How I became a Wikipedian

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Enter your personal stories of how you became a Wikipedian below. If you contribute to meta, or a non-English version, tell us something about that too.

"The Klezmer Perplexion of a Mountain Goat"

The mountains, the mountains, my mountains made of cloud. The thin walls of air spiralling through my permanently dividing shoebox of extreme conciousness, my burning tongue inside a skull, the skull, my skull made of paper. The wind laughed at me, and patted my back. My ears told me to forget what they told me. My eyes listened but didn't believe me. My heart was reading, my blood splashed in waves inside my caverns. I am a goat, or so I hear. I am a Wikipedian, but can I feel trust?

I'm not sure that I am a Wikipedian yet, but I intend to become one. It's the astonishing similarity to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy that ensnared me. That was my first favorite book. I read it in seventh grade, in the back of my math class, and got busted for laughing out loud. In the book, the Guide is written by volunteers and full of mistakes and innacuracies. What a great way to collect knowledge though. And Wikipedia is growing--it comes up in like 5 out of 10 google searches. It's full of useful info, accurate or not, and it's making people's lives better. And I can contribute to it. I've already created a couple entries, including one for w:The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby and no one seems to have objected. I'm working on developing my technique and hoping to tackle some more extensive articles. I also might write a travel guide to w:Hampton Roads, where I live. It's so rare to find a site like this where there's an opportunity to be relevant to the world. I'm ready to be a part. I'm ready to be Wikipediafied. Rudder 03:42, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

In a galaxy far, far away...

It was a cold Friday evening in January 2001. I was on duty in one of my uni's computer labs. It was about 6 p.m. and I had three hours to go until I could lock-up and leave for a pint of lager in my favourite pub. I had hardly anything to do -the few students who were hanging around were busy with some hardcore C++ programming, at levels which were out of my reach anyway.

I knew for some time now, and while I was clicking my way through, looking for something that could distract my attention for a while, I stumbled upon the Bomis wiki (someone gave it a fancy name of 'Bomis board' later on). What I saw there was utter chaos - scattered info about busty female actresses combined with other forms of verbal abuse. I had never heard about the wiki concept before so I started to experiment by making a few useless entries (beer rules was the first one). Having satisfied my childish needs I decided it was time for something more serious. I saw a link to wikipedia on the bomis homepage so I gave it a try.

At first I was a bit intimidated about the entries and discussions, which I saw there. The main contributors at the time were Jimbo, Larry and w:Josh Grosse. The 'Pedia had ca. 700 (!) entries, and was still using the weird Camel Case format, which made links appear in the manner of w:PortugaL or w:PolanD. After a bit of lurking around I quickly figured out what the purpose of the project was, and came to the simple conclusion "Me likes thees!".

What followed were normal symptoms of my gradual turning into a w:Wikipediholic. I spent a large portion of my free time starting entries, editing, and cross-linking. I witnessed the project grow gradually and in waves as it became more popular (slashdotting, etc.). During the Summer, doing the hard job of an analyst at a medium-sized Polish financial institution kept me away for a while. I was back in mid-September. And I intend to stay for as long as I can, or until my cable modem dies on me.


Confessions of a Soap Opera Addict

I used to post on the message board at the World of Soap Themes. Someone came and said, ooh, look what I found! It's this site called Wikipedia! He said, oh, I put a link to the theme site under soap operas!

Now, I know that's site pimping and he needed to be slapped, but still, I was intrigued. I went to .en and never looked back. :-)

Avec bises,
Mike H

AP Gamer I used Wikipedia on several instances and decided to give registration and editing a shot.

I like the freedom and I hope to join a faction; before this I was mainly a GameFAQs person. Guardian of Light

Jaberwocky6669 I first became a member when I used the Ivan the Terrible article to help me complete a school paper. I had used WIkipedia in the past but was quite elated to see the button on the bottom that said "Edit this page". I thought that it must be some kind of a joke or a catch-22. I clicked it and here is the dramatic part. I vandalized a page! The page was the article about women. I have since been rehabilitated and I can't listen to classical music without going crazy! =)

FinalGamer Well, I was surfing the net as per usual until on a forum I frequented, I saw a portal. A link, engraved in blue of one name. . .Wikipedia. . .I wondered, "freaky name, must be some D & D fanatic site or so". . .but I was wrong. I clicked the link in bored curiosity, and before you know it, this place has become my favourite site ever. My first article to make was w:Fatal_Frame and I was so amazed at this place. A virtual encyclopaedia for all who float in cyberspaace, a font for humans across the world to pool their knowledge into. It gripped me, it made me gasp. . .it made me a Wikipedian. And I even got the full "vandalised user page" mark to prove it.

Dave I really don't recall exactly how when or why I found Wiki. It's sort of like asking someone the first time they heard of Coca-Cola or Xerox or any other product that is so commonly used that it's become a part of the language and culture.


I am not sure when exactly I found out about Wikipedia. Every time I did research for something, "Wikipedia" kept coming up. I think that for a while, I avoided Wikipedia, thinking that it would not be reliable.

Anyway, eventually I wanted to learn more about Wikipedia. So, I decided to sign up. I think that was sometime earlier this year or maybe last year. I knew about Wikipedia long before that, but I was not as interested as I was then.

My first two edits were on my user page and my talk page, which you can hopefully see on the bottom of this page here.

Then, out of nowhere, I noticed that somebody made two edits using my account. It was about Graphicsphere or something. I have no idea how that happened.

Anyway, a few weeks later, I decided to make my first edit on an article that wasn't my user page or user talk page, just to see what would happen. It appeared as if it worked fine, it was not removed, and I was not warned for doing anything wrong. On September 7, 2005, at 09:47, however, it seemed as if somebody called Derek.cashman had removed it. Derek.cashman left an edit summary saying, "rv speculation in opening paragraph by Anonunit." I assumed that Derek.cashman thought that I wrote that entire paragraph, even though I had only corrected a single typo in that paragraph as a test. Since I did not know how to respond to that, I stayed quiet and was relieved that I was not banned from Wikipedia or anything like that.

A few days later, I decided to make some more edits. I was trying to figure out how Wikipedia worked, and since the Sandbox did not appeal to me, I decided to test out my skills on my user page.

At some point, somebody seemed to have left a message on my talk page saying, “I’d fuck you.” It disappeared shortly after. I was not sure whether it was exactly my talk page, or if I confused it with somebody else’s talk page, since I had many windows open at that time. The message may have been deleted from the history of my talk page as an act of vandalism.

I messed around a lot for a few hours, until I noticed the Sun rising, and I decided to stop.

I continued to use Wikipedia for many weeks after that, but I never felt as if I had the chance to edit something.

A few weeks later, I decided to participate on many articles that were not related to anything very important. They were just categories and lists of Wikipedians. I even registered to Meta-Wiki.

The day I wrote this, I made my first article. The article was about Pascale Hutton.

I may have also accidentally made contributions without remembering to log in.

That is all.


Tedius Zanarukando

I became a Wikipedian on August 23, 2003. I happened to run into Wikipedia through Yahoo search engine. I took a good look at a Star Wars related article and then some other film related article. I later found that there are video game related articles. The first game related article I viewed was about the Final Fantasy series, and that inspired me to become a Wikipedia The first article I made was en:Enhanced remake. The second article I made was en:Fan translation. My only featured article was about the video game Final Fantasy X. Some of the articles I started have undergone radical ending. In June 2006, I began to incorporate userboxes into my userpage and have created some userboxes.

Tedius Zanarukando

Sir Drance

Well. my question is if i really am a Wikipedian. i would like to think that i am; however, i have only been here for 5 months and in that time i have done verry little to improve Wikipedia but to fix a word or two here or their. i have created an acount in all Wikimedia projects just for the heck of it.

The real reason i made an acount was because my school was full of vandles and it was the only way to eddit. it has grow; however, to an apseson

I Know 7 18:10, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

T0ast3r I was on my Information Processing and Publication class's PBwiki, and thought, 'This is crap', so I signed up for WP so I could say on my PBwiki talk page 'Ha ha, I'm a member of a better wiki than this'. So,... yeah. User:T0ast3r

FastLizard4 Well, I was editing Wikipedia from school, and got annoyed at how the school IP was being blocked. So, I noticed the "create account" button, and thought I would give it a go. So, in August 2006, I created an account with the name "FastLizard4", looked around, maybe made two or three edits. Then, I forgot about Wikipedia, and didn't come back until I was editing from my grandfather's house while I was on vacation. I created one of the lamest excuses of a userpage ever, with an average 2 edits per month in all namespaces for March and April of 2007. Then, in May 2007, with the advent of a new, exponentially larger Wikipedia userpage (blame the userboxes), I now edit Wikipedia ferociously. Wikipedia proved so fun, I gave up playing Runescape! --FastLizard4 03:57, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Storkian Same as the above story (whats your runescape user ?) :p.... anyways it also helped me on my projects and I just wanted to pay it forward. I brag to my teacher that I'm a wikipedian and she gives me a wierd look especially when she was handing out prints from wikipedia. I asked her why she has a wierd scared look on her face and told her I am experienced at it and use credible sources so she relaxed... while on the other hand, my friend vandalized lots of pages for example on the atoms article page he wrote "10 to power of 30000000 is the number of (times **** did men in the universe)" from its original text. wikipedia is absurd and it needs to act a little monarchic from now and then --Storkian aka iSoroush Talk 03:36, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Boydannie Hmm... well, what else are you supposed to do at work when you cant download games and cause interoffice riots? 12:48, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

"sistemx" I became wikipedian when I need help for homework i notice that each thing have [edit] thing and then mY IP published everywhere but then I get it now I have account on wikipedia French,spanish, english ,commons, haha and runescape wiki --Sistemx 00:25, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

"Maverick821" I became a wikipedian when I was invited by my bigger brother, and when I wanted to read something I didnt know, I went to wikipedia. I contribute to Wikipedia English, and....runescape wiki. Maverick821 08:15, 23 April 2010 (UTC)


I usually search and read articles in Wikipedia. One day i found someone vandalized the page en:Mammootty. I know Wikipedia is the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. But i dont know why, i am afraid to edit pages that days!!! But this time i corrected the page. That was my first edit and now I usually contributes on Wikipedia en, ml, commons, simple etc.. Binoyjsdk 15:27, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

The Thirst for Knowledge

I believe knowledge should be free. I was, and am, considered the "smart kid" in my school. It is my dream that the human race will start learning for the sake of learning. But for this to happen the knowledge has to be out there. That is why I contribute to the Wikimedian projects.ReuvenYisrael

Jumping from one issue to another...

As usual, as always, I was jumping from one page to another, looking for the meaning of several words for my translations. Suddenly, one day in 2007 I started reading the userpages of one or more wikipedians... and my interest started. As soon as I began doing my first edition, interest was activated inside: I started editing, writing, translating... more and more (contributing in Meta, in French, a bit also in German). Now I am working, along with several other wikipedians, in the creation of Wikimedia Mexico. As a psychologist and certified translator, I am very interested in the exchange of information (now I am also uploading photos), in the diffusion of science and knowledge, in learning "for the sake of learning," as ReuvenYisrael is saying a few lines above. I became a wikipedian... and I love it. --Correogsk 15:31, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

From a latecomer

I first became aware of Wikipedia sometime around 2006. I believe this is when Google results started popping up Wikipedia entries at the top of the search page (?)

I got involved in editing Wikipedia during the Ontario general elections of 2007 after publicly communicating with one of the local candidates in Ottawa through a Yahoo! Group. The candidate said he could not post information about himself at Wikipedia, so without knowing much about this man, I started an article about him. However this experience was so deflating I stopped contributing and only started again around 2010-2011. Ottawahitech (talk) 22:02, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Today is my tenth birthday at Wikipedia, I joined the en-Wikipedia community on Sept 14, 2007. I started a few articles which I am proud of such as:
  • Foreign home buyers' tax
  • Pao v. Kleiner Perkins
  • Michael Mastro
  • Premium tax credit
I also worked extensively on improving categories, which is a way to group together articles with similar characteristics, something I feel is most important. I also did a lot of work attempting to increase the value of wikiprojects which are there to facilitate communication between like-minded editors. I participated in the beta (alpha?) trial of Flow at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Breakfast. And lastly, I participated on various talk pages. In all I donated 6,974 pages and 75,277 edits to the en-Wikipedia.
However, it appears it is now time to move on. But where to contribute? Ottawahitech (talk) 11:58, 28 September 2017 (UTC)