Would like to share two inspirational Wikipedia page make-overs with the SheThought readers. You might remember my last blog here when I asked for readers to please step up and help improve the Wikipedia pages of our female spokespeople. I thought that maybe a great start would be the women who are going to be speaking at the Women in Secularism conference May 18th, 2012.
I felt that a blog that focuses on woman’s issues might find some sympathetic editors, even a single new editor would be fantastic. Well I heard from no one. Despite my willingness to train, no one wrote to me.
In the mean time things were still getting done. I wrote to most of the women on the blog explaining the need to improve their pages. Received one negative rude remark from one, silence from most of the rest and one very welcoming conference speaker. I would like to share the improvements to her page, all shiny and fresh in time for the CFI conference.
Sikivu Hutchinson wrote back and supplied me will current citations and suggestions for the page. One friend, Wendy Hughes supplied me with more information about Sikivu, and the rest of the help came from the people who are already editors on the We Got Your Wiki Back! project. Brian Engler rose to the occasion with some photos he had taken from past conferences, and suggestions and corrections from other current editors allowed me to upload this new page.
One thing I learned on this project was that apparently there was a Billboard project that links current Black non-believers with Black non-believers from the past. Sikivu’s picture was linked up with Zora Neale Hurston. This allowed me to place the street-view image on both women’s Wikipedia pages. Zora receives about 35K hits each month, because Sikivu’s Wikipedia page is hyperlinked to that photo, it exposes Sikivu’s page to an extra 35K people as well.
We can see if there has been additional exposure to Sikivu’s Wikipedia page by using this tool. We can’t compare numbers to last year because the page hasn’t been around that long. We can see April 2012 vs Feb 2012 the page is receiving about 22% more hits. Nothing close to the 35K hits Zora received Feb 2012, but then we can only do what we can do. Watch this stat tool in late May. There should be a surge in hits to her page the day before the conference and climb during the next few days. (note: this tool might be off by 24 hours)
Here is one more make-over
Living in Salinas, CA, I always attend SkeptiCal which is held nearby in Berkeley. In preparation for that conference I looked around and wrote to Alison Gopnik who would be speaking on “The Philosophical Baby; What children’s minds tell us about love, truth and the meaning of life”. I wrote to Alison who quickly responded that she would gladly help with citations and anything we needed. I did another call-out for help. This time on my blog Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipeida. Guess what? Again no response. Finally another one of the We Got Your Wiki Back! editors said he would take on the task. And what a job Dustin Phillips did. Only took him a couple weeks and again was launched in time for SkeptiCal (see this blog for more info about conferences) I managed to get a nice picture of her lecturing at the conference and had it uploaded to her Wikipedia page before she was finished lecturing.
Lets see what kind of hits Alison Gopnik is receiving. This stat tool shows a 100% spike in her numbers the day of the conference April 21, 2012.
So now what? I’m not sure what to think? I’m told female Wikipedia editors only make up 9% of total editors. Does that concern you? The majority of the information the world is accessing (and Yes, they are accessing it) is written by men. For some people this is an appalling number. I’m sure that is true. But for the purposes of improving skeptical content on Wikipedia, and having the backs of our skeptical spokespeople I’m not concerned. An editor is an editor. I judge by dedication to the task. I only have a handful right now, but they are awesome. Surely there are more of you out there? Please join us. Female and Male, the skeptical movement needs you.
For more information about me and this project please visit SkepticBlog.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. since writing this blog, I’ve heard from one other speaker. Stay tuned for another page make-over.