The last couple of posts have followed my adventures and occasional frustrations with the Wikipedia editing process. I should emphasize that the point of these posts has not been to suggest that there's anything fundamentally wrong with Wikipedia or that I am particularly annoyed with the site or its policies. I love Wikipedia and use it daily. So. That said, I received a long and friendly response (scroll to bottom) from a Wikipedia editor called TheDJ. Here it is, with a few brief responses of mine in bold:*
I read your post with utmost interest (Why I added it to the Signpost). The same with the Beiderbecke entry btw. I have some comments that I'd love to share with you in response. I hope they will give you some more understanding.
"for editors "it's almost more like an online game""
I guess you could say that. For most people this is a hobby. A hobby is about having fun. Games are about having fun. The diverse nature of Wikipedia gives everyone something to do, whatever their interest might be.
At the risk of repeating myself, I didn't say that! An employee of Wikipedia said that. Okay, fine. But I think there's something really interesting about this idea of Wikipedia as a hobby, as something to do just for fun. I mean, I certainly did it because it was fun. I'm such a dork, I actually enjoy stacking my books on the kitchen table and using them to write long articles! At the same time, it's not a game. A game is an end in itself. Fun is the point. With Wikipedia, though, you're creating a product, and that's the point. Having fun is great, but you're providing information for people. Maybe it's because I'm in the profession, but I take that very seriously.