Thursday, October 18, 2007

Draggin' the line, watchin' the list

The page I call up most often on WP is probably my watchlist. I'd give you a link, but the watchlist is hidden behind my super-secret, super-strong, really nifty password. (As the announcer on the ancient game show Password might whisper: "The password is...super-secret, super-strong and really nifty.") My watchlist shows the latest edits on about 500 items I've selected from the encyclopedia. That way I know when something awful, something great or something in-between is happening to various pages I'm interested in.

This can get to be an addiction. A sadly confessed wikiholic shivered over the temptation of "just one little peek at my watchlist." I've got the same problem, Jorge. When the watchlist items have piled up very high, trudging through them can make One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich look like a beach party with the Playmate of the Year.

But I do it because I'm hooked. Checking the watchlist is the easiest way to eliminate really lame vandalism from the encyclopedia. And believe it or not, the changes are sometimes worthwhile and get me off my cyberduff to add more content to articles.

As I type, the latest change on my watchlist is a note that Henrik Ibsen has an article on the Hindi Wikipedia. Or at least I think it's Hindi - my knowledge of the script isn't reliable. No doubt the note would have enormously amused the permanently p.o.ed Norwegian. If you're wondering why I watchlisted Ibsen, I once added some verbiage to the article about Hedda Gabler and The Master Builder, two of his plays that I can endure.

Now and then I clear an item off the list when I've lost interest. Ironically, the blog article got the ax because I don't care that much about other people's blogs. Uncharitable, I know.

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