The trick to reading Wikipedia is to remember that it's inconsistent. Articles that look like garbage are likely garbage, and articles that look like serious business are likely serious business. By and large, the garbage articles were written by many anonymous editors. Each added a bit and did not care to attach the references to the right claims. By and large, the serious business articles were written by diehards who scoured the best available sources to accumulate, in one place, what no other medium would dare publish: an exhaustive treatment of what most people would want to know about the topic. Wikipedia will live and die as the free encyclopedia ("freedom" undergirds its gratis content), but in your lifetime, you will know Wikipedia by its increasingly common quality content was thoughtfully edited by someone with the wherewithal.
The chaseI write articles on video games, education, and art, though I edit broadly. I expect most interest in this Patreon, at least at first, to be in relation to games. In particular, if you read games content on Wikipedia, you've likely read my work. Here are some examples:
- Video games: Fez, Menacer, EarthBound and the Mother series, Ridiculous Fishing and the Greg Wohlwend series, Deathrow, Blast Corps
- Education: Summerhill, Meiklejohn's Experimental College, Albany Free School, Stolen Childhood, Educating the Disfranchised and Disinherited
I'd like to be able to work on older games, which requires more time in recovering sources from the dustbin and is less rewarding in a utilitarian sense. I'm also developing a database of magazine coverage, which I hope could carry across all publications online and offline. There are plenty of games databases, which don't really interest me, but on WP reliable sources are sacred. Say what you will about games journalism but the opinions of some outlets have more gravitas than others. The idea is to catalog the main sources of record for posterity and to make it easier to write Wikipedia articles about games with hard-to-find references (i.e., games that rely on offline references, or games from the early Internet whose sites have now gone offline). Funds will also support archival work to preserve old print and web content, which I make available for reference via the Wikipedia video games project.
I should also add that I dedicate all of my Wikipedia work to the public domain. This means that instead of cc-by-sa, my works become immediately open for distribution in the quickest and dirtiest ways possible so helps the spread of knowledge. My work has also led to the relicensing of hundreds of video game assets for free use in illustrating all types of game concepts.
At my first tier, you'll receive updates on these things. At the second tier, you'll get exclusive access to previews as they roll out. I'll also poll the group for ideas on what to work on next. (For example, maybe I should drop the above and work on articles related to games journalism, or our video game glossary?) At the third tier, you'll have access to me, we'll chat regularly and talk about Wikipedia or games or whatever you want.
EthicsWhile I expect input from my patrons, my editorial independence is important to my work. It's also my prerogative. I am not a paid advocate and will not accept money in exchange for work on specific articles. (If advocacy is your intention, kindly do not support this Patreon.)
I'm happy to talk about Wikipedia and give generalized advice. If enough of my patrons are interested, I can canonize this advice in posts or videos or something. I also give frequent surveys to gauge interest in broad topics/categories. I welcome your feedback, but I'm serious about the independent affiliation stuff.
I am a doc student in the history and philosophy of education. I haven't worked in the games industry and my meager connection to it is old friends and Wikipedia contacts. It would be interesting to discuss how I choose topics and the process of researching them in the regular chat, if patrons request and, of course, I will declare any potential conflict of interest that would compromise my neutrality or editorial distance.