Why I edit Wikipedia

When asked about my hobbies and how I like to spend my time when I am not at work, I talk about blogging, reading and clicking pictures. VT and I also enjoy watching TV shows and movies together. Apart from all these things, I find time to edit Wikipedia whenever I get a chance. 

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. All you need is ‘will’ to contribute. 

When I first started editing, I joined an edit-a-thon on Women’s History Month. It was a month-long event and from the comfort of my living room, I created a few biographies. I learnt on the go without any textbooks or tutorials.  Being a volunteer, there was never a pressure of deadlines. Edit-a-thons provide a comfortable environment for first time editors and it worked for me too. 

The best part about editing Wikipedia is that the content goes live the moment it is published. Even Google indexes it in no time. Sounds cool, isn’t it?

Well, you may wonder what else drives me to contribute to Wikipedia and here are some reasons why I edit Wikipedia:

  • Out of 10 Wikipedians, only 1 is a female. (Source – Wikipedians)
  • Under-representation of women-specific content on Wikipedia.
  • One, women are not represented and provided an equal footing in terms of their online presence and two, the women-specific articles are typically less developed.

Unknowingly, since I started editing I have created biographies and edited pages pertaining to women. When I invest time, there is this feeling that somewhere my contribution is giving a deserving woman her share of online presence. Also, being a woman editor I want to bridge the gender gap that currently exists. I want to challenge the fact that women give up editing Wikipedia sooner than men. I want to tell the world that ‘Women can edit‘.

we_can_edit

Image Credit : Wikimedia Commons


For Day 22 of #NaBloPoMo, I am writing about my love for Wikipedia.

22 Responses

  1. Shilpa Garg says:

    Wow! You rock, woman!! ♥

  2. I had no idea that Wikipedia could be edited! Thank you for sharing this information, Parul.
    Just another way you go about making the world a better place:)

  3. I agree with what Ami said. We do need responsible editors for Wikipedia. Because, whether accurate or false, people still turn to it as their first choice in the search engine. We see it in the hospitals with patients who read up the a-z on their diseases and medication, which aren’t necessarily verified.
    Roshan Radhakrishnan recently posted…On Winning Write India…My Profile

    • Parul Thakur says:

      I know what you mean. My only point is that Wikipedia is supposed to be a repository of information – verifiable from the sources. Wikipedia works on sources and if a source talk about side x of a disease that’s really rare, the Wikipedian would still list it out. Does that clarify? 🙂
      Parul Thakur recently posted…Wordless Wednesday #43My Profile

  4. Soumya says:

    Oh we can edit, yes! Proud of you for what you are doing 🙂
    Soumya recently posted…Negative ChaosMy Profile

  5. Wow! This sounds like a major time investment Parul and hats off to you for doing it.

  6. That’s something new to hear. Doing it without an expectation is great. And as always am impressed with the blogging campaigns you participate. When you began NaBloPoMo, I was inspired and opened the registration form. But then I realised writing everyday isn’t fun with two kids around. Hopefully I’ll give it a try next year.

  7. Shilpa Gupte says:

    That is a good thing you are doing, Parul! I am quite curious; can I give it a try?

  8. Alok Singhal says:

    That is a noble cause I would say… they have very thin margins to support their staff, I believe.

  9. Rajlakshmi says:

    You are the only person I know who edits Wikipedia and I am so glad you are doing it, to invest so much time to write about others and give women equal footage. Just wondering, how does wiki authenticate such edits. I mean if anyone could edit them if would contain a lot of incorrect information.

    • Parul Thakur says:

      One can only add/edit/create if there are sources that validate the information. For example, I can’t say you live in Australia unless I have a source of information (online reference) that states so. Makes sense? 🙂 There are volunteers who check and articles with non-verifiable details are flagged for deletion.

  10. Ami says:

    Wikipedia is the unofficial encyclopedia and yes, we need responsible editors like you to keep it updated and true. 😀
    Ami recently posted…The Mystical Hamlet in the Hills: Landour, MussoorieMy Profile

  11. Rajendra says:

    Of course women can edit! Keep at it.

  1. December 1, 2016

    […] Asian Month: When asked why I edit Wikipedia, I talk about the gender gap and how I believe my edits would help the community and users. […]

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