From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Hi. :) I'm participating in the #100wikidays challenge (see meta:100wikidays). Well, sort of. Instead of creating one new article per day for 100 days, I will create one new article per week for 10 weeks. This page will be a report of my progress.

    Progress[change | change source]

    Week Date Article Rationale EN WP Wikidata #
    001 03-21-2015 Forgiveness previously redlinked on BE 1500 en:w:Forgiveness d:Q537963 217
    002 03-30-2015 Satisfaction previously redlinked on BE 1500 en:w:Contentment d:Q352126 381
    003 04-06-2015 Pleasure previously redlinked on BE 1500 en:w:Pleasure d:Q208195 504
    004 05-02-2015 Anguish previously redlinked from the IELTS test vocabulary list[1][2] en:w:Anguish d:Q3306661 798
    005 05-10-2015 Job satisfaction previously redlinked in Satisfaction en:w:Job satisfaction d:Q629463 892
    006 09-26-2015 Sonoma, California previously redlinked in Sonoma County, California en:w:Sonoma, California d:Q11592 3627
    007 10-10-2015 Lake County, California previously redlinked at List of counties in California en:w:Lake County, California d: Q156361 3769

    References[change | change source]

    1. Taylor, Hunter (2014). 500+ IELTS Vocabulary Words. {{cite book}}: Unknown parameter |Publisher= ignored (|publisher= suggested) (help)
    2. Anderson, Austin (2014). IELTS Academic Word List. {{cite book}}: Unknown parameter |Publisher= ignored (|publisher= suggested) (help)

    Week 1: Forgiveness[change | change source]

    Forgiveness 7.jpg

    To decide what I would write about first, I scanned the Basic English combined wordlist (BE 1500) for redlinks. I got as far as the Fs, saw "forgiveness" and stopped. 7+ hours later, the article now exists in Simple English. :) And Simple English now appears in the list of language links. :)

    This was my first attempt writing for this project, and I know that its parameters are strict. I did consult WP:HOW. And I checked my text for readability on I'll try to come back to shorten it and simplify it some more.

    Msannakoval (talk) 17:41, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

    Week 2: Satisfaction[change | change source]

    Envy and Self-satisfaction.jpg

    On Thursday, a fellow Wikipedian poked me privately by email to say he'd noticed I'd signed up for meta:100wikidays but hadn't seen any contributions all week. He wondered if I was ok. <3 He'd also wondered if I'd lost interest. So I updated my note about my participation being once weekly versus once daily (see diff).

    On Friday, I went back to the Basic English combined wordlist (BE 1500) for more redlinks. The pickings were slim, which is a good thing! I wanted another noun, on a topic that felt challenging, so I went with "satisfaction".

    I was amazed at and fascinated by the variety of definitions and explanations of satisfaction across languages and cultures. I listed several examples on the article's talk page here. There were so many great ideas that I ended up including content from 7 translations: BG, DE, FR, HE, NL, TA, TR.

    I struggled with apparently broken interwiki linking to Wiktionary (both Simple and English). I documented that on the article's talk page here.

    A bad bug kept me from editing as much as I'd hoped to, and it took me the entire weekend to complete the article, but at long last, the article now exists in Simple English. :) And Simple English now appears in the list of language links. :)

    Bonus #1: I got autoconfirmed on Simple and on Meta! :)

    Bonus #2: I finally hit 500 edits across all projects! :)

    Msannakoval (talk) 15:44, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

    Week 3: Pleasure[change | change source]

    A doctor enthusiastically examines a patient's stools. Colou Wellcome V0011871.jpg

    This week was my true test as a Wikipedian. My motives were questioned. My understanding was criticized. My edits were scrutinized. (Hence this illustration.) And I am relieved to report that I survived and I think I passed. This week came complete with my first talk page dialogues, my first village pump post, my first policy discussions, and my first RfD! I was so involved with Wikipedia this week, I actually ran WikiMetrics on myself just to see how active I had been. (Yes, I'm a data nerd. Don't judge me.) From March 30th through April 11, I made 57 edits to 6 namespaces with a positive sum of 34,686 bytes added, and I interacted with 3 superusers (including 2 admins) 6 times. The week before that, between March 21st and March 29th, I made 13 edits to just 3 namespaces with a positive sum of 17,733 bytes added, and I interacted with 0 other users. That's almost double the bytes added, +300% more edits, and exponentially more interactions.

    My foregone conclusion is that being an active and engaged, responsive and thorough Wikipedian is a lot of work! It requires careful thinking, thoughtful writing, and sensitive messaging. It also demands significant inputs of time and patience, not to mention steadfast dedication to the cause, especially when the going gets tough. This isn't easy! There was a bright side, though — several, in fact. 1. It reconfirmed my commitment to being a Wikipedian. 2. It taught me so much more through experience than I could have ever gleaned from only reading. 3. It amplified my respect for the devoted volunteers who manage, maintain, and improve these invaluable free knowledge projects. 4. It got some needed stuff added to the project, including clarified and expanded language on an editing guideline and a new attribution template. But the best part it all for me was 5. It made me my first wiki friend. <3 I'm so grateful for the skillful mentoring I received from one Wikipedian in particular. It was just what I needed, exactly when I needed it. He didn't have to help me at all, let alone how much he did. His kindness kept me here when I wanted to walk away. And now I'm so glad I stayed.

    That said, I'm starting to have some concerns about my participation in this wikiproject. 1. How much time it takes. I have completely fallen off Facebook these past two weeks. Not that that's a bad thing! It's just that people have already privately asked me if I'd died! <3 But even more important than remaining connected with my other online communities, I'm concerned about remaining connected with my real life companions. It's got to be more than a little frustrating for my husband to see me glued to my laptop all day for work and then again before and after work for this. It's not as easy to understand as someone spending their time volunteering at an animal shelter or in a soup kitchen. 2. Continuing to create new content in addition to improving new content I've already created. As already noted, my intentions have been questioned and some of my contributions have been flagged as problematic. I want to reassure the community that I am not a drive-by editor. I now need to circle back and improve my existing work as per other users' helpful suggestions and in accordance with project norms. Doing that will take some time. I also need to continue with writing one new article a week as part of my pledge for the #100wikidays challenge. That also takes time. I could say more, but that takes time too, so with that, it's back to my wiki work!

    Msannakoval (talk) 16:51, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

    Week #4: Anguish[change | change source]

    Alice through the looking glass.jpg
    The Wild Goose Chase FilmPoster.jpeg

    The last article I started, Satisfaction, was nominated for deletion. It survived the RfD. But the article now bears the {{complex}} template instead. And I feel duty bound to try to improve it. I should have started where another user suggested: with just simplifying the language. Instead, I thought I'd start with trying to make some of the redlinks blue, since we'd discussed that, too. And that's when I fell down the rabbit hole... What was supposed to be a simple stub became a complex undertaking. The result, though, I believe, is a well-developed article with 7 subsections, 34 references, and an average readability scoring that should be easily understandable by 13-14 year olds.[1] It's by far my best effort yet.

    The redlink I picked was Anguish. It's a word that's on the International English Language Testing System's vocabulary list[1][2] I drafted it in my sandbox: User:Msannakoval/Sandbox#Article:Anguish. One user taught me a way to make the language Simple(r). The number of redlinks, I learned, can be an indication of the level of difficulty of an article. I thought that this was a clever hack and it pointed me toward which articles I should work on next. Another user explained on my talk page that redlinks aren't necessarily an indication of how hard to read an article is, but rather simply an illustration of articles that have not been written yet. I learned that, on Simple, we link to words not on BE 850 and articles can have redlinks, just not "too many." This was all very helpful and I didn't want to forget any of it, so I started using my user page as a notebook for later reference and started a new section for information about redlinks.

    I have to admit feeling a little gun-shy of starting another article after the RfD. Please don't misunderstand! I'm glad I had the experience of evaluating an article for that purpose. It taught me so much about format, layout, content -- more than I ever could have gleaned by reading rules in the Manual of Style. I got to see my mistakes in context. And I don't want to make the same mistakes twice! So, I started a sandbox and drafted there. But I was even gun-shy to do that! I had it saved on my computer for days before moving it to my sandbox. And I had worked on it for almost a month before moving it to article space, because I'm afraid of failing again. But eventually you have to get back on the horse that bucked you.

    I did ask for help on my talk page. I used {{helpme}} for the first time. And I reached out again to another editor who had been helpful to me in the past. When I didn't hear back from anyone right away, I tried to improve the draft myself by adding more wikilinks to Simple Wikipedia articles. Eventually I did hear back from the editor I reached out to and their suggestions were good ones. I incorporated all of the recommended improvements and then finally moved the draft into article space. I documented the drafting and reviewing process on the article's talk page here.

    In the end, week 4 took 4 weeks! (Thanks to two family trips, two bouts of flu, one holiday (Eastern Orthodox Easter), one RfD, and an extraordinary amount of extra work at work.) But it was worth it. Once again, I learned a lot. And this week led to two more firsts for me. 1. I advocated for another editor -- User:Spiritia and her #100wikidays project, which I could not be more inspired by -- on the Wikimania 2015 wiki: wikimania2015:Talk:Submissions/100wikidays#An endorsement and 2. I wrote my first Simple Wiktionary definition and three more after that. :) I had to teach myself how to do it first. And it was difficult at first, but also fun once I understood it. It kind of felt like playing a new game on the computer! I noted to myself how many words weren't in Simple Wiktionary yet. That might be something else that I'll add to my wiki to-do list. As much work has already been done already, there is still so much work left to do. It makes me feel like I'm doing something that matters, something that helps people. It's very rewarding. And addicting. :) --Msannakoval (talk) 03:45, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

    1. Taylor, Hunter (2014). 500+ IELTS Vocabulary Words. {{cite book}}: Unknown parameter |Publisher= ignored (|publisher= suggested) (help)
    2. Anderson, Austin (2014). IELTS Academic Word List. {{cite book}}: Unknown parameter |Publisher= ignored (|publisher= suggested) (help)

    Week #5: Job satisfaction[change | change source]

    Heroic Women of France. Hitched to the plough, cultivating the soil. All agriculture rests upon their shoulders. Uncompl - NARA - 512429.tif

    I wish I could recall what I was thinking when I wrote this article. I chose it because it had been previously redlinked in Satisfaction. Satisfaction had been nominated for deletion. I fought long and hard to explain and improve it. And, ultimately, thankfully, the outcome of the RfD was {{keep}}. At least one edit summary " :) " indicates that I was enjoying myself. Or maybe I was being ironic and sarcastic? I think the latter is actually more likely. Shortly thereafter, I received a message on my talk page from my wiki mentor. He wrote only two words: "Nice article" and they felt like the highest praise and the greatest gift in the wiki world. He posted his compliment only 13 hours and 25 minutes after I logged that article on this page. But by then I had already gone off the grid and didn't return to the project again for almost 5 months. Seeing his note is what ultimately motivated me to contribute again after being badly burned. It wasn't the peer pressure that I finally succumbed to. What worked best was just a veteran being kind to a newbie. Just two little words were what made the difference. Just two little words were all it took. I'll never forget that lesson: you truly do attract more bees with honey than with vinegar. Msannakoval (talk) 15:32, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

    Week #6: Sonoma, California[change | change source]

    Sonoma sign.jpg

    I have felt major wiki guilt for many weeks about not contributing. I was encouraged (and peer pressured) on a business trip last month. I attended the regional meeting of Central and Eastern European Wikimedians in Estonia. And there I was asked to reflect publicly on my participation in the #100wikidays challenge. Shamefully, I said that I only regretted not completing it. I said that I was proud that I got halfway given my workload. I said that I was grateful for the invaluable wiki lessons I learned and the wiki friendships I made.

    I worked quite a lot on wiki this week (well, a lot for me, at least). I contributed at Commons. Wikidata, Wikibooks. Wiktionary, and Wikipedia in English, Simple English, and Serbian. This is mostly because I was confused about what to write about. I started a new stub in my sandbox, but quickly found myself in over my head (see notes here). After much rabbit holing, I gave up on philosophy and switched to geography. First, I expanded the article about my county: Sonoma County, California. Then I started the stub about my city: Sonoma, California. Shame on me for not writing that sooner. It's not as good as Bithynia, but I believe it passes this litmus test.

    I'm glad I'm contributing again, but I still feel so gun shy. My RfD experience scared and scarred me. My primary objective is to not get reverted again. It is also my goal to write a good article or a very good article. But before I do that, it's my goal to get the {{complex}} tag taken off Satisfaction. I spent some time this week clarifying, and, hopefully, simplifying it. I'm told that I can remove that template myself. But it's still not quite simple enough yet.

    Earlier this week, I had hoped that I may actually have more than one article to list here today. Alas, there is only one, and it's not my best work by a long shot. But I'm pleased that I'm editing again. It took a week off work to make it happen. But the important thing is that it happened. And I feel sort of, ahem, satisfied.

    Msannakoval (talk) 14:52, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

    Week #7: Lake County, California[change | change source]


    "In September and October 2015, a wildfire called the Valley Fire burned more than 76,000 acres of land in Lake County, Napa County, and Sonoma County. The fire destroyed almost 2,000 buildings and threatened almost 7,500 buildings. The fire killed 4 people and left 3,000 people homeless. The damage is estimated at "hundred of millions of dollars"."

    —Lake County, California, Simple English Wikipedia

    I began this week by expanding last week's article a little, adding info about the Bear Flag Revolt along with a citation. How much history to include is always a mystery to me. I have this (probably incorrect) feeling that Simple English Wikipedia articles should be shorter than their English Wikipedia counterparts. So I tend to aim for less overall and only highlight the most important information. Someone can always add more later, in theory. I realized that I'd forgotten to add the attribution template to the talk page of my last article, so I created that page added that, too.

    Next I began my new article in my sandbox. I decided to keep with geography as the theme and tackle some of the redlinks at List of counties in California. I wanted to remain geographically close to my own county, and I wanted to help out an underdog. So I picked Lake County, California instead of Napa. I started from the English Wikipedia article, but much of it was unsourced. So I found references and added them to the English article also. My intention was to include coverage of the recent Valley Fire, which is notable enough to have a dedicated article on English Wikipedia. It caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to property and left thousands of people homeless.[1]

    Undeniably, bigger disasters happen everyday around the world, but this one hit close to home for me. Only 25 miles away, as other people's houses were consumed by flames, we watched and waited for our own evacuation notice. Fortunately, that call never came. The Valley Fire has since been contained. Meanwhile, I wondered how I could help. So I decided to try to include coverage of this significant event in this county here on Simple Wikipedia. I was impressed with the articles on English Wikipedia about both the Valley Fire and Calfire, even though they are considered start-class articles. While I wasn't confident that an article about the fire would meet the notability requirements for an article of its own, a mention with ample citation in the county article seemed likely to cut the mustard. And so far, it has stuck. It felt great to reload the counties list page and watch the redlink for Lake become blue. But it felt even better to know that I had paid a tiny tribute to the displaced families, the courageous firefighters, and the scorched earth that endured this disaster.

    Also worthy of note, I think, is that my editing bug came back a bit. There were several days when I wanted to edit Wikipedia more than I wanted to work. More than once, I succumbed to the temptation and delayed starting my work day twice because I was so caught up in my article. Most days, I logged to Wikipedia, not Facebook. And the first thing I found myself checking each morning were my recent edits, to make sure that none were reverted or questioned, and to see if there were any nice notifications. There were none of either, which is fine — no news is good news.

    Msannakoval (talk) 13:04, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

    1. "Valley Fire Update: 3,000 Homeless, Cost Likely 'Hundreds of Millions'". KQED News. KQED. 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2015-10-09.