he has enough citations for me to prove his notability) and I created a page for him. (Please add to it if you have FACTS.)

I got a note from a very helpful editor who showed me how to question the notability of an article, which I did. (You just type {{notability}} at the top of a page in the edit screen.) I received a very terse response that the person with the name Victoria Davis won the state teen pageant and thus deserves inclusion in Wikipedia. They have a project that they've created to add information on beauty pageants. She was also upset on my blog post and concerned that I didn't contact her.

Well, I did leave information on her talk pages and the project page, (no responses posted as of yet.)

So, here is what I've concluded:

1) I will reserve my thoughts on Wikipedia, this is still in progress.
I guess it took an “in your face” something like the use of my own name to make me really look at the mechanics of what is going on here. This is a good thing. I teach wikis, I should know more about Wikipedia.

2) I've posted some questions to the very helpful editor in Banglore who offered his help. (Talk about a flat world.) We'll see what he says.

3) Whether or not educators like Wikipedia, perhaps its flaws are because so many educators do not like wikipedia and have thus ignored it.

I ask you to join and become an editor who cares about adding fact to the subjects you care about. — Start by watching the edublog page! (But do not add yourself, only add others that you believe you have enough proof that they are notable.)

4) You could put in your two cents on this issue if you are an editor and it hits you. Otherwise, I'll let you know.

5) Remember that the other editors are just like you and we all have to begin somewhere. Don't let others intimidate you, you have a right to be there too. Behave ethically and responsibly! I'm doing my best to do so, but I am a “beginner at Wikipedia.”

Like I said, I am reserving judgment. I do not have the time now to “mess with this” as we say. I'm going to have to leave the pageants alone if my issues do not get this resolved and will just let my name be in wikipedia for a teenager who won one pageant — that must be more notable than I?!

Honestly, at this point, I think neither of us should be included.

It is supposed to be contributions over an extended period of time – hardly the one year that either of us has contributed to our fields. That should be in Wikinews! (In fact a search for edublog in wikinews turns up NOTHING!) Which is more important, a pageant or an edublog award? Wikipedia should just be consistent and have the mechanism in place for it to be consistent, or it is worthless. Otherwise, information goes to the persistent and dogged. (But then again, it often has.)

Boy, we will have fun debating this one in computer science. Perhaps I'll record it!

OK, enough of that. I have to grade!

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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3 comments

Miguel January 1, 2007 - 8:33 pm

Last time I listen to you, CoolCat!

Not so cool,
Miguel
;->

P.S. It was a fun experiment, and the education was worth the shame of being “marked for deletion.” One of the modifications I made–adding SupportBlogging–did remain in the notable edubloggers list.

Alfred Thompson January 1, 2007 - 11:56 pm

I go back and forth between caring and not caring about this. On one had I’m upset that the article was edited by someone who doesn’t appear to have any real knowledge of the subject – edublogging. I look around and there is no article for Kathy Schrock and think “I should add that one.” But I wonder if someone who has no knowledge or appreciation of what Kathy has done will delete it.
I’ve read the criteria for being notable enough for inclusion but I think it is fuzzy enough that lots of people could go either way.
The Alfred Thompson who is there is probably notable enough. My father, also named Alfred Thompson, would seem to me to be notable enough. I think I am a case that could go either way (I’ve published a couple of books but am not really notable outside the small world of HS CS teachers.)
Maybe I’ll care enough to add my Dad or Kathy but today I just think less of Wikipedia than I did last week.

Stephanie Sandifer January 3, 2007 - 12:48 am

I’ve been reading the blog posts on this issue (yours and Miguel’s) and I do have one little bit to add — especially after reading Alfred Thompson’s comment above about other people editing the entries…

I’ve edited some entries in the past several months about a couple of high schools (information about the organizational structure of the school where I work and some history/background on the high school that I attended) and, while nothing that I added was ever deleted by other editors, I did try to edit a page one day last summer from my office on campus (when we got a new principal) — only to find out that my IP was blocked due to vandalism. Wikipedia has blocked the IP addresses from our district because students have vandalized some entries. I checked the history on the page for the school where I worked and saw where students had gone in and written some very colorful statements in various places on the page. We (students and faculty) can still access Wikipedia and read entries — we just can’t edit from school IP addresses.

So — I had to wait until I got home to edit the page and change the name of the current principal.

The interesting thing to me here is the blocking. It seems that it does go both ways, and that it isn’t always just the schools or the school systems who block students’ access to some of the tools.

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