Saturday, November 18, 2006


Writing articles, part II

I've been writing articles on the woredas -- that's Amharic for "district" -- of Ethiopia. There's roughly 520 of them worth an article (the larger cities like Addis Ababa & Dire Dawa are split into woredas, but in their case these woredas are like administrative wards), & I've put up around 400 of them. But now I'm stalled.

Part of the problem is that for the remaining number, I have to figure out how to integrate a new source of information: before its people forgot to pay for their domain name fees, the Oromia Region had their own website, with an extensive amount of useful data -- including economic breakdowns of about half of their woredas. (I'm not sure why only half of the possible material was posted, but it appears as if someone made a mistake, & no one else bothered to check the work. And there was no contact information for the website -- so I had to simply be happy with what I got.) Once I figure out how to chop & sort this abundance of information, I'll continue with this series of articles.

But a large part was that I was growing bored with this task. I haven't stopped for good, but contributing a large number of stubs, many of which will never grow into complete articles without even more work from me, can be discouraging. Add to that these distractions:

Since the first few days I started contributing to Wikipedia, the choice has always been whether to greatly improve a small number of articles or to make smaller amount of improvements to a larger number of articles. I just need to remember, the average quality of Wikipedia improves -- as long as I do one or the other. And not posts in the Talk or Wikipedia namespaces about what should be done to improve Wikipedia


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