Saturday, November 18, 2006
Writing articles, part II
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:
- About a week ago Inter-Library Loan delivered a copy of a doctoral thesis on the Kebra Nagast, the ideological justification for the Imperial rule of Ethiopia. As far as I have been able to determine this doctoral thesis is the only scholarly study of this work. I have two more weeks before I have to return the book.
- Another trip to the library resulted with the discovery of a very useful book, Wilfred Thesiger's account of his expedition down the Awash River. I now have a reliable source for a portion of Ethiopia, and can now drive some more darkness from Wikipedia.
- And I checked out a few other useful books related to Ethiopia. My plan is to use them to upgrade a number of stubs into more useful articles.
- And sometimes, I just need a change of topic with respect to Wikipedia. For example, I've found myself compiling material to develop some existing articles on the Early Medieval Period, like the Byzantine Exarchs of Ravenna.
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