Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hooked and loving it

Now and then I tell myself that I can stop whenever I want to. Then something happens to prove how ridiculously hooked I am.

There's even a test for Wikipedia addiction. I'm afraid to take it because I don't want the bad news. Although I speculated about "burnout" a few entries ago, that's only fantasy. Somebody bashes around an article, and off I go.

Last Saturday an admin with 88 gazillion edits suddenly decided the Criticism of Wikipedia article wasn't up to snuff. So he started dumping "citation needed" tags with challenging edit summaries all over the entry. If I could really walk away from WP whenever I want to, I would have ignored the tags. Maybe I would have gotten around to answering the requests after a week or four.

Instead, I feverishly hunted down references to eliminate all the tags. I slapped one reference after another into the article, anxiously trailing behind the admin's requests. Finally, I got everything cited that he wanted cited, and he even left me a thank-you note on the talk page. Which was very nice of him (honest!)

Luckily, it's all too easy to find references for every imaginable criticism of Wikipedia. The Internet is loaded with whines about the encyclopedia. Almost all those whines come from sites with Alexa rankings nine miles below Wikipedia's. Net green eyes, you might say.

A less frantic but still convincing proof of my addiction was the latest article I picked from the wikify list: A Maid of Constant Sorrow. The title intrigued me, because I wanted to know which maid was constantly sorrowing and why.

Turns out it was the title of Judy Collins' first album. I don't even like Judy Collins. Her stuff doesn't rock anywhere near hard enough for my headbanger tastes. But I plowed through many edits to raise the article to acceptability. I even uploaded an image of the album cover. And uploading a file nowadays is real proof of addiction, because you have to jump through nine hoops to dodge the WP copyright police.

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