As an “average college student” and English major/striving journalist who writes an average of 15 papers per semester and relies on fact-checking to validate her research, Wikipedia.org is my life. I honestly use it for just about anything: random searches, questions that puzzle me that I know Wikipedia has all the answers to, even small things about well-known people, such as their birthdays and hobbies or significant events in their life. Wikipedia has saved me on so many occasions, whether answering my question (something which, I believe, shouldn’t take 10+ tabs and 30+ minutes of scrolling on different websites to find a few simple facts) quickly and directly, or even giving me ideas on how to narrow my focus for class research papers/projects. Wikipedia has it all, accessible at the bare fingertips of anyone around the world.
On that note, I also do think that Wikipedia has its dangers. The fact that it can be altered by anyone in the world calls the whole site into question, concerning its integrity and mission. However, I think that with Wikipedia’s use of fact-checking and footnote citations is helpful and easy for non-tech-savvy people like myself to navigate.
For my class Wikipedia edit, I decided to focus on one of my favorite TV shows from 2012, Scandal. Surprisingly, it was easy to navigate the page, and the editing process took no time at all. It was just simple HTML, which Wikipedia conveniently lays out for you in its editing box tab.
Here is the final (approved!) edit to the a section of the Wikipedia page for the ABC drama series, Scandal. I added an actor’s/character’s information (Henry Ian Cusik) to the bottom paragraph under the Plot section. I don’t even know how “qualified” I am to do this, not being a TV connoisseur or Hollywood elite expert myself, but I do love this show–and that suspense/thrill gives me enough reason to keep up as it is!
Editing on Wikipedia taught me how to further use/edit the site as a personal tool, and made me feel like a real important contributor to the Internet (even for a simple little TV show). However, it also opened my eyes on the whole truth vs. fiction scandal (ironic!), because it’s true–unless a fact is cited, you never really know where the information is coming from. Guess you just have to learn to trust your gut, as Olivia Pope would do!
Link to Scandal Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scandal_(TV_series)