Thursday, January 12, 2017

On November 1, 2016, Wikipedia established the "50,000 Challenge" for American contributors. The idea is to give people a sense of accomplishment and community spirit by challenging them to upgrade or write 50,000 new articles. There's no time-frame for the challenge.

So far, about 150 people have signed up for the challenge. That's nothing, considering Wikipedia has more than 1 million users in the United States alone. I've agreed to help out with articles for Ohio, Montana, and Washington, D.C.

I've written 16 article for them since then, all but two of them very substantial and very well-cited.

  • Riverside Cemetery Chapel
  • Riverside Cemetery Gatehouse
  • Cleveland Trust Company Building
  • Tower Rock State Park
  • Burton J. Lee III
  • Kaya Henderson
  • Pier table
  • Poker table
  • Antwan Wilson
  • Federal City Council
  • Cleveland Convention Center labor dispute of 1963
  • Cleveland Convention Center (demolished)
  • United Freedom Movement
  • Hobart Taylor, Jr.
  • Thermopolis Shale
  • Smith River State Recreational Waterway

It takes time to research and write these, especially when I'm not familiar with the topic (like geology), or when I have only limited access to research materials (like with Montana state parks). Some of these were kind of unexpected topics for me. Kaya Henderson, for example, was the D.C. public schools chancellor. She resigned, and Antwan Wilson was named her successor. Although there was a Henderson article, it was shitty and needed an upgrade. No Wilson article existed. Hobart Taylor came about because there seemed a lot of "red links" (wikilinks to nonexistent articles) in the Cleveland Convention Center labor dispute article, and his article needed to be written. (It turned out to be very fortuitous, as Taylor is an important civil rights figure.) And Burton J. Lee died; I knew quite a bit about Physicians to the President, and so I took it upon myself to write his article.

If I've been remiss in blogging since mid-December, it's because I love to write history. And I've just been writing elsewhere...

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