The Tale of the Intern: Wikipedia Advice from Gaby

The tale of the intern:

Lucky as I am, I got to be the lab rat for this project. Going into it not knowing much about Wikipedia and practically anything about webpage notation, I did not know where to begin.

Searching through all of the help pages on Wikipedia proved extremely overwhelming. There were many pages with lots of information and I wanted just one that laid everything out for me. I came across one helpful page, "Starting an Article," that became my guideline for this project. This page not only provided me with steps to get used to Wikipedia, but also the steps to follow once I started an article.

Another wonderful page I found was Sandbox. On the Sandbox page, I was able to edit pages and play around with web notation without anything actually being published.

Once I felt slightly more comfortable with Wikipedia, it was time to begin actually creating an article. In order to do so, I needed to create an account (username and password) for Wikipedia. Now, this can sometimes be difficult for people because people feel tied down or feel like they are making more of a commitment than they are. However, creating an account is completely free and does not mean much.

Then, it was time to choose a choreographer. I knew that Dance Magazine has a growing list of female choreographers. I closed my eyes, scrolled down the page, and chose a random name. It was Jody Sperling. This worked out perfectly because Jody did not have a Wikipedia page and I was able to find a lot of information about her on the web. She was the perfect person to create an article about.

Then I began researching. I thought I was on summer vacation and was done with researching, but I guess I was wrong. It was okay, though, because her company, Time Lapse Dance, which creates illusions with light and costumes, proved very interesting to read about. Then Karen told me that she knew Jody and gave me her email address. I emailed her asking her for any information that I could not find and any extra information she wanted included on her page. She responded in a very positive, friendly, and helpful way and we have now emailed back-and-forth a few times. I realized that this is definitely an unexpected bonus to the Wikipedia project. Contacting the choreographer is great. If you let us know who you are researching, we may be able to notify the choreographer for you and see if she would be willing to talk directly to you. Again, it helps with the research process but this is now a very wonderful way to connect to choreographers and get people talking to each other.

I am still in the process of actually creating the page and I will defnitely update you all on how the rest of the project goes, and when the article is up for your viewing.

Getting used to Wikipedia might take a little while, but once you get it down, the process of creating articles will become quick and easy. Why not start now? Please help us with our campaign for you, Monkeyhouse, and the dance world!

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