For this assignment I choose to edit an article called “List of Irish Travellers”. I added in a new section and updated an existing one. Prior to this editing assignment I would have rarely used Wikipedia but I found it useful for giving brief descriptions of people, television series and movies.
I tended to have a negative opinion on Wikipedia which stemmed from when I was completing a business course we were under strict instructions not to use Wikipedia as a reference. As a result of this I have remained sceptical on the reliability of its content.
When Ronda Rousey was beaten by Holly Holmes there were updates put on her Wikipedia page that were cruel. A post which was dated 15th September this year showed that somebody has already inputted Ronda as the winner a month before the fight had even happened.
These types of errors are not good for Wikipedia’s reputation however now that I have edited an article I am surprised that it was not detected at first glance. Although Wikipedia states that there is no editor that is not entirely true as there is a “User Talk” function that informs you if there is an incomplete update and so deletes off the article.
What makes some of us sceptical of Wikipedia? The freedom that it gives everyone the opportunity to input, update and delete information. We want the man or woman in the big office signing off a checklist to ensure all information is correct. We want to know someone and not everyone is in charge.
One of the advantage’s to Wikipedia is that it does not allow for academic arguments, original research or opinions. I enjoyed keeping the article fact based as it keeps the information clear and concise.
Before Source Edit
I found the access and editing pages user-friendly however it still also concerns me that Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, making the information less reliable.
The editing process was quite simple. I didn’t realise until I went to edit my chosen Wikipedia page that it used html and felt at ease straight away. When I clicked onto the edit section I wasn’t overwhelmed as I had intentionally chosen an article that was small enough to prevent this. I was immediately able to see the list of names and details.
As suggested I read the “5 Pillars” which is a set of guidelines set by Wikipedia and complied with using a neutral tone. I found the 5th principle “no firm rules” quite clever. It gives Wikipedia the opportunity to save or delete any edit. I found the Wikipedia tutorials a bit confusing so I looked up how to reference on youtube ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifjj4zGTH7U ).
I had to insert two web addresses in the reference section and tried a couple of times before it was correct. I liked they the references updated numerically themselves.
I have used Wikipedia extensively in the last few weeks I have come to change my opinion about it. I believe it is useful but I would still cross reference any information found on the site to ensure it was correct. I felt it was important to start with a small article so that my first attempt to edit a Wikipedia article was a success. As a result of this positive and informative experience I intend on updating more Irish Traveller related articles in the future.