This week was my first experience with editing a Wikipedia page.
When I began to think of the topic I wanted to edit I was at a little bit of a loss. I finally landed on the TItanic, because my roommate is somewhat of an expert and knows every small detail there is to know about it. I picked her brain and she helped me find some things to add.
What I landed on was adding the fact that on board, in the first class-gymnasium, there was an electric camel. If you look closely you can also see a recreation of it in James Cameron’s film “Titanic” when Jack and Rose are in the gym. There were also a couple of other small additions I found.
I added my comment to the talk page. I found this page very interesting because I could see all the previous topics people had questions about. Before this course, I was fairly unaware of the editing process and community on Wikipedia.
As instructed I waited to see if there was any interaction or comments made on that page, but there wasn’t, so I got ready to make the edit.
This is where I hit a bump.
I had not realized that this page was one that could only be edited by users with autoconfirmed or confirmed accounts, meaning I needed to have previously edited articles. Looking back to my readings I think I glazed over those requirements because at the time I was unsure what I was going to edit and assumed it wouldn’t affect me.
It does make sense that such a large page and popular topic would have this restriction.
Then I had to pivot. After a little bit of thinking, I went back to the suggestions I had been given for this assignment, trying to come up with a smaller page. After I did some clicking around I decided on my high school’s Wikipedia page, Horizon High School in Scottsdale.
The page had not been updated in a while and barely had any information. It had good information on the history and surprisingly a long list of famous alumni. I decided I would add to the extracurricular section because it only included the choirs.
When I attend this high school, I was the editor of the yearbook so I already knew how to find the information I was looking for. I was able to add some more recent athletic information as well as a brief description of another extracurricular, the comedy club. I also updated who the principal was because it recently changed.
Overall, editing was a lot more straightforward than I expected. Especially adding the citations, I thought that would be more complicated, but in my case, it was just the school website so I just had to paste it in and it generated.
I do think that this experience has shifted my perspective on the site. I feel like I already knew that the larger or more popular pages were fairly accurate because of all the activity and focus, but my experience solidified that. I do think the smaller pages are where I would be more careful and ensure that I find backup sources.
I don’t foresee myself editing pages frequently but it is a nice thing to know how to do.