Learning patterns/Turning geeks to Wikipedians
What problem does this solve?
A person who is intensely interested in a particular field or hobby is known as a geek. They are fanatical about their obsession and generally gain expertise in the subject. Turning a geek into a wikipedian will enrich many articles in his area of expertise. But the problem is with identifying geeks and making them exited about working in wikipedia. Here are some tips to recognize them and make them wikipedians.
What is the solution?
- Finding a geek out
Finding out a geek around you and among your friends is the first among these steps. The thing you have to see is their intensity towards hobbies, interest or their subject. You can see them, going for expeditions, maintaining close relations with experts, enthusiasts, getting up to date about topic, etc., One have to look for these kind of activities in their friends. Topic might vary from particular kind of films to an alternative history, hobbies like photography to history of warfare.
- Turning them into wikipedians
Sometimes they may come up with some error on wiki and ask you to fix it. Or may come with some references and information and request you to create or improve articles related to their interest. In such case, never edit by yourself because if you start helping them out, there is no need to become wikimedians. Rather encourage them to start editing. Normally, they seek company with people who can share similar interest and intensity. Anyway they get such company on social media, but collaborating with such persons for a great cause makes them excited, here wikipedia can make out difference. Connect them to volunteers who have similar interests and working on the same topic on wiki. If they are already writing posts on blogs and notes on facebook, let them know how better and long-lasting wikipedia is. It is fascinating idea to make their knowledge more useful to people.
Things to consider
- On social media, Search out for specific person who is having a lot more interest on specific topic and is gaining minute knowledge, specifically you can find them out in thematic groups on facebook or google plus. Understand where they are contributing most and if only social media, then suggest them better choices like wikipedia.
- When people are having a great discussions on particular topic on social media/webzines, make a comment appreciating those comment, suggesting them to make discussion more fruitful through contributing a specific wiki page. In this case, never just say "contribute to wikipedia", be more specific and suggest some wiki page closely related to the topic, or if page is not existing suggest them to create.
- Someone from such people may ask you to fix some problems, or to add relevant content or to create a page on their fanatical topic. Never help them out by just editing in the lines of their interest, but suggest them to try out. Give a quick idea about wikipedia notability, verifiability and then Follow their edits, quote relevant style guides, policies, but never ever edit on your own.
When to use
- When there is some discussion going on in social media in where the serious enthusiasts started sharing info i.e., encyclopedic in nature and quoting references they have (For example, In a facebook discussion about origin and other details of a telugu word, I have requested to improve telugu wiktionary entry and it resulted here on wiki page)
- When someone who knows you are a wikimedian, asks you to rectify a factual error or to write some article from scratch and send you articles/books to refer.