Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Many moons ago, I wrote the beginnings of an article for each one of the Dynasties of Ancient Egypt. I'll admit that they weren't great articles; I threw most of them together in hope that someone who actually knew something about the subject would improve on them. Because I knew I did not own them. So I sent them on their way in the world, and never looked back.
So tonight, surprised that two of them were on my watch list, I had a look. And now I knew how Sanger felt: both had degraded visibly in quality. I don't mean that some odd opinions or interpretations were inserted, but that they had become almost unreadable. I cleaned them up, left unavoidably critical remarks in the comment fields -- then stopped because I was about to start flaming the previous editor, who, I had to admit, was doing the best that she/he could do.
Worse was, the previous editor was improving on what she/he had found.
Knowing that I have to watch even more articles to keep them minimally useful does not encourage me to write any more. And I can think of several hundred articles, all of which are notable or worth an entry, Wikipedia needs.
Technocrati tags: wikipedia, writing
The good news is, sometimes the opposite is true. A few stubs blossom into great articles.
Although I have to agree with Ben: it's hard not to think that there are wide stretches of Wikipedia that do not get the attention some parts do, and seem to resist efforts to improve them.