Wikipedia

Wikipedia1 is a multilingual, web-based, free-content encyclopedia project supported by the Wikimedia Foundation and based on a model of openly editable content.

Wikipedia is written collaboratively by a host of largely anonymous volunteers and is policed by an army of zealous editors.

Stardust the Super Wizard pushed me into the world of Wikipedia. In May of 2017, I read I Shall Destroy All Civilized Planets! the first volume in the complete works of Fletcher Hanks authored by comics historian Paul Karasik. In this collection were stories of an outrageous cosmic-level “hero” who exacted brutal vengeance on criminals, mass murderers, and would-be conquerors. When I had finished the book, I quickly went to Wikipedia to learn more. Unfortunately, what I found was a stub. A stub, in Wikipedia terminology, is an article that is “too short to provide encyclopedic coverage of a subject and is capable of expansion.” It looked like if I wanted to find “Stardust the Super Wizard” on Wikipedia, I was going to have to research and write the article myself.

I had always had the urge to write for Wikipedia. I love dictionaries, I have a collection at home that I read for fun. In fact, one of the items on my bucket list is to author a reference book. Wikipedia seemed like a welcoming environment of like-minded people who were dedicated to creating an open community-generated reference for the world. So I created an account and started work on Stardust.

Stardust seemed easy. He was written and drawn by a single person. Stardust’s tenure in comics was relatively short, spanning from December of 1939 until March of 1941. At the time, he seemed like a simple character with a well-defined period of activity. In other words, the article could be easily researched and actually completed. Two months later, I had eaten those words and absolutely fallen in love with Wikipedia.

Since Stardust the Super Wizard was published, I have been contracted by a variety of clients to write, research, copy edit, template content, and correctly cite articles for the popular online encyclopedia. I make sure the articles meet stringent formatting and notability criteria. I also help my clients navigate the editorial approval process by developing strategies to avoid flagging. So far, I have authored articles for two comic book characters, a software company, a music database, a film director, and a baseball documentary; and expanded articles for two software companies, a healthcare research firm, a First Amendment activist, a singer-songwriter, a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney, and a 21st-century guitar hero.

“Matthew delivered good work on a Wikipedia page project. The project required a lot of back and forth over an extended period of time, and Matthew's communication was always prompt and clear. I would work with him again.”
Giulio Chiarenza

Platform

Wikipedia

Toolset

Wikitext, copy editing, research, citation formatting, templating content, development strategy

References

  • Chaz Stevens, Chaz Stevens
  • Bernie Mireault, The Jam (comics)
  • Frank W Chen, Late Life
  • Josh Greene, Quorum (software)
  • Mikayla Werner, Unify Square
  • Krista Barry, Teddy Geiger
  • Giulio Chiarenza, Equipboard