Wiki­me­dian vis­its

Manawatu Guardian - - NEWS -

New Zealand’s first trav­el­ling Wiki­me­dian Mike Dick­i­son is lead­ing a team of vol­un­teers to build a com­mu­nity of Wikipedia ed­i­tors in New Zealand.

He has been an ad­vo­cate for Wikipedia ever since his time at the Univer­sity of Can­ter­bury and has a passion for get­ting more New Zealand con­tent on to Wikipedia.

Mike spends time work­ing with mu­se­ums, re­search or­gan­i­sa­tions, archives and in­sti­tu­tions across the coun­try to en­cour­age them to do­nate col­lec­tions and photos for ar­ti­cles.

He ex­plained the na­ture and role of ed­i­tors and cleared the mist sur­round­ing the qual­ity of ar­ti­cles on Wikipedia.

“Ed­i­tors are vol­un­teers and there is no obli­ga­tion to re­veal your name, na­tion­al­ity, or gen­der.

“There is no qual­i­fi­ca­tion for ed­i­tors, any­one can edit on Wikipedia, which makes peo­ple worry, and it’s dif­fi­cult for peo­ple to un­der­stand how un­qual­i­fied vol­un­teers can write an en­tire en­cy­clopae­dia.

“I just tell them that Wikipedia doesn’t work in the­ory, but it works in prac­tice,” he said.

“But I will say that it is eas­ier to check the qual­ity of ref­er­ences on Wikipedia ar­ti­cles than it is to books and other chan­nels, be­cause there are over 50 vol­un­teers work­ing on spe­cific as­pects of an ar­ti­cle pub­lished on Wikipedia.”

Ac­cord­ing to Mike, re­sources used in Wikipedia ar­ti­cles are ref­er­enced and photos do­nated are re­leased un­der a Cre­ative Com­mons li­cence that lets ev­ery­one use them.

In his re­cent work­shop in Auck­land, spon­sored by New Zealand Geo­graphic mag­a­zine, Mike worked with ed­i­tors and trainees to cre­ate an ar­ti­cle on the kauri dieback or­gan­ism.

Mike is cur­rently work­ing with in­sti­tu­tions in the South Is­land where he will spend time at the Dodd-Walls Cen­tre for Pho­tonic and Quan­tum Tech­nolo­gies at Otago Univer­sity.

PHOTO / SUPPLIED

Wikipedian-at-large Mike Dick­i­son.

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