The First Step: The Editing Page

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Editing Wikipedia. This is a new domain for me. Really, working with Wikipedia at all is slightly new because I never really used Wikipedia for anything before. Now, the class Writing for the Internet has me immersed in Wikipedia.

Before actually editing an article on Wikipedia, I perused the editing page. I chose to look at the page for editing Rudolf Nureyev's Wikipedia page. I know a lot about Nureyev, a famous male ballet danseur, because of my love for ballet and his work in particular. As I looked over the page, I found the details to be interesting. The first thing this page cautions editors about is the fact that if they are not logged in, their IP address will be recorded publicly in the page's edit history. The user's IP address can be hidden by creating an account.

Instead of editing the page without first viewing the changes, Wikipedia provides Sandbox. This is a page that allows the user to carry out experiments on editing pages. Content on this page is wiped clean every 12 hours so the user can experiment with how to edit a Wikipedia entry. I thought the title of Sandbox is really witty and appropriate. Just like a sandbox at the playground, anyone can 'play' on this page and the marks that one leaves will easily be wiped away by the next person's marks.

Towards the end of the page, Wikipedia makes a note:
If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly or redistributed for profit by others, do not submit it.
While this statement is obvious, it is a good reminder to those people that want to edit Wikipedia articles. Once that information is posted, it is no longer the original user's information. It becomes property of the entire Wikipedia community.

It seems to me that Wikipedia's editing page is set up well. Reminders of how to act on the site are strewn throughout the page. Help is left in certain places.
I can't wait to get my hands dirty and try it out.

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