A New Experience with Wikipedia

Before this assignment, my view of Wikipedia was shaped by my high school days, where we were taught to regard it as unreliable for academic research. I used to avoid it, believing it wasn’t suitable for serious information. However, this assignment to edit a Wikipedia article was an opportunity to change this belief. I chose to edit the page of my hometown, Lakeville, Minnesota, focusing specifically on the ‘Parks and Recreation’ section. This was a topic I felt confident about and knew I could contribute meaningfully to.

The process of editing was a revelation. After creating my Wikipedia account, I carefully reviewed the Lakeville page and identified an area for improvement in the ‘Parks and Recreation’ section. I added detailed information about the city’s parks, emphasizing the amount of recreational opportunities available. The specific addition I made was: “As of 2020, Lakeville boasts 3,021 acres of parks, recreation and preserves.” This fact was supported by a reliable source, (the twin cities Metropolitan Council) aligning with Wikipedia’s standards for verifiability.

The engagement on the Talk page of the article was an integral part of the experience. I introduced my proposed edit and explained my newness to Wikipedia editing. Despite not having any responses to my proposed edits, the fact that this even exists is a far cry from the anonymous, faceless encyclopedia I had previously imagined Wikipedia to be.

A unique aspect of the editing process was the multiple CAPTCHA verifications that were required to confirm changes. This additional layer of security, was just a minor step, but it shows the seriousness that Wikipedia approaches content accuracy and integrity. It was a small but telling detail about the platform’s commitment to quality.

This editing experience transformed my view of Wikipedia. I came to understand the meticulous nature of content creation on the platform, where every addition is scrutinized for accuracy and supported by credible sources. The level of detail and care put into each edit was a stark contrast to the image of a randomly compiled source I had before this assignment. The realization that behind every article is a community of dedicated individuals, all committed to the integrity and accuracy of information, was pretty eye opening for me.

Now, I see Wikipedia not just as a source of information but more as a community of knowledge sharers. The platform is valuable not only because of the content it has but it also holds value in the collective effort of the contributors. Wikipedia is a testament to the power of collaboration and the commitment of people around the world to maintain a reliable and comprehensive information resource.

Editing the Wikipedia page for Lakeville, Minnesota, turned out to be more than just a class assignment. It was an experience that changed my perception of Wikipedia from a questionable resource to a respected place of shared knowledge. It’s amazing to think how a global community comes together on this platform, each contributing their own part to build an ever changing place of information. This experience has not only altered how I view Wikipedia but also how I will use it in the future, with a newfound respect.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *