Monday, November 5, 2007

Something nice for a change

Just looked over the recent entries, and I have been a grump lately. So I'll be sweeter in this note. As my user page says, I'm a sweet little thing...most of the time.

I've done a lot of work on Wikipedia's Citizendium article. Citizendium, for those not endlessly fascinated by online encyclopedias, is a nascent competitor to Wikipedia started by Larry Sanger. Depending on who you believe, Sanger was a co-founder of Wikipedia or just one of Jimbo's hired hands. There's little doubt that he played a major role in WP's first year before leaving after various disagreements with Jimbo.

Working on the article hasn't always been pure joy. Larry didn't like some of my additions and wasn't shy about telling me so on the article's talk page. He's still not my biggest fan, as his comments on this blog make clear. Another editor axed much of my stuff as too detailed. Some of the cuts were justified, but he also eliminated a valuable selection of media comments about the project.

But that's WP life. You can't please all the people all the time. A lot of my work survives in the article, and WikiDashboard still lists me as the entry's top contributor. So it was pleasant news that the article was nominated and then selected as one of Wikipedia's good articles. This is AAA ball, one step below the major leagues of featured article status.

The good article project is really a good idea. Hauling an entry through the excruciating featured article gauntlet is no fun, as I found out with the Henry James article. It's nice to have a less painful system for recognizing good work in the encyclopedia.

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