September 26th, 2004

abstract butterfly


Lately I write small articles about things that interest me for wikipedia, the "open-source-ish" internet encyclopedia. As with any entry into a new community, I worry that I'll violate some wikiquette, and receive scathing criticisms. But so far, my modest contributions have not been resulted in any abrupt come-uppances. It's interesting what few things I know, when one speaks of "knowing" in the "know enough to write something non-obvious for others" sense. I like the idea of filling in the gaps, though, of the places and things I've seen that few people see and nobody reads in encyclopedias about.

I wrote a couple of Amazon reviews after a long hiatus. I used to love that I was a top 500 reviewer, although that's a particularly meaningless vain title. Now I'm only top 1,000, as I've slid to rank 790. I always found interesting the reviews that people like versus the reviews that people do not like. If I write about religion, I get dozens of "helpful" votes. If I write about science fiction, I get virtually universal "not helpful". I went ahead and told Amazon that they could list my "true name", which means that any negative thing I've said is now associated with a real, live person.
I figure, though, that I'd rather be positive or negative in earnest, and not anonymously. If I were setting up this weblog again, I might use my real name rather than Gurdonark.