Sometime earlier this month, I passed a Wikipedia milestone of sorts: I submitted my 20,000th edit.
I started editing the English Wikipedia 12 years, four months and 16 days ago (there is a handy counter on my user page that tells me this). As I noted on my 10th anniversary, my first edit was a correction to the article on Greenwich, followed soon after by starting a new article on Greenwich Park.
Some of my edits this week have been focused on construction industry trade bodies, sometimes stimulated by spotting a notable new development or fact that I think needs to be included. Today’s was seeing some industry news about the Strategic Forum for Construction, for example; yesterday, I updated an article about Ryan Seager, a young Southampton player injured while playing for Crewe on Tuesday night.
While Wikpedia has ebbed and flowed in my affections (my first 10,000 edits took around five and a half years, the second nearly seven years), it has never gone away. I still enjoy the process of writing and editing articles – I’ve started around 470 articles over the years – though I’ve never particularly wanted to become an administrator or anything more. I am quite happy to watch out for interesting new articles that link to ones I watch, to monitor updates to the 800 or so that are on my watchlist (I’ve edited the Crewe Alexandra F.C. article nearly 200 times apparently), and, occasionally, to contribute to a Wikiproject or two or add a photo to Wikimedia Commons (only yesterday I learned how I could do a search on a mobile device and see what articles about nearby places need a photo!).
The discipline of contributing to Wikipedia is also rewarding. Not only am I adding and sharing information (verified by reliable references, of course) for the greater good, but I am also learning, keeping my knowledge updated, and nurturing skills in writing content as neutrally as I can – always useful for a technology writer and PR practitioner. And hopefully, by helping with Editathons and training people in “Wikiquette”, I’ve also helped other people learn about Wikipedia and become part of its community too.
If I maintain my recent rate of editing, I suspect my third 10,000 may be my quickest yet – I might pass 30,000 edits sometime in 2020 or 2021.