Friday, March 09, 2007
Age and Wikipedia
Usually, a few gentle words is all that it takes to reassure them that it sort of thing is permitted -- or should be permitted. But the anxiety of youth (where one has to deal with the problem of being taken seriously by out-of-touch adults) combined with a good deal of energy (one of the things I miss about growing older) makes for a delicate problem: they question everything, look for every opportunity to show they know something, yet lack the patience to accept that sometimes improving Wikipedia requires a lot of tedium.
Note: I am not criticizing any of these young people in this post. I simply wish I knew how I could channel all of this eagerness into areas where they could benefit Wikipedia, which would give them the recognition they are looking for. Cultivating them means that I help grow Wikipedia's community. Despite the experience I have, and they don't, sometimes I don't realize what the motivations in an exchange on Wikipedia are -- until it is too late.
And then, it would also require them to trust that I am doing the best thing -- which is not always the case.
Technocrati tags: wikipedia, youth.
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