Biffle and I spent a while last night finding out how many of our friends have Wikipedia pages.  We have several friends who probably should have Wikipedia pages, but only one who actually has a page.  Well, and then there's one other friend, but I think that person might have created their own page, so that doesn't really count.

Since most Wikipedia pages are created by 25 year old white techie guys, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that my cohort isn't well represented there.  Some of my favorite scholars aren't there at all, or are only there in odd ways.  Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, for instance, one of the biggest names in feminist disability studies, appears in Wikipedia as a footnote for a page on Big hair.  No page on RGT, but of course we need a Wikipedia page on Big hair.

Perhaps Amber should create an RGT Wikipedia page as part of her summer research work.


Jen Baker said...

Hi! I love your blog! Such good blogging!

I had been wondering about Wikipedia's data, because I know before they had undercounted contributers by counting edits rather than words added. (The editors make a ton of changes but many are just formatting.) Anyway, then I found this article due to your post. Even if they count contribution differently now, women still do very little:

I wonder if you could require students to write Wikipedia articles on unrepresented subjects? I've done this in class, as in we've actually added/ changed entries in class- we've found ethical concepts underdescribed (or mere pastes from Encyc. Britanica) and spiffed them up ("duty", etc.).

I've noticed the students don't seem to know how easy it is to add to or create an entry.

Alison said...

Thanks, Jen! I do think I'm going to start offering Wikipedia assignments in my classes--I may ask you for more details on how to make that work as an assignment, since I know nothing about Wikipedia.

Jen Baker said...

OK, I'm putting off grading Maymester finals- but I started stub on the author you mentioned, and found her book cited on a lot of pages. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search?search=Rosemarie+Garland-Thomson&go=Go
That means it will be easy to get her a page. (If she wants one, that is! There is a set of reminders from Wikipedia that it isn't so great to have a page (of course now I can't find that link.)

And maybe you found this, I'm sure, it might be fun to finish it for Wikipedia (they need more outside references for it):

You can play around with editing so easily- so much easier than adding an entry. Adding an article- which is also fun to mess around with, is a lot more complex than I remember. Tons of code. You have to enter the entry into a page full of code. I can see why people would rather edit than add a whole new entry.

OK, OK, back to the finals. :)