Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I found the whole idea of going in and doing something on Wikipedia quite daunting. However, I found the site to be fairly friendly. Being the average person who puts flatpacks together before reading the instructions, I found the wikitext a bit confusing at first. I made an account, no problemo, I even created my own sandbox; got scared, backtracked, lost my sandbox, found it again, then read the instructions. If in doubt, read the instructions! In the end I made a successful link to Salvidor Dali. Phew!

So then I looked up a few possible sites to add to. What do I know anything about? Well, nothing apparently! Nothing that wasn't already there, that is.

In the end I decided to look up my home town of Glenbrook, NSW. Was there anything missing that I could contribute? And how would I source it? I checked out Glenbrook on Google and found the Chamber of Commerce had a website. Nothing much there, and it hadn't been updated since last year. So I had another look at the Glenbrook page on Wikipedia and realised that the Recreation section had missed out on one of the most important recreative activities in Glenbrook - the bowling club. So I checked Google, found the website and copied its URL. Then I set about adding it as a link.

Back to the sandbox. It took me a few attempts to get the Wikitext correct, thank goodness there's a preview button, and hit Save.

Since then I have thought about other additions I could make.

I check it next day to see if there was a response, but there wasn't.

Considering Antony et al.'s discussion of the motivations behind contributions to Wikipedia, I can see why the main reasons would be intrinsic motivations. Reputation and committment to the Wikipedia group identity, are, according to Antony et al.(2007), the main motivations for contributing routinely to Wikipedia. Also the 'Good Samaritan' (Antony et al., 2007) contributes for a variety of intrinsic reasons. As for my own motivations, if I went back and added those other contributions I have thought of, I would do so for intrinsic motivations of my own, ie. to see the page about my home town up to date and more fully realised than it is now.
I feel there was an intrinsic benefit in contributing: I have done my bit for the collective knowledge about one little topic.

Anthony D, Smith S, Williamson T. 2007. The Quality of Open Source Production: Zealots and Good Samaritans in the Case of Wikipedia. Technical Report TR2007-606 Department of Computer Science Dartmouth College
Accessed 4 July 2011 from http://lms.curtin.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_id=_2_1&url=%2fwebapps%2fblackboard%2fexecute%2flauncher%3ftype%3dCourse%26id%3d_35148_1%26url%3d

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