Sunday, March 25, 2007

To Wiki, or Not to Wiki...

I just came from Wikipedia. There's an article about me there that keeps gathering erroneous information. Like a wad of gaffer's tape that keeps picking up lint.

Ya see, I've never been to Malaysia. What's really interesting is that the entry was updated at some point to add "where he stayed from 2004-2005." So, either there's another erroneous source out there, or the same Wikipedian keeps going back to add bogus stuff.

So I thought I'd correct the errors.

Man... Talk about a rabbit hole.

I ended up spending a couple of hours editing and expanding my article, adding in stuff I've done since retiring as the voice of Barney the Dinosaur.

And then I ran across Wikipedia's guidelines on autobiography. Hmmm.

Well, I think I can be objective. I mean, I thought the concept of the Fair Witness in Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land was a beautiful thing... that objectivity is an ideal to be striven toward with great vigor and the wearing of really impressive robes. Heck, I nearly said that once while being voir dired for jury duty.

So, I'm perfectly willing to admit... uh, I mean, report that some people have thought Barney was the most annoying thing ever to be created for television. And then I would say that most of those people are either teenage boys or childless adults. Which is true. In my experience.

But then I read the part about personal experience being a bad thing for an article.

So, maybe I'll just leave in the list-like paragraphs of my work experience, like the movies and TV shows I've done graphic design for.

But then I read that everything in an article has to be verifiable through a published source.

Hmmm... So I guess I need to get off my duff and update my IMDb entry to include all the shows I've worked on. So that would be a verifiable source.

But then I read that using primary sources is discouraged. And I guess I'd be my own primary source for the IMDb listing. Or not. I dunno.

So... After writing a lengthy bio and adding in my saxophone-playing, chemical-analyzing, Rosie the Riveter family, and being a diligent editor and using Wikipedia's markup tags to create links to other articles, and after trying to be as objective as a Fair Witness watching Valentine Michael Smith turn a box 90 degrees from everything else in the universe... I cut all of my new stuff and just deleted the Malaysia thing. And I removed the totally-wrong birth date and replaced it with the correct year. Oh, and I killed the line that said that I did the voice of Kuma for Tekken. I didn't.

But I did save the expanded article in a text file. For later. Just in case.

I mean, they said I'm a stub. And that I need to be expanded.

So I'll just keep that article in case I want to expand myself later. Because, as they say, you never know when the moment will be right.

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