Did You Ever Contribute To Wikipedia? [MakeUseOf Poll]

Last week we asked you how many friends you have on Google+. Aside from giving us an insight into how many of you actually use Google+, the poll also turned into a discussion about the recent switch to Google+ comment on YouTube, which forced many people to start using Google+.

We also wanted to compare the results to a similar poll about Facebook, but since Google+ attracted only about half the voters, it’s hard to get a clear picture.

Out of 267 votes in total, 4.5% have 201-300 friends on Google+, another 4.5% have 301-500 friends on Google+, 7.5% have 51-100 friends, 9% have 101-200 friends, 11% have 20-50 friends, 12% have over 500 friends, 19.5% have 0 friends on Google+, and 32% of the voters have less than 20 friends on Google+.

Full results and this week’s poll after the jump.

While the majority of the voters have no friends or less than 20, quite a few people have over 200 friends too. Who said Google+ was dead?

Don’t forget to check out last week’s best comment by Robert M who shares his opinion on why people don’t use Google+ and why they should. He wins a free MakeUseOf t-shirt!

poll results nov 17   Did You Ever Contribute To Wikipedia? [MakeUseOf Poll]

This week’s poll question is: Did You Ever Contribute To Wikipedia?

Love our t-shirts? The best comment in this poll will get one of our geeky t-shirts. That’s right, for free! So get commenting!

Wikipedia launched nearly 13 years ago, and today it’s hard to imagine our lives without it. Everyone uses Wikipedia for something, be it to find out a tidbit of information or write a thesis; but not nearly as many people write on Wikipedia. And not because they can’t — after all, everyone can write on Wikipedia. Trying to keep the information as accurate as possible, Wikipedia’s become harder and harder to edit easily, and still, many people do it. Are you a regular Wikipedia contributor? Did you ever edit an article? Or do you just use it to read? Let’s find out.

What makes you like or dislike editing articles on Wikipedia? Did you use to like it but not anymore? Were you never attracted to it at all? Share your thoughts below!

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10 Comments -

John

You bet! I put money towards products that I want more of. Whether it is music, games or information. All of this can be had for free – legality aside – so why bother paying? Because money increases supply. If I want more of something, I pay for it to encourage future supply. Example: I listen to popular music often, but care not whether more of it is made. Thus, I rarely pay for it and stick with freely available sources. However, I have a list of musicians where I buy everything they produce because I want more More MORE! Thus, “shut up and take my money” and for the love of God, keep producing. Back on topic: Wikipedia has been a boon in my life, and I hope to see more information, increased accuracy, and all easy to find online. Thus, I’ve donated.

Marte B

I corrected a couple of Wikipedia articles about my relatives. I dunno if that counts as “contributing.”

Tom W

It is something that I have thought about several times, and there are two reasons why I don’t contribute to Wikipedia. Firstly, I don’t have any experience in wiki editing, and I am worried that I may break some rules or etiquette. Secondly, other than a few obscure topics, I don’t feel like I am qualified enough to contrubute.

I think that there are a lot of people like me out there, and perhaps a banner ad linking to a “Contributing, for beginners” would increase both confidence and the numbers of people editing.

James Bassett

I’ve edited some articles (updates, corrections etc) and have written some. I just stick to what I know about. Sure, I broke a few formatting rules to start with but that is what the editors are there for. Bots scan articles for any errors, notify the editors and they fix them. It isn’t an issue.

If you aren’t sure what you are doing, find an article similar to the one you are doing and hit the edit button. Then you will be able to see how it was written. Then copy, paste and edit!

Sam

Yeah, I have fixed several things, which to glass half full people means that wiki is self correcting and accurate…
Apparently I am a half empty guy, because that really did not give me confidence that wiki is a source of accurate info.
I still use it, but with a very large grain of salt. I will check things that are of general interest, but not of specialized interest. For example, I can read about a country or a vehicle for general details, or a public figure for a run down of info. Any serious study or something beyond general facts should be done doing your own research with original sources or from a trusted researcher who in turn provides footnotes and references. At the very least, click on the references in the wiki article and find where the writers and those who have corrected an article got that info from.

Wikipedia in and of itself is not a bad thing if used correctly…but I would warn people against having a mindset that I have found to be all too common recently that says that because you found that info on wikipedia, it’s true without any further need to verify.

Wikipedia to me represents what we collectively believe about a subject as a society, accurately or not. That in itself is also valuable.

Cassie S

I make a small contributions and am trying to make it a habit to do it more often. I recently took a “big” step and made a wikipedia account – previously I only contributed anonymously.

To those saying that they wish there were an easier way for beginners to jump in, go here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:GettingStarted
It’s not really pointed out to you by Wikipedia until you sign up for an account, but it really does make it so easy to make small contributions. Clicking on any of the buttons on that page jumps you to a random article that has been flagged as needing improvements. I usually do “Add Links” because it truly is the easiest. But once you’ve been sent to a random article to play with, there are usually other easy changes that become apparent (spelling/grammar issues, layout issues, etc.). You totally don’t need to know anything to do this. I have recently made some edits in the areas of women’s college hockey and Ugandan Hip-Hop. This is a totally fun way to learn about random topics too – just like clicking the random article button, but you also get to feel like you’re helping out.

Carol

Yes, I’ve both donated money to Wikipedia and written articles. I’d like Wikipedia to remain ad-free and hope my donations will help. I consider Wikipedia to be a paramount example of peer-based journalism and a tribute to what humans are capable of doing when working as a community. I have some expertise in specific areas, and felt that it was important that I contribute to that body of knowledge to help other people learn.

Xoandre

I once tried to contribute to Wikipedia. After a week of trying to validate my identity per the general rules, I gave up on it. Many sites are so voracious for identity validation that they become pointless for attempting to become a contributor.

Md Mukhtar M

Yes i contribute but limited to my locality about which i know very clearly.

Lisa M

I have never contributed to (meaning edited?) Wikipedia. I would like to donate but I do not use PayPal. (If I could just send them a money order via snail mail or Western Union, that would be fine.) There is an article on Wikipedia that I wish someone would translate into English. I’d gladly do it myself, except I don’t speak French. :-)

Also, per the last poll, G+ sucks, and all this identity verification stuff is BS. Tech companies are a bunch of hypocrites for assailing the NSA on privacy when they clearly want users to reveal their real names. They are destroying constructive conversation simply because of the actions of a few trolls. Not everyone who comments behind a fake name “has something to hide.” In this country (United States), companies have the legal right to fire you for any reason they see fit. Meaning if you comment on a blog in favor of increasing the min wage levels, and your boss doesn’t like that, guess what: s/he has the right to fire you and now pay you $0. If I worked for Chick-Fil-A and made a comment in favor of gay marriage, I could be fired too. Allowing pseudonyms enables people to express themselves without facing unfair repercussions from their job, potential employers, and even friends, family or spouses. Deal with the bullies as they need to be dealt with and leave the Internet alone. (But of course, we all know this was never REALLY about cutting down on cyber-bullying.)