RuWiki History (Doronina and Pinchuk)/English/Interview with Anatolich1

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1. Your handle on Wikipedia?


2. What is your educational background and where do you work?

[For a] law enforcement agency.

3. Where do you live (Moscow, St. Petersburg, a city with a million inhabitants, a small town, etc)?


4. How old are you?


5. When and how did you first hear about the Russian Wikipedia, and why did you start editing?

I heard about it in 2006, but I don't remember how, exactly. Most likely, I came upon one of the articles after looking for something on Google. I decided to participate, since at that time the Russian Wikipedia was a fairly pitiful sight. There was a lot of room to work, and I was very inspired by the idea that I can edit a just about real encyclopedia myself.

6. How many years have you participated? If you ever took an extended wiki-vacation, please provide the reason (i.e., too much work offwiki, unpleasant atmosphere/events in the project itself, or something else).

I registered almost 4 years ago, but I feel that I have been PARTICIPATING in the project for about two years. I registered on WP almost immediately after I found out about it, heeding the call that "registration takes one minute, but the features will be available to you for much longer." Anyway, I found out immediately that anonymous edits are looked upon with more bias than edits from a registered user, regardless of what they say about "equality in WP." At first I got on WP rarely, and if I made edits at all, they were minor style/spelling/punctuation ones. Then a major change happened in my life: I got divorced from my wife, moved into my own apartment, left one of my jobs, so I suddenly had considerably more time and began to be on the Internet more in general, and on WP in particular. I created my first articles, and though they were (and still are) short and on insignificant topics, they were not deleted but improved. This filled me with confidence. I discovered that on WP there are special pages that are interesting to be on: the Forum, Articles for Deletion, Articles for Renaming, etc. And that's how Wikipedia gradually became an important part of my life. I've never been on a wiki-vacation and don't plan to be.

7. What do you like most about participating in the project? Why do you think you and other users participate in this work?

Most of all, I like creating new articles. I can't speak for the other users: some like editing existing material, others flagging bad articles for deletion...

8. Which events do you consider to be the most important in the history of

I suppose the beginning of the project. Considering the mentality of the Russian-speaking users and their relatively new acquaintance with the Internet, the Russian Wikipedia should have died at its inception from spam and vandalism, but that didn't happen. It's remarkable, but it's a fact.

...I've practically never talked to Internet users from other countries, but about ours I can say: to screw up or mess with something is a favorite activity. I'm not talking about various forums and blogs, but take Wikipedia: look at "New Articles" -- 50% are obvious vandalism and petty hooliganism. The same goes for "Recent Changes." It's incredible that the administrators and other normal users can keep up with sorting through all (almost all) of this. The Internet came to Russia later than to the developed Western nations, and the Russian Internet users can be compared to an infant who puts everything in its mouth, because it's interesting to try everything, to break a cup and see, what will happen? Will they punish me or not notice? In that sense, Western Internet users have already "grown up."

9. Do your professional interests overlap with the areas in which you edit on If not, how do you decide which articles to edit?

Absolutely not. I decide entirely spontaneously, wandering around Wikipedia and stumbling on red links (this is in relation to creating new articles). When it comes to editing the existing articles, I fix minor mistakes, add sources (also stumbling on them randomly, using the "Random Article" feature).

10. Do you participate in "metapedian" work, i.e., patrolling, discussions of nomination for deletion or renaming, templates? Do you follow the discussions that take place on the Forum, discussion pages of the ArbCom, etc.? Why/why not?

Very occasionally I look into "Nominations for deletion" and "For improvement," I regularly look through the whole Forum, but I enter into the discussion rarely -- it seems to me that time spent in heated debate can be used much more productively by, for example, writing another article.

11. How do you feel about the administration of (About the system in general, about certain admins, about the ArbCom?)

I find the vast majority of administrators and other "administration" to be very intelligent, upstanding, and diligent people. Respect 'em.

12. How do you feel about the rules? Which rule (which "pillar") do you consider to be most important? Do you think that the atmosphere of the project is too strict?

The rules are pretty strict, but they're fair. They weren't written by one person in a day but were created gradually and painstakingly. "The Five Pillars" are all equally important. Erase one and the whole structure collapses. Yes, the atmosphere is very strict. If I were a newbie now, I doubt I would risk getting deeply involved in the project: writing new articles, arguing with users, etc.

13. Do you communicate with other users outside of Wikipedia? If yes, how: at wiki-meetups, by chat, or through other Internet communities (LiveJournal)?

No, I don't.

14. How has working on Wikipedia helped/hindered you in real life?

It has only helped. I can physically sense that I have become smarter, full to the brim with interesting (and reliable!) facts.

15. Has participating in the project affected you personally? How so?

It's hard to say. See the answer to question 14.

16. Do you participate actively in other projects of the Wikimedia Foundation? If so, what are the main differences (positive or negative) from

No, I don't.

17. What other web projects do you participate in?

Practically nowhere. I have pages on and and use them.

18. What other hobbies do you have?

Automobile travel across the cities of Russia, numismatics